Marauders go 2-2 vs California competition
The Pitt Meadows Marauders faced some of the best teams in the Pasadena area at the San Gabriel tournament, and went 2-2 for the holiday trip to California.
The Marauders first faced eventual finalist Bonita. They had caught a flight in the wee hours of Boxing Day morning, and were forced to sleep two or three hours on a conference room floor when their rooms weren’t ready. The team learned the pitfalls of travelling, as they lost 52-25 to a Bonita team which ran a well executed match-up zone defence. Graham Smith managed 10 points and 11 rebounds in that game.
Pitt next faced Arcadia in a back-and-forth game, as they tried every defence in the book to stop the Marauders. Arcadia took the lead with two minutes to go, but the Marauders stormed back and won on a layup by Elijah Lapurga. The 52-51 final stunned the Americans. Smith had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Mark Ashamalla added six points.
In Game 3, Monrovia was ready for Smith, who was held to 15 and 10 rebounds. Lapurga stepped up with three big treys for nine points, and Ashamalla and Hakeem Wewala each contributed eight. Pitt held on in the last few seconds and won 49-45.
The last game was against Gabrielino. Scoring was at a premium as the referees were not to kind, allowing a physicality greater than Pitt has seen to date. Pitt trailed by a point at half, but could never quite find the solution to the bigger stronger Gabrielino team and lost 49-36. Smith had 16 points and 18 rebounds and Ashamalla scored 13.