The Summerland Rockets Senior Boys basketball team ended its season on a high note.
Playing at the Okanagan Valley finals in Kamloops Feb. 26 to 28, the Rockets played spoiler and almost advanced to the provincial championships.
Despite a disappointing opening day loss to Fulton Secondary of Vernon, the seventh-ranked Rockets bounced back with a 55-34 win over sixth-rated Pleasant Valley Secondary of Armstrong, then shocked Penticton powerhouse Princess Margaret Secondary 61-57.
Abhi Lekhi and Landon Brickenden led the 20-point comeback with 21 point games each.
“A new team zone defence confused the Mustangs and we pulled out the game at the end,” said coach Dave Stathers.
It was Stathers’ first boys coaching win over Princess Margaret in 25 years.
Later in the day, the Rockets faced fifth-ranked Westsyde Secondary of Kamloops in the game to determine third place.
Summerland jumped out to an eight-point second quarter lead, but struggled in the last four minutes of the fourth quarter and fell 58-47.
Lekhi was named the game star and says the result was “frustrating and disappointing, but the team worked really hard.”
He is especially proud of his Grade 12 teammates who are finishing their high school basketball careers: Neal Rutherford, Gurek Rathore, Sam Kane, Nik Wackerbauer, Taylor Ledoux, and Riley Ledoux.
Stathers said the team should feel proud of its accomplishments finishing ahead of strong basketball schools like Oliver and Princess Margaret.