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Fire Fighter’s tips off at Surrey schools

All-Surrey high school Girls basketball tournament includes 22 teams
Lord Tweedsmuir #10 - Sarah Parker
P.M. #20 - Kiran Gill
Sarah Parker of the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers keeps the ball from Kiran Gill of the Princess Margaret Lions during a game at the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Goodwill Classic tournament Tuesday at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary. The Panthers won 79-20 to advance to the quarterfinal round. Lord Tweedsmuir will host semifinal games Friday at 2:30 and 4 p.m.

Celebrating its 15th year, the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Goodwill Classic is the largest in tournament history.

The annual all-Surrey senior girls high school basketball tournament, which tipped off Monday, features 22 teams playing 41 games over six days at six local high schools.

Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary is the host school, and will be the site for tomorrow’s (Thursday) quarterfinal games, Friday’s semifinals and the championship game Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers are also one of the two favourites for the unofficial city championship, ranked sixth in the province by the B.C. Secondary Schools Girls Basketball Association. The fifth-ranked Panorama Ridge Thunder are the only other team among the top 15.

The Fleetwood Park Dragons won the 2015 tournament, defeating the Holy Cross Crusaders 55-46 in overtime.

Games played Monday through today (Wednesday) determined which teams are placed in the Axe (main) and Ladder (consolation) divisions. Fourteen teams will be relegated to the Ladder division, the remaining eight are the quarterfinalists in the Axe group.

Sponsored by the Surrey Fire Fighter’s Charitable Society, the annual event promotes “a theme of the tournament involves promoting volunteerism, diversity, and female sport.”

The society prepares game schedules, stages a fund-raising barbecue just outside the host school, and seeks sponsors for  bursaries presented to players following the tournament.

“As part of our Youth and Education program, it is the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society’s goal to deliver the funds from all donors to the deserving student-athletes of Surrey,” said Fire Fighters’ society spokesperson Justin Sayson. “To date we have awarded more than $70,000 in total.”