The Pitt Meadows Marauders Air Force are Fraser Valley Champions after defeating the Walnut Grove Gators 75-57 in front of hundreds of fans at the tournament final Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.
The win was just the school’s second senior boys’ Fraser Valley basketball title since moving to AAA in 1987.
“The team is playing very nice right now,” said head coach Rich Goulet. “But it’s not this win that makes this an historic season.”
That will only come with a provincial championship, and the No. 2-ranked Marauders are considered one of the front-runners.
However, a trip to the tournament final is anything but guaranteed for the team, as it will have to battle through the province’s best teams to get there.
“There are no easy draws in provincials,” said Goulet. “The calibre is a lot higher.
“It’s like a whole new season.”
The Marauders looked unbeatable, however, in the Fraser Valley final, allowing just two turnovers all game as they ran roughshod over the Walnut Grove Gators.
The Marauders again struggled in the first half, and played from behind for much of the first and second quarters. With time running down in the half, the Marauders offence came alive to bring Pitt within two points at the buzzer, 34-32.
Pitt played like it was on a mission in the second half, allowing Walnut Grove few baskets, other than free throws.
The Marauders managed to outscore Walnut Grove 43-22 in the second half
Trevor Severinski led the Marauders’ offence with 33 points and six rebounds, and was named the Fraser Valley MVP.
Matt Blackaby had 17 points and was named to the first all-star team, while Mitsu Iwai had nine points, and was named to the second all-star team.
The two turnovers the Marauders allowed all game was a team record for fewest allowed, said Goulet.
“Mitsu was so good at not giving up the ball,” he said. “He really outsmarted the Walnut Grove defence.”
With he win, Pitt Meadows earns the top Fraser Valley seed in the provincial tournament, which gets underway next Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Marauders will see their first action of the tournament March 15, when they will take on either Quesnel’s Corrilieu secondary or Sir Charles Tupper secondary of Vancouver.Barring an upset, Pitt Meadows could face league rivals Terry Fox secondary in its second game of the tournament.