The Fulton Maroons were shooting for gold Saturday night at the G.W. Graham Huskies Senior Boys Basketball Tournament in Chilliwack.
Dale Olson’s AA squad faced the South Okanagan Hornets of Oliver in the final after bouncing the Westsyde Whundas of Kamloops 68-65 in a semifinal thriller Friday night.
Riley Beauchamp nailed a shot with four seconds left to put Fulton up by a point on the Whundas. Cory Ang-Hamilton then swiped the inbounds pass and hit a jumper at the buzzer for the clinching bucket.
Michael Rouault canned 24 points and pulled down 16 rebounds for the Maroons, who got 16 points and a dozen boards from Tye Kitzman. Beauchamp finished with 12 points.
“It was a good game,” said Olson. “The boys competed hard. We lost Rouault to fouls with four minutes to go and we led the whole game until they took their first lead with 14 seconds left. The boys showed lots of composure.”
The Hornets stunned the No. 1 AAA St. Thomas More Knights of Burnaby 75-58 in Friday night’s other semifinal. South Okanagan stopped the Maroons 76-62 in Oliver last weekend and iced them at the Westsyde Invitational in late November.
“They (Buzz) are playing well right now,” said Olson. “It should be a good game. We have played them twice already this season. Maybe it’s our night.”
The Maroons opened the tourney Thursday afternoon with a come-from-behind 76-72 overtime win over the St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints of North Vancouver.
Rouault canned a jumper for the decisive bucket in extra minutes. Rouault finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while Kitzman rung up 20 points and six boards and Karanmeet Khatra recorded 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Fulton then stopped the No. 6 D.P. Todd Trojans of Prince George 71-56 Thursday night with Rouault sitting the second quarter in foul trouble but ending up with 23 points and a dozen boards.
Kitzman drained 18 points and earned four rebounds, while Beauchamp bagged 13 points and six rebounds.
“We’re pretty solid,” said Dale Olson. “We have seven or eight different guys that come in and make shots.”
The Maroons, who should be ranked in the provincial top-10 after the Chilliwack tourney, host the Seaton Sonics Tuesday, 8:15 p.m.
The Maroons are without injured Grade 11 guards Davron Polok and Darrien Broomfield.
Meanwhile, the Fulton junior Maroons bowed 70-48 to the visiting Hornets in the opening game of their home tournament Friday night.
Bryn Bedard, game MVP, led the Maroons with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Noah Lee added seven points, while Nick Berg, Noah Alleyne and Greg Geistlinger had six points each.
“We are a team that is in its developmental phase. The boys are improving every game,” said Fulton head coach Ken Gatzke.
In the other tournament games, the Mt. Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna defeated VSS Panthers 67-35, South Kamloops Titans toppled Salmon Arm Golds 65-38 and Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops grounded Penticton Lakers 63-36.
Fulton met Pen-Hi and VSS played Salmon Arm in Saturday morning games.