No. 15 Seed Penticton Lakers Knock Off No. 2 Delta Pacers
It’s a story that has everything we love about sports in it.
The underdog team, led by the banged up co-captain, knocks off one of the pre-tournament favourites, on their way to advancing to the quarter finals.
The injury to co-captain David Paisley happened just before the Okanagan Regionals, when he went up for a block and came down hard on an opponent’s foot, severely twisting his ankle – before the injury the Lakers were ranked No. 5 in BC at one point of the season.
“I’m real taped up right now and I’ve been icing it and doing exercises,” said the six-foot, Grade 12, libero. “We came out real strong, excited and no one let down on their intensity.”
He also added that the key to his team’s success was how well they passed the ball and the outstanding blocking of the team’s big players up front, something his assistant coach Markus Toneatto agrees with.
“I think Delta had a tough time adjusting to the big blocks, and we had a number of blocks today that went straight down, which led them to stop hitting and that was the game,” Toneatto said.
Toneatto also acknowledge just how nice it was to have Paisley back on the court.
“David’s been hurting, and today is the first day where I’ve seen him not limping,” Toneatto said. “He made a couple digs in the match where he came from the back row and the ball was off the net, and he popped it up over the net which totally changed the momentum of the match.”
The other key piece to the upset win was mountainous setter, Daniel Everton, who was described as horse today by Toneatto.
“He mixed it up on Delta today,” Toneatto said. “He would hit it hard one shot, then he’d mix it up and roll shot on them.”
“We’ve been waiting for him to play like he did today, and today he was amazing.”
Earlier in the day, the Lakers knocked off Centennial Secondary School in four sets. Something Everton thinks helped them in their game with Delta.
“We had one really good set (in their earlier game), we lost a set, which taught us a lesson that we can’t get comfortable or let up, even when we’re playing well,” Everton said still grinning ear to ear from the win. “So, for this game, we never let up and played a strong game the whole way.”
Penticton will now play Semiahmoo Secondary School tomorrow in the Quarter-finals.
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