The Maple Ridge Secondary School Ramblers were missing two starters from their lineup last Thursday, but still managed to overcome an early deficit to beat Brookswood secondary 55-46 in AAA Abbotsford West senior boys’ basketball league play.
“This was a must win for the team in league play,” said Ramblers coach Ken Dockendorf. “One of the strengths of this team is to face adverse situations, and play to the best of their ability.”
The Ramblers ran into foul trouble right away, a situation made all the more difficult given their shortened bench.
Max Neumann and Jacob Lutz both took a pair of fouls in the first quarter, but great play from the Ramblers’ bench limited Brookswood’s lead to just 11-10 after the first quarter. With Neumann and Lutz with three fouls each in the second quarter, Amit Rakhra did an excellent job running the Ramblers’ offence. Matt Connor and Tyler Pipke both had strong performances at defence, keeping Maple Ridge in the game, only down by two points at the half.
With Neumann on the bemch with four personal fouls, the team pulled together again to pull out in front 38-36. Neumann returned to the game in the fourth and led the team to victory, 55-46, finishing with a game-high 29 points, nine rebounds, and seven recoveries. Pavel Niemirski had nine points and five recoveries.
The Ramblers were back in action on Saturday to take on the Port Moody Blues in exhibition action, beating them 67-57.
Jacob Durkovich led the Ramblers with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Neumann had 20 points and 11 recoveries. Niemirski lit it up from the outside, scoring 15 points, while Joel Lutz dominated the defensive end of the court with nine rebounds and seven recoveries.
The Ramblers are 2-1 in league play so far this season and are 11-6 overall, earning them an honourable mention in the B.C. Boys’ Basketball Association’s weekly provincial rankings.
The Ramblers will try to crack the top 10 in B.C. this weekend as they take on WJ Mouat in league action tonight (Friday) at home. The Ramblers then travel to take on the Mennonite Educational Institute Saturday on the road at 3 p.m.