Ramblers third at STM Classic

The Maple Ridge Ramblers went 3-1 at the STM Classic senior boys’ basketball tournament

The Maple Ridge Ramblers went 3-1 at the STM Classic senior boys’ basketball tournament last weekend, their only loss coming to the eventual champions and hosts, the St. Thomas More Knights.

“The games were perfect preparation for league play because we faced many different styles of play,” said coach Ken Dockendorf. “It was just like extra preparation against pressing teams, and it was an opportunity to defend teams with exceptional quick guard play and deadly shooters.”

Maple Ridge opened the tourney with a 59-45 win over Handsworth secondary.

Max Neumann had 24 points, 13 recoveries and six rebounds. The big men dominated the inside, as Joel Lutz had 10 points and 14 rebounds, while Jacob Durkovich had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Maple Ridge then faced the No. 10 team in the province, the Byrne Creek Bulldogs, who put relentless pressure over the entire floor.

The Bulldogs led 18-16 after the first quarter, and were up 28-26 at the half. The Ramblers managed to pull out in front 43-40 after the third quarter before Byrne Creek got out to a 61-55 lead late in the fourth.

Maple Ridge didn’t give up, however, and went on a 6-0 run, culminating with three-pointer by Pavel Niemirski to tie the game with four seconds left, sending it to overtime.

The Ramblers outscored the Bulldogs 13-9 in overtime, winning 74-70.

Durkovich led the Ramblers with 24 points, 12 points and six recoveries, while Neumann had 18 points, 10 rebounds, and eight recoveries.  Lutz had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and eight recoveries, while Lincoln Clarke had 10 points and six recoveries.

The Ramblers faced the host St. Thomas More Knights in the semifinals, falling 74-47 as the Knights impressed with an electric shooting performance. Durkovich had 13 points, while Joel Lutz had 12 points.

The Ramblers finished the tournament in third place after defeating Carson Graham 54-43 in the consolation game. Neumann led the Ramblers with 16 points and seven rebounds, Lutz had 11 rebounds, and Durkovich had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Niemirski also had 10 points and five recoveries. With the team in foul trouble, Tyler Pipke and Matt Connor were solid on defense.

Neumann was named to the second All-Star Team, and Durovich and Lutz were given honorable mentions.