The Pitt Meadows Marauders will host their annual Air Show Tournament this weekend, playing their first game on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
The Marauders will face Windermere. Pitt, ranked fifth in B.C. on the new four-A circuit, will be favoured to win the opener. That would set up a noon Friday meeting with the winner of Mt. Boucherie and Collingwood.
Pitt will face some tough competition. The draw features Sir Winston Churchill of Vancouver, which is ranked second in the province, and another Top 10 team in ninth-ranked Gleneagle of Coquitlam. Vancouver’s Charles Tupper is ranked third on the triple-A circuit and also in the tourney.
The championship game is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
Pitt flew to Saskatoon last week to participate in the prestigious Bedford Roads Invitational Tournament (BRIT), which is a favourite of coach Rich Goulet, who was making his 12th appearance in the event.
The team came away with a 3-1 record to claim the consolation trophy.
Pitt played local team Evan Hardy in the first round and fell victim to a good team and some BRIT first-time nerves. Down by eight at the half, Pitt stormed back to take a brief four-point lead in the early fourth quarter, only to have Hardy take advantage of a few momentary defensive lapses to regain the lead. Pitt lost 57-52.
Tournament all-star Graham Smith had 31 points and 13 rebounds.
The second game was against host Bedford Roads and Pitt won easily, 76-16. The first stringers rested and the bench got lots of playing time. Mark Ashamalla scored 17 points. Enzo Tadeo had 12 and Jordan Murley, 11.
The third game was against St. Mary’s of Calgary, and it was a back-and-forth barn-burner, especially when St. Mary’s hit three desperation treys in the last two minutes, before finally giving way 61-56.
Elijah Lapurga remedied Pitt’s three-point problems, draining six long-range attempts against St. Mary’s zone defense. He finished with 24 points and earned player of the game honours. Smith finished with 18.
The last game was against always-tough Holy Cross of Saskatoon. Pitt was down 10 at half, but just four minutes into the third quarter had turned that into a four-point lead, and eventually a 61-49 win.
Hakeem Wewala was player of the game with 16 points and 14 boards.
Smith was dominant inside and had 22 points.
Lapurga hit four treys in the second half to finish with 14 points.