The Maple Ridge Ramblers senior boys’ basketball team took on the No. 3 squad in the province Thursday, coming just two points shy in the dying seconds of the game against the Walnut Grove Gators of Langley in AAA Abbotsford West league play.
The Ramblers kept pace with the Gators all game, with both teams tied 10-10 after the first quarter, and Maple Ridge up at the half, 24-23.
The Gators pulled ahead by the end of the third quarter, 39-38. Despite a nine-point run by the Gators in the fourth quarter, the Ramblers managed to pull within one with a minute left to play. Maple Ridge had the ball in the final seconds, but was unable to score, as the Gators squeaked out the 50-48 win.
Pavel Niemirski led the Ramblers with 15 points, while Max Neumann had 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Rambler’s big men contributed as well, as Jacob Durkovich had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Joel Lutz had nine rebounds.
Friday saw the Ramblers make short work of Richmond’s RC Palmer, the No. 7-ranked AA team in B.C., as Maple Ridge prevailed 71-59 in exhibition action.
Neumann had 22 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Niemirski had a strong game on defence, holding Palmer’s scoring leader to just 10 points for the game. Durkovich dominated inside with 20 points and 16 rebounds, while Joel Lutz had 16 points and 14 rebounds.
The team ended the week with an exhibition loss to the No. 9-ranked Terry Fox Ravens, 55-40.
Fox got out to an early lead, shooting the ball well to pull ahead 27-8 by the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Neumann led the Ramblers with 14 points and 10 recoveries, while Durkovich had 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Ramblers are next in action this Thursday as they take on Brookswood secondary on the road in league play.