The first step in the Semiahmoo Totems’ title defence begins this week.
Starting Thursday, the South Surrey senior girls basketball team – which is ranked No. 1 in B.C. quad-A rankings – will host the South Fraser Senior Girls Zone Championships.
As the top seed in the tournament, which serves as the first round of playoffs, the Totems will tip off in a semifinal game at Semiahmoo Secondary Thursday, 8 p.m., against the winner of a quarter-final matchup, to be played a day earlier, between the Panorama Ridge Thunder and Seaquam Seahawks.
The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to the South Fraser championship game, set for Semiahmoo at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
A third-place game will precede the gold-medal tilt.
The top two teams at the South Fraser tournament receive automatic byes into the provincial quad-A championships, while the third- and fourth-place teams will each play wild-card games against teams from another zone for another provincial berth.
The Totems are the defending provincial champs, having won last year’s triple-A final over Langley’s Walnut Grove Gators. Triple-A was the province’s highest tier at the time, with the quad-A league not created until this season.
The Totems went a perfect 7-0 in league play this season, and are presently 17-0 against all B.C. competition, including tournaments and exhibition games.