Marlins banking points early

The Matthew McNair Marlins appear to be a team on the rise after winning the Sutherland Holiday Classic in North Vancouver over the weekend.

The Marlins, who suffered a hiccup Monday losing their high school senior boys’ basketball league opener 90-79 to the R.A. McMath Wildcats, outscored the Spectrum Thunder of Victoria 80-52 in title game of the Sutherland invitational.

A third-year starter who is expected to lead the Marlins in scoring this season, Gurdy Jadge put up 30 points in McNair’s 109-47 opening-day win over the Rockridge Ravens of North Vancouver. He averaged 27 points over three games—which included a 77-63 victory over the Windsor Dukes, also of North Vancouver—to earn tournament MVP honors.

McNair also got a consistently strong effort from Brandon Rossi who got the nod as a first team all-star.

McNair entered Monday’s game against McMath (which outscored the Hugh Boyd Trojans 89-45 in their league opener Dec. 5) averaging 91.8 points per game over six games. And for a brief period in the opening quarter it seemed like the Marlins might be able to keep the proverbial ball rolling.

But an early 10-5 lead soon evaporated, thanks in part to a string of three-pointers by the Wildcats. At one point in the second quarter they trailed by as much as 15 points, though to their credit kept clawing away.

“We simply were out-rebounded, and gave up a lot of second- and third-chance points,” said McNair coach Jessy Dhillon.  “Our lack of size at the four and five positions also hurt us. We’ve got to work on boxing out better.”

The Wildcats, mentored by veteran coach Jon Acob, also double-teamed the Marlins’ brilliant Grade 11 guard Royce Sargeant.

“They always had a man on him, taking away his shooting efficiency,” said Dhillon.

But not all was lost for the Marlins Monday. Dhillon said they were taught an important lesson by a quality, experienced opponent. And their ace forward Jadge put up another 38 points, reminding old-time Marlins’ supporters of the school’s all-time leading scorer Josh Masters.

McNair’s next league game is set for tonight (Wednesday) at 7:30 p.m. at Hugh Boyd Secondary, while McMath hosts Richmond Christian next Tuesday, also at 7:30 p.m.

•Also on tap tonight: MacNeill at Steveston-London. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.

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