Ramblers girls punch their ticket to provincial tournament
With two straight wins in the Fraser Valley tournament, the Maple Ridge Ramblers senior girls have punched their ticket to the provincials.
The Ramblers appear to be peaking at the right time, and on Tuesday night they beat the MEI Eagles 73-34 in the triple A girls regional qualifier, winning their way into the final four.
“We played a super game,” said an apparently pleased coach Don Herman.
He noted that MEI is generally one of the top girls programs in the Valley, and in earlier games the Ramblers beat them by just three points, and by 14.
“I was quite nervous going into the game,” he said.
The always impactful Kolbie Orum led the Ramblers with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Kirby and Shara Marchand and Devan Cousins had 12 points apiece.
The win accomplishes one of the team’s goals starting the season – the top four teams from the Valleys will move on to the provincials.
“They were pretty fired up,” said Herman.
Now the Ramblers are playing for the highest seeding in the B.C. Tournament, and for the prestige of a Fraser Valley championship.
Tonight (Friday) they will take on the Riverside Rapids (Port Coquitlam) in the semi-final, at 7:45 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
So far they have played the Rapids three times this season, and won twice. All the games have been close.
“We’ve got a good chance,” said Herman. “It’ll be a competitive game. It’ll come down to the last few possessions.”
His team has done an outstanding job, considering that their bench has been whittled down to just seven players. Injuries have taken a terrible toll on the team, with three players knocked out of the lineup, and the whole trio requiring knee surgeries.
“We haven’t had one practice or game all year with all of our kids,” he said.
Gabby Cousins, the second leading scorer on the Ramblers, hurt her knee three weeks ago. Point guard Kate Head has missed most of the year, and Melissa Fung – another guard – also needs to go under the knife.
These are players who would make contributions – both Cousins and Head are players with the provincial under-15 team.
The W.J. Mouat Hawks will take on the Brookswood Bobcats in the other semi-final this evening. Tonight’s winners will move on to the Fraser Valley championship on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre, while this evening’s losers will play for Valley bronze in the 6:30 p.m. game.
The provincials will be held on March 6-9 at the Langley Events Centre.