Pitt Meadows juniors take sixth Fraser Valley title

Jerek Olah, right, of Marauders goes for the rebound during a game against Holy Cross at Pitt Meadows secondary last week.  - Colleen Flanagan
Jerek Olah, right, of Marauders goes for the rebound during a game against Holy Cross at Pitt Meadows secondary last week.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan

The Pitt Meadows Marauders junior boys basketball reclaimed the Fraser Valley championship on Saturday – a trophy they have kept one hand on for the past decade.

The Marauders beat familiar foe Heritage Woods 48-46 in overtime the championship game on Saturday at Walnut Grove secondary.

“They did a fabulous job,” said coach Rich Goulet.

“It was like playing Ridge in the old days – nobody would give an inch, and everyone knew everyone else.”

The Coquitlam team pulled ahead 37-30 with two minutes left in regulation time, but Graham Smith, the Marauders’ talented centre, sparked a comeback to force a fifth frame. In the overtime, a big three-pointer by Mark Ashamalla put Pitt ahead for a lead they would never relinquish.

Smith scored 18 points in the final, led the Pitt offence, and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Jordan Murley and Zach Heatherington were named to the all-star team. Murley was the second leading scorer on the team, while Heatherington was a defensive standout who controlled the other team’s top scorer in each game.

Pitt Meadows also won the Grade 9 Fraser Valley title last season, and Smith was the MVP of that event.

Since 2002 the Marauders have been to the Fraser Valley junior championship six times, and have won it every time.

Pitt beat Abbotsford Junior 66-31 on Friday, and the Yale Lions, also of Abbotsford 62-43 on Thursday.

In the third-place game, host Walnut Grove beat Semiahmoo 59-50.

The Marauders now move on to the provincial championships, which will be held March 7-9 at Vancouver College.

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