The Pitt Meadows Marauders proved why they are one of the top senior boys’ basketball teams in the province with a bronze medal performance at the Telus Basketball Classic last weekend.
The Marauders were No. 4 in the provincial AAA rankings going into the 2011/12 season, and were ranked as high as No. 2 prior to the Telus Classic tournament last week.
The Marauders went 3-1 at the tournament, their only loss coming to the No. 5-ranked Vancouver College Fighting Irish, the team’s only loss of the season so far.
“I think we’re playing right where we should be right now,” said long-time Marauders head coach Rich Goulet.
The Marauders opened the tournament against perennial powerhouses, the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors, beating them 67-58.
The Warriors were the next highest-ranked team in the tournament behind the Marauders at No. 3 in the province.
Senior Matt Blackaby had 23 points, while fellow Grade 12 Trevor Severinski had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Pitt followed up the big opening win against White Rock with a 59-42 win over West Vancouver’s Windsor secondary. Severinski had 31 points and nine rebounds in that game while Blackaby had 12 points.
That set up the semi-final showdown with Vancouver College. The Marauders took an early lead but fell behind in the second quarter when the team’s bench couldn’t keep up with the Fighting Irish.
“I tried to play everyone in every game, and in the second quarter we played a lot of guys who weren’t helping our team,” said Goulet. “That led to a lot of turnovers as a result.”
Irish guard Isaiah Solomon made sure those turnovers ended up in Pitt’s net as he exploded for 46 points, close to double the scoring from the rest of the Vancouver College team.
Pitt were as close as seven points in the second half, but Solomon and the Irish pulled away in the fourth quarter, winning 70-56.
“No one played well in the first half,” said Goulet.
Blackaby led the Marauders with 19 points, while Severinski had 16.
The Marauders finished the tournament on a high note, beating the No. 9-ranked St. George’s Saints 52-42 in front of the crowd at UBC’s War Memorial Gym.
Pitt took a commanding lead in the first half, which was whittled down in the second as the Pitt bench took to the floor.
Blackaby finished with 29 points, while Grade 11 Ryan Hobson 11 points.
“That was encouraging to see… one of our problems is scoring depth,” said Goulet. “We’re still waiting to see if any of our Grade 11s are going to raise their level and fill that role.”
Throughout the tournament, the Marauders were able to keep teams that normally score 70 and 80 points a game to well below that.
“I think we rely a lot on our defence,” said Goulet. “I think right now we’re playing the toughest defence of anyone out there. We just need to develop that secondary scoring.”
The Marauders are back on the court this weekend as they take part in the WJ Mouat Tournament in Abbotsford.