Bombers finish fourth at Pen Hi Laker Classic
By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports
The young, inexperienced Bombers got a taste of life outside the Kootenays when the squad finished fourth at the Pen-Hi Laker Classic Saturday in Penticton.
The Bombers dropped a 53-48 decision to host Lakers in the consolation final.
“I hope so,” head coach Ross Naka said when asked if this was a good learning tournament for the squad of mostly Grade 11 players.
“I’m kind of leaning on the fact that we started poorly against a (round robin) team like Enver Creek, realized we made some mistakes but were able to turn it around.”
Naka was referring to the preliminary round game against the AAA squad from Surrey.
Facing a front line of 6-footers, the Bombers started slowly against a hungry team from the Fraser Valley that pressed LVR into making numerous mistakes.
However, LVR managed to rebound from a 20-11 first quarter margin to lead 31-26 at the half.
LVR could not continue the upswing in the second half, bowing out 67-47.
Senior point guard John Zak led the Bomber scoring attack with 18 points while Jack Sturrup and Garrett Perry each added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bombers rebounded in game two of the three-team preliminary round dumping Vernon Secondary 74-47.
The Okanagan squad started with only six players and quickly folded after two starters left the game due to injury and disciplinary reasons.
Zak once again led the attack with 15 points while McLain Sandeveland had 14, Matt Zukoski 13 and Sturrup 11.
Adam Grace added 10.
The second-place finish matched the Bombers against Pen Hi.
Trailing 25-17 the Bombers tanked in the second half, allowing the Lakers to build a 45-26 lead.
But LVR was able to “decide to be a ball team” as Naka put it, and rallied to outscore the Lakers down the stretch before running out of time in the five-point game.
Zukowski was high-man for LVR with 11 points, with nine coming from the charity stripe.
Grace added 10 points for LVR.
Next action for the Bombers is the Alumni Tournament Monday, December 26 at the Hangar.
Tip off is noon.