One of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s most popular high-school tournaments is back on the court this week.
The Peace Arch News Classic – scaled down this year, with just 10 senior girls teams competing – tips off Friday afternoon at Semiahmoo Secondary. The two-day tournament wraps up late Saturday afternoon, with the title game set for 4 p.m.
The tournament, which has been running since the late 1980s, has in the past featured both junior and senior girls squads, and has included as many as 24 teams some years. Some years, especially when more teams were involved, games were also played at nearby Elgin Park Secondary, as well.
Last year, longtime tourney organizer Gord Houchen – who coaches Semiahmoo Secondary’s team – told PAN that a glut of tournaments on the same weekend has diluted the pool of available teams.
“It’s always a really busy time of year,” he said.
But while overall numbers may be down – last year’s event featured 16 teams – the talent level will still be as high as ever.
Houchen’s Semiahmoo Totems currently sit fifth in B.C. quad-A rankings, while the Mission Roadrunners – who will play in the same Pool A as Semiahmoo at the PAN Classic – are ranked No. 8.
The other South Surrey team set to take part is the Elgin Park Orcas.
Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks will also be at Semiahmoo this weekend; until the most recent rankings, which were released a week ago, the ‘Hawks were also top-10 in the quad-A division.
The other top-ranked team set for this year’s Classic is Richmond’s Hugh McRoberts Strikers, currently ranked No. 7 amongst B.C. triple-A teams. The Surrey Christian Falcons, who were until recently a top-10 team at the double-A level, are also in this weekend’s field.
Last year’s tournament was won by Vancouver’s Magee Secondary Lions, who defeated Semiahmoo’s junior team 2-0 (25-22, 25-23) in the championship game.
The Totem juniors – coached by Houchen – served as the de facto hosts of the 2018 tournament, as Semi did not have a senior squad.
The team went on to win a junior girls provincial championship last fall, and the core of that team makes up this year’s Totems senior roster.