South Surrey teams prep for RCMP Classic

When the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic tips off in earnest Tuesday, one South Surrey team will be searching for a return to the top, while a handful of others will be aiming to prove they are trending in that direction, too.

All five South Surrey senior boys teams – White Rock Christian, Semiahmoo, Southridge, Earl Marriott and Elgin Park – are competing in the all-Surrey showdown, which was won last year by Enver Creek.

Preliminary round games began Sunday, with the Elgin Park Orcas advancing to Tuesday’s main draw with a 59-51 win over Pacific Academy, and EMS squeaked past Johnston Heights by a single basket, winning 54-52. Semiahmoo was bounced from contention after a 95-62 loss to L.A. Matheson.

Southridge and WRCA had byes through the prelims, and begin action today; the Storm will face Matheson, while WRCA will play Queen Elizabeth, who beat Kwantlen Park Sunday. Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir also earned a preliminary-round bye – they’ll face EMS Tuesday.

The RCMP Classic is a tournament that has been owned by the WRCA Warriors for much of the last decade; they’ve won eight of the last 11 titles.

“That’s always the goal, making the final, and for sure that’s what we’d like to do again,” said WRCA coach John Dykstra. “Everyone has always been gunning for us, and we’d like to give them a reason to keep gunning for us.

Southridge, fresh off a week-long California exhibition tour – they returned Saturday – will also be gunning for top spot.

Earl Marriott and Elgin Park, meanwhile, are both aiming to claw back towards the top of the heap in Surrey – a quest aided by their respective victories Sunday –  after both struggling in recent years. At last year’s RCMP tourney, both teams – and Semiahmoo, too – were eliminated in the preliminary round.

“It’s definitely good for us to make it into the main draw,” said EMS coach Christopher Finlay. “It’s a step in the right direction, because it’s been awhile since that’s happened.”

All South Surrey teams will have to contend with one of the hottest teams in the province this week – the Tamanawis Wildcats, who are third in B.C. triple-A rankings and coming off wins over the No. 2 Vancouver College Fighting Irish and then-No. 6 Kitsilano.

After play today, the quarterfinal round goes Wednesday with games at Enver Creek at Fleetwood Park Secondaries. The semifinals Friday (5:45 and 7:45 p.m.) and the championship game Saturday (7:45 p.m.) are at Enver Creek.

- with files from Rick Kupchuk






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