The Pitt Meadows Marauders begin the prestigious Telus Basketball Classic today, as they host a game at 1:30 p.m. against the Sardis Falcons.
Thursday the action continues against either Archbishop Carney or fourth-ranked White Rock Christian, again at 1:30 p.m.
Coach Rich Goulet said the Telus tourney is a great event, both for the high profile it enjoys and also the scholarships that are made available to each team.
“It’s the premier tournament in the province,” he said.
Pitt ranked second in B.C. for most of last season, but returned just one starter this year, and despite an eighth-place ranking, the team has not been getting good results early on.
The Marauder started the exhibition season last Monday, defeating the Argyle Pipers 75-36, led by shooting guard Sebastien Marshall and his 28 points.
But they lost to Handsworth on Tuesday 66-60. Marshall had 24.
Then they went to the Kamloops Tournament from Thursday through Saturday, where they opened against Handsworth and again lost, this time 87-69. Alejandro Canjura sparked the offence with 16 points.
They next beat the tough Kelowna Owls, the province’s ninth-ranked team, in a 62-60 battle.
“We were rebounding like crazy, and we really limited their chances in the second half,” said Goulet.
He played everyone one the bench, and is still seeing who will slot into roles on the team.
“They’re all gamers – everyone can play.”
The Marauder junior boys easily won their side of the Kamloops tournament, going a 5-0 with wins over Argyle, Handsworth, Sahali, Kelowna and Handsworth again in the final.
Graham Smith was a junior tournament all-star, and the big centre also moved up to play with the senior team against Kelowna, and played standout defence.