Totems head coach reflects after “emotional” week at BC high-sch00l hoops championships

Totems head coach reflects after “emotional” week at BC high-sch00l hoops championships

Semiahmoo second, Tamanawis third at Langley Events Centre-hosted provincials

A roller-coaster week at the Langley Events Centre ended with a loss for the Semiahmoo Totems Saturday night, as the team lost 80-72 to the Burnaby South Rebels in the final game of BC High School 4A Senior Boys Basketball Championships.

Along the way, the Totems – who were the tournament’s No. 6 seed – dispatched a pair of crosstown rivals. In quarter-finals Thursday, they beat Holy Cross 83-64, and on Friday night, edged the Miguel Tomley and the Tamanawis Wildcats, 75-67.

“It was a pretty interesting path to the finals, playing two of our rivals,” Semiahmoo head coach Ed Lefurgy told Peace Arch News Monday morning, less than 36 hours after the tournament’s final buzzer sounded.

“It was a lot of fun – very exciting to play in the finals, in the arena bowl with the crowd… It was very emotional, a lot of ups and downs, this whole week. It was probably one of the things I wasn’t prepared for.”

The berth in the championship game was Semiahmoo’s first since 1961.

A fourth Surrey team, Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers, lost to Burnaby South in the first round Wednesday, and finished the tournament in ninth.

After opening the tournament Wednesday morning with a win over the Okanagan zone champion Rutland Voodoos, the Totems advanced to battle Holy Cross Thursday. Not your usual No. 14 seed, the Crusaders – who were No. 1 in provincial preseason rankings, and upset the No. 3-seeded Handsworth Royals in the first round – got a 20-point effort from Uyi Ologhola, but it wasn’t enough for a second-straight upset, as the Totems rode a 30-point game from Adam Paige to the win.

On Friday night against Tamanawis, the Totems were able to hold off a 48-point effort from Tomley – whom Lefurgy called the best player in the province, and perhaps the best player his team faced all season, U.S. competition included – to advance to the title game.

“We threw a lot of double teams at him, and tried to control the rebounds,” Lefurgy said of his team’s strategy to keep Tomley under wraps.

“I thought we did a pretty good job. We put Jordan Chen on him, and he did the best that he could, but Tomley is an incredible player.”

Tomley, a Newton resident, followed up Friday’s semifinal loss with a performance for the ages in the third-place game Saturday against the Belmont Bulldogs. He scored 66 points in his team’s 100-76 win, to finish the tournament with 180 points in four games – a new tournament record.

The new mark was 13 points better than Queen Charlotte’s Nathan Vogstad, who had 167 points in four games in 2014. In fact, the 180 points also topped Cameron Smythe’s tournament record for points over five games, as the Sir Charles Tupper star scored 177 in five games back in 2012.

The 66-point effort is also the second most single-game mark in the history of the tournament, which dates back to 1946. The single-game record is 75 points by Vogstad in 2014.

The Totems trailed for much of Saturday’s final against the Burnaby South Rebels, who along with 13th-ranked Belmont and Holy Cross, were the best of a handful of underdog stories to dominate headlines at provincials.

The Rebels’ lead stayed in single digits for much of the contest, eventually extending to 13 in the second half, before Semiahmoo reeled them back in near the end.

“It was a close game. They’d get a lead, we pulled it back, but they shot the ball very well,” Lefurgy said.

Burnaby South shot 42.5 per cent from the field, compared to just 33.3 for the Totems.

“We just didn’t get some bounces and we didn’t really create our own luck.”

Vlad Mihaila led Semiahmoo with 33 points and 13 rebounds while Adam Paige had 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Both players were also named first team all-stars and Paige also picked up the tournament’s most outstanding defensive player. Tomley was also named a first-team all star, while Ologhola was picked for the second team. Burnaby South’s Jusuf Sehic was named tournament MVP, and Semiahmoo was also awarded the School Spirit Award.

Longtime Burnaby South coach Mike Bell – whose been involved with the school’s hoops program for 13 years – said his team came together at the right time to make a Cinderella run through the tournament.

“The teams just haven’t jelled at the older ages,” he said. “To finally have this team jell was just absolutely amazing.

“These boys who I have known since they were little boys just became men today. They battled through everything today to get to where they are.”

– with files from Gary Ahuja

Just Posted

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

2019 Red Serge Gala guests try their luck at roulette. (Simon Lau photo)
High hopes for in-person Red Serge Gala on Semiahmoo Peninsula

28th fundraiser for community safety programs set for Oct. 23 return

TEASER PHOTO ONLY - Hillcrest Drive-In's sign at the end its run in Surrey, in a photo uploaded to by hermangotlieb.
SURREY NOW & THEN: The city’s last drive-in, Hillcrest showed movies for 50 years on site turned shopping mall

‘It was a good memory, being the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland, at the time,’ says former operator Jay Daulat

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read