Ramblers take sixth at B.C. finals

Maple Ridge’s Coral Lee Antaya blows by Carson Graham’s Alexandra McCawley at the 2011 B.C. AAA senior girls’ championship last week.

Maple Ridge’s Coral Lee Antaya blows by Carson Graham’s Alexandra McCawley at the 2011 B.C. AAA senior girls’ championship last week.

Grade 10 centre Kolbie Orum averaged a whopping 33.5 points as the Maple Ridge secondary Lady Ramblers took sixth place at the 2011 AAA seniors girls’ provincial basketball championships last weekend in North Vancouver.

Orum was named to the tournament’s first all-star team, and led all players in scoring, with 134 points in four games.

“It was a good finish to the season,” said Ramblers coach Don Herman.

After dropping their first game of the tournament to Carson Graham 53-40, the Ramblers rallied to win their remaining three games, giving them a sixth-place finish with a 3-1 record. The Ramblers bounced back from their opening loss with a 71-39 win over Prince George on Thursday, before beating Victoria’s Spectrum Community School 66-52 and Elgin Park 63-51.

Throughout the tournament, Orum was a consistent point-getter for the Ramblers, scoring a tournament high 39 points against Elgin Park on Saturday.

“She has a natural knack for scoring inside, but she’s still very raw,” said Herman. “By the end of Grade 12, she could be the best player in the province.”

Orum is the latest in a long line of athletic centres that have worn the Ramblers uniform, including the University of Houston’s Mae Woods, and the University of San Diego’s Felicia Wijenberg.

It should be no surprise that Orum should excel at basketball when one considers her genetics. Orum’s mother, Rene Czerwinski. played for Port Coquitlam secondary in the 1980s, making numerous trips to the provincial championships.

In 1986, she earned a full-ride scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas of the NCAA Division 1, where she played for the Runnin’ Rebels.

Orum will likely be surrounded by plenty of new faces next season. Leaving the team will be seniors Natasha Henderson, Zoe Yoxall, and Marina Casol. That leaves the team with only four returning players and a lot of roster space for Herman to fill.

But what the team loses in height, Herman hopes to make up for in depth.

“We’re losing three six-footers, but if everyone comes up, we should have nine players on the team,” he said. “We’ll be a much faster team, and we’ll have the ability to rest players.”

The Ramblers seven-person roster has led to issues with injuries, foul trouble, and physical exhaustion this season. Having more players means the team can incorporate more fast breaks and man-to-man defence into their game plan.

“The future is very exciting,” said Herman.