Pitt Meadows Marauders finish fifth at provincial finals

Pitt Meadows Marauders forward Luke Gillespie eyes the basket as Seme Raheb of the Dover Bay Dolphins defends at the 66th annual B.C. Boys' AAA Basketball Championship at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday

Pitt Meadows Marauders forward Luke Gillespie eyes the basket as Seme Raheb of the Dover Bay Dolphins defends at the 66th annual B.C. Boys' AAA Basketball Championship at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday

They may have fallen short of the ultimate goal of a provincial title, but Pitt Meadows basketball coach Rich Goulet says he’s satisfied with his team’s fifth-place finish at the 2011 B.C. AAA Boys’ High School Basketball Championships last weekend in Langley.

The Marauders Air Force went 4-1 at the tournament, their only loss coming at the hands of league rivals Terry Fox in the tournament quarterfinals. Pitt was able to bounce back from the loss, however, with wins over Heritage Woods and Burnaby South to place fifth in the province, just a year after finishing fourth at the 2010 championships.

“I was very happy with how we performed,” said Goulet. “We played a total of 20 quarters of basketball, and we were the better team in 18 of them.”

The team’s performance was especially strong given the Marauders feature four Grade 11 starters playing in their first season of senior basketball, Goulet noted.

“Who’d have thought at the beginning of the year, with this many Grade 11s, that we’d be fifth in B.C.,” said Goulet. “To me, that’s pretty good.”

Point guard Mitsu Iwai was named the tournament’s most inspirational player, while Malcolm Williams, who averaged 22.8 points per game, was named to the second all-star team.

While senior Williams will be moving on to the UBC Thunderbirds program next season, the teams remaining four starters – Mitsu Iwai, Trevor Severinski, Matt Blackaby, and Ryan Hopson – are all Grade 11s, and are expected to return next season.

With the 20 to 30 points Williams puts up every game gone, Goluet says he expects players like Blackaby and Severinski to step up their game and become the team’s next stars.

Joining them will be lofty Grade 10 centre Jordan Rich, who at six-foot-eight provides amble size at post, along with accurate shot. Rich played eight minutes against Burnaby South on Saturday, drain both of his three-point attempts to go 100 per cent from beyond the arc.

“I’m expecting to be way deeper next season,” said Goulet.

After falling 74-54 to Terry Fox in the quarterfinals last Thursday, the Marauders regrouped to topple Heritage Woods 64-56 on Friday. Williams had a game-high 32 points, while Blackaby had 12.

Pitt faced the Burnaby South Rebels in their final game of the tournament, a team they had lost to twice previously this season. The Marauders got out to a hot start against the Rebels, scoring 22 points in the opening quarter to take a three-point lead. With the Marauders up by 15 points in the second quarter, Goulet opted to play his bench.

Pitt stretched their lead to as much as 17 points in the third quarter, when the Rebels roared back in the fourth to draw within one point with less than a minute to play. Pitt was able to hold on for the win, however, sinking three of four free throws in the final 10 seconds of play.

The Marauders were again dangerous from deep court, as they shot 41.7 per cent from three-point range, better than the 41.4 per cent they shot from the field.

In all, five players – Iwai, Williams, Severinski, Blackaby, and Rich – all drained three-pointers.


Pitt Meadows Marauders bounced from B.C. AAA boys finals with 74-54 loss to Terry Fox

The Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force were bounced from the 2011 AAA B.C. senior boys basketball championship with a 74-54 loss to the Terry Fox Ravens Thursday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.

Pitt looked shaky to start the game, missing on their first three shot attempts and making a number of wild passes. Malcolm Williams settled the team down with a couple of timely baskets to give the Marauders an early lead.

Fox’s suffocating man-to-man defence gave Pitt little room to move. Despite being forced to the perimeter, the Marauders continued to be a threat from beyond the arc, sinking six three-pointers in the first half.

The Ravens held a narrow 15-14 lead after the first quarter. The back and forth battle continued throughout the second quarter, as the lead changed a total of 21 times in the first half.

The Marauders were able to capitalize on some sound defensive play in their own end, converting a pair of steals as part of a 11-3 run to start the second quarter.

After calling a timeout, Fox regrouped and responded with a 10-0 run of their own to take a 28-25 lead.

Trevor Severinski tied things with a three-pointer that helped spur the Marauders to score 10 points in the final three minutes of the half and take a 38-34 lead into the break.

The Marauders were able to stay out in front of the Ravens for much of the third quarter, and held a 49-46 lead going into the final frame.

Terry Fox jumped out in front in the fourth with a 14-3 run as Williams struggled to find shots against the Ravens defence. The Marauders were unable to muster any sort of comeback, scoring just five points in the final quarter to Terry Fox’s 28.

Pitt shot just 29.8 per cent from the field compared to 53.5 per cent for the Ravens.

Trevor Severinski and Matt Blackaby led the Marauders with 15 points each, while Williams had 12.


Marauders down Dover Bay


The Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force downed the No. 13-ranked Dover Bay Dolphins of Nanaimo 63-52 to improve to 2-0 at the 2011 B.C. AAA boys’ basketball championships at the Langley Events Centre, Wednesday night.

Pitt came out strong to open the game, taking a 16-12 lead after the first quarter. However, the Dolphins responded in the second, taking a one-point, 28-27 lead into the half.

The Marauders began to pick up steam in the third quarter, regaining the lead, and headed into the final frame up 42-40.

With the Dolphins in foul trouble, Pitt was able to pull ahead in the fourth quarter, sinking nine of 13 free throw opportunities to outscore Dover Bay 21-12.

Pitt was 67 per cent from the line, scoring 12 points all game.

The Marauders only managed to score 24 points from the field, however, shooting just 33 per cent. The team’s perimeter shooting, meanwhile, was red hot, as they sank nine three-pointers for 27 points beyond the arc. Trevor Severinski sank four three-pointers, while Malcom Williams had three. Matt Blackaby and Luke Gillespie both had three-pointers as well.

Williams led the team in scoring, with a game-high 23 points, while Blackaby and Severinski both had 12. Severinski led the team in rebounds with eight.

Point guard Mitsu Iwai picked up seven points and a game-high six assists.


Pitt wins tourney opener


The Marauders had no trouble with the Caledonia Kermodes in the opening round of the B.C. AAA senior boys basketball championships, beating the Terrace team 63-34 on Tuesday.

The Marauders got out to an early lead, finding themselves ahead 18-4 after the first quarter and never looked back. Marauders coach Rich Goulet began subbing in his second stringers in the second quarter, with 14 players seeing game action by the final buzzer.

Despite benching many of the team’s starters, the Marauders managed to grow their lead to 22 points at the half with a 35-13 lead.

Malcolm Williams led the Marauders with a game-high 20 points. Six-foot-three forward Erwin Van Ramshorst had a breakout game with 17 points, shooting 60 per cent from the field in the process.Centre Trevor Severinski finished with 10 points, while Matt Blackaby managed nine. Both Severinski and Blackaby struggled with their shooting, going 27 per cent and 29 per cent respectively. Severinski had 13 rebounds to lead the team in that category.

The Marauders defence was again effective, collecting 16 steals to Caledonia’s five, while scoring 26 points of turnovers.

The Marauders now face Vancouver Island’s Dover Bay in the second round of the tournament tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.

• Visit the tournament website for more information.