Four Surrey teams will begin their quest for a provincial hoops banner Wednesday, when the BC High School 4A Senior Boys Basketball Championships tip-off at the Langley Events Centre – and one team may have a little extra motivation when the games begin.
The Semiahmoo Totems – who were ranked as high as No. 2 provincially earlier this season – will enter the tournament as the sixth seed, which head coach Ed Lefurgy said “is maybe one or two spots too low, but we’re OK with it.”
“We’re going to us it as motivation,” he said.
Semiahmoo opens the tournament at 8:30 a.m Wednesday against No. 11 Rutland Secondary from the Okanagan. The Totems are one of four Surrey hoops teams in the 4A event, alongside the No. 2-ranked Tamanawis Wildcats – who enter the tournament as the Fraser Valley champions – No. 9 Lord Tweedsmuir and the 14th seed Holy Cross Crusaders.
In Wednesday’s opening round, Tamanawis will play the North Peace Oscars, from Fort St. John, at 6:45 p.m., while the Crusaders will tip off against No. 3 Handsworth at 3:30 p.m. Tweedsmuir will play No. 8 Burnaby South at 5:15 p.m.
Both Semiahmoo and Tamanawis will be playing unfamiliar teams in the first round – “We’re kind of going into it blind,” Lefurgy said – but were not taking their opponents lightly, despite being the higher seed and therefore, the pre-game favourite.
“They will be making the long trip… and will have nothing to lose,” said Tamanawis head coach Mike McKay.
“I expect them to give a great effort and we have to be able to match their intensity and execute our game plan. The first games of provincials are always a little bit different – mostly getting used to playing in the arena.”
Lefurgy echoed those statements with regard to his own team, and said playing “extremely competitive” and “tough defence” will be key.
“That will make or break us, in any round,” he said.
The winner of Semiahmooo/Rutland will advance to Thursday’s quarter-final against either Handsworth or Holy Cross, while the winner of Tamanawis/North Peace will move on to play either St. George’s or Walnut Grove.
The tournament continues all week, and wraps up with the championship game Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. at the LEC.