Pitt Meadows Marauders off to provincials

The Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force are headed to the 2011 B.C. AAA Boys’ High School Basketball Championships for the second year in a row after finishing fifth at the Fraser Valley finals last weekend.

The tournament got off to a rocky start for the Marauders, who dropped a 55-43 decision to the W.J. Mouat Hawks.

“They killed us with their zone defence,” said Marauders coach Rich Goulet. “They are just so huge that they can cover so much of the court.”

The loss meant Pitt had to win out the rest of the tournament to avoid being eliminated.

“There was a little bit of nervousness, I think,” said Goulet. “Mainly on my part.”

Things didn’t look good for the Marauders early in their next game on Thursday against Enver Creek. The team found itself down 0-9 to start the game before the team woke up to go on a 13-2 run to take a two-point lead after the first quarter.

The teams were still neck and neck late in the second when Goulet told leading scorer Malcolm Williams to take control of the game.

“I told him this is going to be your last game if you don’t get it going,” Goulet said.

Williams heard loud and clear, as he led the team on a 28-4 run, scoring a game-high 33 points in the process. Matt Blackaby had 11 points as the Marauders ran away with the game 72-47.

Williams had another strong performance Friday against the Fleetwood Park Dragons, scoring 27 points in the 79-65 Marauders win. Blackaby had 17 points, while Trevor Severinski had 11 points.

Pitt had no trouble with Fraser Valley North league rivals Gleneagle in their final game of the tournament, a 56-36 win. Williams had 29 points, while Trevor Severinski had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

This year marks the 12th time since 1989 Goulet has taken the Pitt team to the B.C. finals. However, it will be the first time the team will be able to play so close to home, with the tournament being held at the Langley Events Centre this year, just over the Golden Ears Bridge.

• The provincial finals get underway Tuesday, March 15, with Pitt Meadows facing Caledonia secondary from Terrace in the opening round at 4:15 p.m.