Home-court advantage was working just fine for the Fulton Maroons, who advanced to Saturday’s championship game at the 11th annual Maroon Corporate Classic Senior Boys Basketball Tournament.
Fulton, who finished atop the A pool at 3-0, faced B pool winners Duchess Park Condors of Prince George, also 3-0, for the title.
After opening with a 73-67 win over the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton Thursday, the Maroons kept rolling Friday afternoon with a 75-54 stuffing of the College Height Cougars of Prince George, followed by a 56-42 dismantling of the L.V. Rogers Bombers of Nelson that night.
Dustin Popoff, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound forward, paced the Fulton attack against the Mustangs, recording a game-high 27 points. Mitch Rouault, with 16 points, and Zac Anderson, with 10, also had big games.
Rouault, the younger brother of Brett Rouault, a guard with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack, drained 22 points against the Cougars. Austin Richardson chipped in with 19 points and Popoff had nine.
Against L.V. Rogers, Rouault led with 23 points, while Richardson supplied 14 points and Popoff earned a dozen.
The Condors, led by Grade 11 player Montell Lindgren, cruised through their pool with wins over the South Okanagan Hornets of Oliver (69-63), Pen-Hi Lakers (72-61) and Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops (78-53).
Meanwhile, the VSS Panthers earned a Saturday semifinal berth after going 2-0 in preliminary play at the Sa-Hali Invitational senior girls tourney Friday in Kamloops.
Mary Rice canned 13 points and 11 rebounds and Jenna Marrion had 13 points as the Cats stuffed Princess Margaret 54-26 in their opener. Quinsy Leier added 12 points and 13 boards.
“We got out to a quick start and controlled the game early on,” said Bobby Mitchell, who co-coaches VSS with Lonny Mazurak.
Vernon overcame a slow start to brush back the D.P. Todd Trojans of Prince George 73-32.
Trailing 7-1 early in the game, the Panthers refocussed and began to pull away.
“This was a great team effort as we showed mental toughness early when this didn’t go well,” said Mitchell. “We are seeing some good things but want to keep getting better and stay consistent.”
The top scorers were Karly Fugel (20 points, 17 rebounds), Leier (16 points, 15 rebounds) and Rice (10 points, 10 boards), with her second straight double-double. Maddie Sawka chipped in eight points, going 4-of-4 from the floor.