The South Surrey high school basketball scene is about to get a boost, when all three public school senior boys teams square off in a week of “rivalry games.”
Beginning Monday, the Earl Marriott Mariners, Elgin Park Orcas and Semiahmoo Totems will hit the court for games that start during school hours, in an order to fill the gym with spectators.
On Monday, Earl Marriott will travel up the road to Semiahmoo to battle the Totems at noon; Tuesday, Elgin Park will play the Mariners at EMS, and Wednesday, Semiahmoo will face off against the Orcas at Elgin Park.
Semiahmoo senior boys coach Edward Lefurgy has seen first-hand the popularity of the Sandcastle Cup – the annual rugby grudge match between Semi and EMS – and hopes that kind of atmosphere can translate to the gym.
“Every game will be a bit different. We are working hard to pump them up and have lots of fun,” Lefurgy said, adding that there will be prizes, contests, pep rallies and “plenty of school spirit.”
Chris Finlay, Earl Marriott’s head coach, said his players have been talking about the games “for weeks.”
“They’re excited. The notion of playing in front of a packed house is certainly appealing to them. It should be a lot of fun,” he said.
Lefurgy hopes the games grow to the point that Rivalry Week is an annual event that people at all three schools get excited for.
“We’d just like to see basketball continue to develop in the south-end (of Surrey), and we hope this is a way to do it.”
The first two games of the week are league contests, while Wednesday’s tilt between Semiahmoo and Elgin is an exhibition game. Next year, all three games will be part of the league schedule, Lefurgy said, adding that having games count in Fraser Valley Southwest standings should only add to their intensity.
“It’s still all about the basketball. We want to take care of business and win some games, just like the other guys,” Lefurgy said.
The Orcas and Totems kickstarted their on-court rivalry last weekend, when both teams ended up facing off in the finals of the Chilliwack Storm Tournament at Chilliwack Secondary.
Led by a 24-point, 14-rebound performance from Brett Walker, Elgin Park edged Semi 85-70 to win the title.
Alex Hadikin also had a double-double for the victors, with 20 points and 10 boards.
“It was a great tournament, a really good game,” said Elgin Park coach Dan Walker.
“I know our guys are very excited now.”