1967 Rawlings/Maplettes basketball team with their trophies

For a team that won just two games in its debut season in the B.C. inter-city league, it didn't take long for the Victoria Rawlings to gel as a unit. Led by Mary Coutts and newcomer Dianne Doyle, the club posted a major turnaround in year two, sweeping league, B.C. and Canadian championship honours in 1967-68. They say repeating as a champion is always tougher, and the Victoria ladies, renamed the Maplettes, did so despite having only four returning players and a new coach, Jack Lusk. After an up-and-down season they peaked at the right time, earning second place with a key win over UVic, then dispatching the Vikettes for the league crown. After rolling to the B.C. title, Victoria won its second national banner on home court. Two seasons later the Maplettes were a powerhouse, losing just one regular season game and representing B.C. at the 1971 Canada Winter Games. While they lost the gold to Ontario, they avenged the loss with a win in that year's Canadian final.

Mary Pearson Coutts

Mary Pearson-Coutts is one of Canada's greatest female basketball players of all-time. She starred with Team Canada for seven years and played in two Pan-American Games, winning the bronze medal in 1967. Mary would have been an Olympian except that women's basketball wasn't introduced as an Olympic sport unti11976, after she had retired. At the club level, Mary was a member of the University of Victoria Vikettes when they won their first national title, the 1964-65 Canadian junior championships. As a senior she was instrumental in leading the Victoria Rawlings, Maplettes, Westerners and Home Lumber to six Canadian Senior A titles in the 1960's and 1970's. In total, Mary played on eight senior national championship teams, the other titles coming with the Canadian Senior A champion Vancouver - Molsons and Mount Pleasant Legion teams. Mary's eight national titles were the most ever, at the time, for a Canadian female basketball player. Even in retirement, Mary remained a force on the court and competed in two Masters Olympics.


Victoria enjoys a stellar sports history and we celebrate the many athletes, teams and builders who have contributed to that history.  Our displays are seen at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (1925 Blanshard St.)  through Gate Three.


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