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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Darts Hill Garden Park to re-open – by appointment

City of Surrey-run garden will be open to visitors Thursday through Saturday

Video tribute to KPU’s spring grad class also honours Andrew Petter, Bill Wright

‘We still want to celebrate our graduates, their achievements, and their resilience’

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Most Read

l -->