The Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force is back in Saskatoon this week as the team prepares to take on the some of the best senior boys’ basketball squads in Western Canada at the Bedford Road Invitational Tournament.
“This is a very elite tournament, so this should be a good test for us,” said Pitt coach Rich Goulet.
The 44-year-old tournament is one of the most competitive in the country, and for much of the past decade has featured provincial champions from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
In addition to some of the best teams in western Canada, this year an elite team from Australia will be taking part in the tourney.
“You never know what you’re up against at the BRIT,” says Goulet. “It’s impossible to scout teams ahead of time, so you have to make adjustments on the fly.”
The Marauders have been invited to play in the prestigious tournament 11 times in the past 25 years. Pitt has won the tourney twice before; first in 1994, then in 2010.
The Marauders Air Force is coming off a 62-52 win over the New Westminster Hyacks Tuesday night, and is currently ranked No. 3 in the province.
Goulet is hoping for a repeat of the team’s performance two years ago, where the Marauders Air Force was 4-0, with Malcolm Williams named the tournament MVP.
With league play beginning to get underway, and the Fraser Valley Championships less than two months away, Goulet said he hopes the tournament will be a good lesson for his team on how to play under pressure.
“It’s a college-sized court with seats on both sides, so they can get over 1,000 people to some of these games,” said Goulet. “And the fans are crazy, they pick sides, there’s lots of noise and cheering.
“It’s a unique experience,” he said.
The tournament got underway Thursday and culminates with the championship final Saturday night.