They reached the final of the Mission Roadrunners Invitational Saturday so appear primed for their 11th annual Corporate Classic starting Thursday.
Dale Olson’s Fulton Maroons bowed 66-49 to the No. 1 senior AA boys Roadrunners after posting two wins in their third tournament of the season.
“We lost by 17 but it was a good game,” said Olson, whose Maroons visit the VSS Panthers tonight (8:15) in league play. “The boys are playing well. It took a while to get our fitness to a decent level but that is coming. The boys are really excited about our Corporate Classic.”
Mitch Rouault and Zach Anderson rung up 15 points apiece, while Austin Richardson sank 14 and took game MVP for the Maroons.
Fulton opens the eight-team corporate classic Thursday (3:30 p.m.) against the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton. The Maroons face the College Heights Cougars of Prince George (1:30 p.m.) and the L.V. Rogers Bombers of Nelson (7:30 p.m.) in Friday action.
The championship final goes Saturday 2:15 p.m. with the consolation game at 12:30.
Fulton opened the Mission tourney by stopping the towering AAA Sardis Falcons 62-47 with Dustin Popoff canning 28 points and game MVP Rouault draining 18.
The Maroons rocked the South Okanagan Hornets of Oliver 70-48 in other preliminary play, getting 32 points from MVP Popoff. Richardson dialed up a dozen points.
Fulton has six returnees, but only have three players coming off the bench.
“The boys are very talented,” said Olson. “With fewer players, they have to log more minutes but it’s paying off big time. We have made a good jump over the holidays. We are a top-10 team for sure, possibly top-five I believe. We have played lots of good teams and have competed in every game. Austin Richardson is a rookie who will have impact at 6-foot-5. He’s active and tough to stop.”
In senior AA girls tournament play, the host Maroons bowed 81-33 to the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops in Saturday’s final.
Sam Ferreir supplied 18 points, while Hana Ouchi added six for the Maroons. Both players were named Fulton tournament MVPs. Sa-Hali MVPs were Nicole Karstein and Shenise Sigsworth.
“It was a great weekend for our girls,” said Maroons’ coach Doug Rogers. “They worked hard and represented Fulton very well.”
Ferrier netted 19 points, Ouchi sank nine and Cassandra Otto and Meranda Silva each fired eight as Fulton toppled the Rutland Voodoos 62-40 earlier Saturday. Shaina Banta added seven points.
Fulton opened the eight-team tourney with a 60-56 win over the Okanagan Mission Huskies.
Ferreir brought down 24 points, while Melissa Silva flushed 14 and Otto collected seven.
The Mt. Boucherie Bears finished third, while the Huskies ended up fourth.
The VSS Panthers took the host MEI Eagles of Clearbrook to double overtime, bowing 72-69 in the consolation final Saturday.
The Eagles drained an open jumper and added one foul shot in the dying seconds. It was 57-57 at the end of regulation and 65-65 after the first extra period.
“You learn a lot from those games,” said Bobby Mitchell, who co-coaches the Cats with Lonny Mazaruk. “We’re learning to be consistent. We haven’t played four really good quarters yet, but it’s coming. The talent is definitely there.”
Quinsy Leier, who made the first all-star team, recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds for VSS, while Grade 10 Carly Fugel managed 14 points and 17 boards.
The No. 8 AA Panthers, who have just one returnee in shooting guard Bailey Limb, opened by stopping the AAA Pen-High Lakers 62-47.
Leier earned 15 points and a dozen boards, while Fugel bagged 12 points.
The Panthers were tentative for the most part against the No. 2 AAA South Kamloops Titans, falling 68-29. Fugel scored nine points.
VSS hosts the Maroons in league play tonight at 6:30 in the Panther Pit before starting the Sa-Hali Invitational Friday in Kamloops.