Elgin Park Orcas’ Jayne Alexander makes a shot against the Handsworth Royals during last season’s B.C. Girls AAA Basketball Championships. Only two players return from that team this season.

New era begins on Elgin Park basketball court

‘We’ll hold our own’ says Orcas’ senior girls coach Rob Wilson, who takes over the team from longtime head coach Stu Graham

For the first time in six years, a new face is at the end of the bench for Elgin Park Orcas’ senior girls basketball team.

Rob Wilson, formerly the head coach of Elgin’s senior boys, has moved into the girls’ game, taking over the coaching reins from Stu Graham, who stepped down after six years at the helm – and 10 years at the school in total.

“It’s been really good so far this year – I haven’t found it to be a real big change, going from boys to girls. The game is still basically the same,” Wilson said earlier this month, a few weeks into the hoops season.

Wilson and this year’s squad have big shoes to fill; under Graham, the Orcas qualified for B.C. championships six consecutive years, winning it all in 2008. Last year, they finished ninth.

“It was a good run, and a great group of girls every year,” said Graham, who is still sticking close to the court as a board member of Basketball BC and also as a coach with Basketball Canada’s Centre for Performance.

“I talked to Rob before he took the team, and I told him that I thought he’d really enjoy it.”

And while this year’s roster has just two returning players from last year’s team – seniors Melissa Boettcher and Madelyn Dekerf – Wilson is confident in his group.

For the first time, the Fraser Valley conference has been split into tiers, with the top teams like Langley’s Brookswood Bobcats and Coquitlam’s Riverside Rapids occupying Tier 1, and Elgin Park and a slew of other Surrey squads – including Semiahmoo, Earl Marriott, Seaquam and Lord Tweedsmuir – in the second tier.

“We’re not quite as strong as we maybe have been the last few years, but we’ll hold our own,” Wilson said, adding that a return to the top tier is maybe only a season or two away.

“We’ll be pretty good, pretty competitive.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of athleticism on this year’s team.”

All teams from the top tier will automatically qualify for provincial AAA championships, while Tier 2 squads will fight for four spots, Wilson said.

The Orcas were 4-0 in league play before breaking for the holidays, and will hit the court again in the New Year, alongside other local squads at the Surrey Firefighters Goodwill Classic.

Elgin Park has dominated the Firefighters Classic in recent years, winning five straight tournament titles from 2006-10, but saw their streak halted last January, when they were upset in a preliminary-round game against Lord Tweedsmuir.

Holy Cross won the tournament.

 

Just Posted

White Rock senior ‘just sick’ about lost rings

Wedding, engagement bands lost on Oct. 7

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

TransLink to discuss proposed bus-route changes at White Rock forum

“It is important that the opinions of riders are heard,” says mayor

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Most Read

l -->