Red-hot Totems eye top-six spot at Fraser Valleys hoops tourney

Only a loss last week in the Fraser Valley Southwest championship game has put a damper on the run the Semiahmoo Totems senior boys basketball team has been on in 2014.

The Totems have lost just twice since the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic, once in the week after the early January tournament, and then last week in the aforementioned league championship, in which they dropped an 80-63 decision to the Tamanawis Wildcats.

But in between, the Totems reeled off 10 straight victories, some of which have come against provincially ranked opponents, including Claremont, which was No. 6 in senior boys AAAA ranks at the time.

“It’s just been a great stretch. The boys are really playing well,” said Semi head coach Ed Lefurgy.

“They’ve been pretty good all season, but the difference now is that they know they’re a good team. They’re playing with confidence.”

Despite wins over teams like Claremont, the Totems – who have not been among the province’s elite teams for years – have not cracked this year’s provincial rankings list, which is something Lefurgy and his troops are OK with.

“We’re still under the radar, and that’s just fine. We like it that way,” he said. “We can still surprise people.”

The ultimate goal for the Totems, Lefurgy said, is to earn a berth at senior boys provincials – something a South Surrey public school has not done in decades.

But first, they’ll have to get through the Fraser Valley Championships, which start Wednesday at various locations, and wrap up at the Langley Events Centre at the end of the month.

The Totems head into the Fraser Valley showdown seeded eleventh out of 24 teams.

The top six teams will earn berths into the provincials.

“That’s the goal – that’s what we’ve talked about,” the coach said of making the B.C. championships, which are set for March at the Langley Events Centre.

“But first, our goal is to make it into the final eight (at Fraser Valleys) and go from there.”

Semi will open the tournament tomorrow against No. 22 Johnston Heights.

Other south-end schools also playing included Tamanawis (ranked second), Elgin Park (24th) and Lord Tweedsmuir (15th).

The senior girls AAA Fraser Valley tournament also began this week, with teams playing first-round games Monday; results were not available by PAN deadlines.

Tweedsmuir, ranked eighth, was set to play ninth-ranked Charles Best, while No. 12 Elgin Park was to play No. 5 MEI.

The final rounds of the girls tourney will be played at the LEC this Friday and Saturday.

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