Williams Lake Thunder centre Ana Lomavatu goes up for a shot while Columneetza Cougars player Erica Webber looks to defend.

Williams Lake Thunder centre Ana Lomavatu goes up for a shot while Columneetza Cougars player Erica Webber looks to defend.

Thunder rumble at hoops tourney

The Williams Lake Thunder senior girls basketball team stormed to a 62-49 final win over the Caledonia Kermode Bears Saturday.

The Williams Lake Thunder senior girls basketball team stormed to a 62-49 final win over the Caledonia Kermode Bears at the Columneetza Invitational Saturday evening.

The tournament, which featured eight teams, saw the Thunder go undefeated in three games. Williams Lake secondary opened its tournament with a 42-39 edging of the Correlieu Clan and downed the host Columneetza Cougars, 67-35, prior to the final.

Raj Lalli, who co-coaches the Thunder along with Tara Burtenshaw, said the Thunder could possibly be the strongest girls’ basketball team the lakecity has seen in quite some time.

“I think we met our expectations we had for ourselves this past weekend,” Lalli said. “At most tournaments with this group we’ve always gotten really good feedback from other coaches and parents that we’re a very, very hardworking team. We never give up, and physically we’re pretty aggressive and we’re definitely one of the hardest working teams out there.”

Lalli pointed to players such as centre Ana Lomavatu, point guard Latasha Diaz, forwards Montana Reid and Sydney Redpath, and Anne Butters, Dakota Bailey, Natasha Yaworski, Morgan Gary and Lexi Peterson for their outstanding play.

Lomavatu, currently playing in her Grade 12 season, was dominant throughout the tournament.

“She’s been our MVP this season,” Lalli said. “It’s not often Williams Lake teams get a lot of skilled height, and she’s progressed so much over the last three, four years. She’s really focused on her fitness level over the last year or two, and there’s been tremendous improvement there as a post player. She’s one of our better ball handlers, too.”

Lalli added Diaz has the sole responsibility as the team’s point guard, while Reid, Redpath, Butters, Bailey, Yaworski, Gary and Peterson combined for a stymie defence.

“Many teams struggle, sometimes offensively against us,” Lalli said. “Even if we can’t get anything going offensively our defence is what we build the foundation of our team on.”

The Cougars also had a successful weekend, placing fourth.

Jennifer Anderson, coach of the Cougars senior girls, said the team finished fourth, beating Valemount and losing once to the Thunder and once to Correlieu in the bronze-medal game.

Anderson said the team’s roster of Erica Webber, Shaelyn Wintjes, Annie Blois, Kaylee Dueck, Nisha Khan, Simran Boyal and Becky Caeppel are a dedicated, intense batch of players with strong rebounding skills and teamwork.

Webber led the Cougars in scoring throughout the weekend while Dueck dropped 16 against Valemont to lead all scorers.

Anderson added the Cougars plan to attend upcoming tournaments in Quesnel, Prince George and Valemount and hope to continue to keep improving.

Meanwhile the Thunder are currently preparing to host the North Central Zone Championships from Feb. 21-23 at Williams Lake Secondary School. Only one team from the zone will move on to the BC High School Basketball Provincial Championships.

“We placed second last year at zones,” Lalli said. “This year our goals are very high.

“Our expectations are set pretty high, and I think it would be a disappointment to us if we didn’t win, or come in at the top two.”

Just Posted

Gibraltar Mine has started calling back 34 workers laid off on April 27 because it has received its permit to reactive the Gibraltar East Pit. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
Gibraltar Mine receives permit, calling back laid off employees

Mining has begun in the Gibraltar East pit

(RCMP logo)
RCMP investigating early morning assault in Williams Lake

An insecure firearm was located in a residence

Williams Lake City Council rejected a proposal Tuesday at its regular meeting for the city to host a junior A hockey team for the upcoming 2021/22 season. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Council rejects junior A hockey bid in Williams Lake

The proposal has been up for debate the past several months

The city of Williams Lake will help fund a position at Canadian Mental Health Association Cariboo Chilcotin Branch for mental health programs using some of the COVID safe restart grant the city received from the province. (City of Williams Lake photo)
City of Williams Lake allocates 35K to support mental health programs

The funding for CMHA coming from the COVID Safe Restart grant the city received

Speed reader data collected between March 1 and April 28, 2021 indicated 94.68 per cent of vehicles traveling through kept below or to the 50 km hour speed limit. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City council agrees further speed restrictions not warranted for Westridge area of Williams Lake

Staff bases decision on speed reader data collected over six-week period

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

A Mountie issued B.C. RCMP’s first ticket for non-essential travel May 1. (Black Press Media files)
Driver ticketed, told to ‘return to Lower Mainland immediately’ by Vancouver Island police

The motorist was originally pulled over for driving-related offences May 1

Children walk back to their classroom while wearing masks and physical distancing at St. Barnabas Catholic School in Scarborough, Ont., in October, 2020. A group of B.C. teachers has issued an open letter calling for the relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions for children in B.C. schools. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Group of B.C. teachers calls for easing of pandemic measures for students

Teacher group says ‘response to COVID is out of balance to the cost our youth are paying’

Adam Hamdan has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorist charges given temporary residence in Canada

Adam Hamdan had been facing deportation to Jordan, where he holds citizenship through his Palestinian parents

Lumber is shown in the back of a van in this recent image provided by the Saskatoon Police Service. The skyrocketing prices for lumber is fuelling a trend that has authorities across the country warning builders to keep their guard up. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Saskatoon Police Service-Const. Derek Chesney *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It is a gold mine:’ Builders warned of rising lumber thefts across Canada

Many North American mills curtailed production temporarily earlier in 2020 because of COVID lockdowns

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after 2 bodies discovered on remote road near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Most Read