Ridge teams drive for provincials

Maple Ridge’s Ethan Coumont drives against the top-ranked Abbotsford Panthers in playoff basketball action. - John Morrow/Black Press
Maple Ridge’s Ethan Coumont drives against the top-ranked Abbotsford Panthers in playoff basketball action.
— image credit: John Morrow/Black Press

The Maple Ridge Ramblers took on the top-ranked triple A team in the province on Wednesday night in playoff basketball action, but lost to the Abbotsford Panthers 66-45.

“They’re a pretty good team. They’re number one, and they look like it,” said coach Ken Dockendorf.

Isaac Halas was the top scorer with 17 points, Ethan Coumont had 13 under tight checking by Abby, and starters Jackson Murdock, Rav Rakhra and Owen Stewart played tough defence.

Abby had gone off for 112 points the night before against Rick Hansen, so Dockendorf was pleased with his team’s hard work against a high powered offence.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Ramblers. They had won four straight in Fraser Valley East league play, and then won their first game of the playoffs on Tuesday night, when they easily handled Langley 64-37.

“That was a big win, because we had lost to them before,” said Dockendorf. “They have started to realize that the season is nearing an end, and they had to work together and play their roles.”

Because of that opening-round win, they played for third/fourth place in the East on Thursday evening against the Brookswood Bobcats, and will enter the Fraser Valley tournament with a top-half seeding.

The Samuel Robertson Technical Titans lost 53-38 against Brookswood on Tuesday night, then beat the Mission Roadrunners 57-52 on Wednesday.

SRT was to face Hansen in the fifth/sixth game last night.

Eight of the 10 teams it the East made the Fraser Valley Tournament, and under this year’s format, all eight will make the Fraser Valley Tournament. They are just playing for seeding.

Then, four teams from the Fraser Valley Tournament will go on to the provincial championships, to be played March 12-15 at the Langley Events Centre.

Dockendorf said the Ramblers have a shot at making the provincials this year.

“Defence is our strength, which is why we’re going on a bit of a run,” he said. “We’re in the hunt, and we have to continue to play well.”

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