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Pitt Meadows one win away from Fraser Valley final

Marauders beat Westview Wildcats on Thursday night

The Pitt Meadows Marauders beat the Westview Wildcats 77-53 in round two of the Fraser Valley Tournament on Thursday night.

The Marauders are now one win away from playing in the championship game, while the Wildcats will be battling for one of the five berths into the BC High School Boys AAA Basketball Provincial Tournament, which is coming up March 7-10 at the Langley Events Centre.

“Our kids battled hard. This season has been all about hard work, and they’re really doing everything we ask of them,” said first-year Pitt head coach Carson Power. “Earlier this season we had some bumps, but right now everything is going really well.”

Their size inside, combined with outside shooting, makes the Marauders tough to beat. They were led in scoring by giant post Giovanni Manu and guard Tato Ferreyro-Araya who each had 16 points. Ferreyro-Araya hit four treys on the night.

“Our defence was excellent, and our rebounding was fantastic,” said the coach.

He gave props to his inside players. Manu is 6’8” and 320 pounds, and Pitt also has Colton Leon at 6’7” and Benjamin Pollard 6’6”, and both at about 230 pounds. They used their height and strength to clean up every rebound other than the odd ball that bounced to Westview.

“Very few teams can match up against us size-wise,” said Power.

Teams focus on Manu, and Power said his other players are ready to capitalize. Thursday Leon had 15 points, Conor Laverty 11 and Ben Pollard 10, to give the Marauders five players in double digits.

Westview was let by Graeme Roberts with 18 points and Nick Biamonte with 15.

The Marauders will now face Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., with the winner moving on to the Valley championship game.

The last time these teams met in Chilliwack, the Marauders won 81-79 in overtime.

“G.W. Graham is very good, it will be a battle. They don’t have a heckuva lot of size, but they can all shoot,” he said. “They have five kids who can shoot threes and they drive, drive, drive. It’ll be tough.

This time it will be on Pitt’s home court, and Power says the fans could be a difference maker.

“They’re nice and loud, banging the garbage cans – it’s great the way the fans have come out,” he said. “I was yelling stuff at my players and they couldn’t hear me.”

“I’m really excited that we were able to host the Fraser Valleys,” he said. “We do so well in front of the home fans.”

Manu said the Marauders love the atmosphere at Pitt.

“It pumps us up, especially when we score or get a stop on defence and the crowd starts beating the trash cans and getting loud it hypes us up, and it really helps us get the win.

Manu is the size of a football player, and he just committed to the UBC Thunderbirds to be a lineman. But he loves basketball, and is focused on provincials.

“I feel like this is the best we’ve played, throughout our high school career,” he said. “Especially finishing undefeated in our league – it’s special for us.”

He said they are a tight group of players and friends.

“It’s a great family in at Pitt. We work so hard in practice. We’ve always talked about making provincials and winning it. Us seniors… this means a lot to us.”

Westview eliminated the SRT Titans on Friday night, with a 77-66 win.

They will now take on a tough Clayton Heights Night Riders team on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. The Surrey squad finished second in the Fraser Valley West, and are ranked ninth in the province at AAA.

The Titans lost their opener, but then put together a huge 83-32 win over D.W. Poppy on Thursday night at North Delta to stay alive for a third game.

The Maple Ridge Ramblers lost to Langley 69-53 on Thursday night, and have been eliminated from the tournament.

Marauder Kaleb Kinney squares up against Westview’s Graeme Roberts. Roberts led all scorers in the game with 18 points.
Gio Manu faced double coverage all night long, and that left some of his teammates wide open. Manu still finished the game with 16 points. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
Coach Brody Herman talks to his troops during a timeout. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
Marauders fans were loud and boisterous. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)
The Marauder bench celebrates an impressive play. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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