Semiahmoo Totems with trophies and the 2019 Surrey RCMP Classic championship banner at Enver Creek Secondary on Saturday night. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

This story has been updated

Victory was three times as sweet for Semiahmoo Totems on Saturday night.

The South Surrey school’s boys basketball team won the Surrey RCMP Classic senior division title for a third straight year after an 89-82 triumph over the higher-ranked Lord Tweedsmuir squad.

Earlier Saturday, the tournament’s junior championship game saw Queen Elizabeth take the crown with a 72-58 win over Panorama Ridge.

In the senior final, Semiahmoo jumped to a 25-20 lead after the first quarter and looked strong throughout the game, played for a capacity crowd at Enver Creek Secondary’s gym.

At the half it was 48-34 for the Totems, who held a 72-57 lead heading to the final quarter.

Chants of “Tweedsmuir comeback!” in the third quarter foreshadowed a rally by the Cloverdale-based team in the final frame, when the scoreboard showed 84-81 for Semi with just 54 seconds to play.

With Tweedsmuir pushing late in the game, Semiahmoo’s Tajin Rai, a Grade 10 player, nailed a key three-point shot from the corner of the court that first hit the rim, bounced five feet toward the ceiling, fell, and put a dagger in the Panthers’ hearts.

CLICK HERE for the seniors scores from the tournament.

Damian Calderon led the way for the Totems with 23 points, while brother Dominic Calderon chipped in with 17 and Avnoor Bhullar scored 19.

“I feel amazing, and this is such an accomplishment – one of the best accomplishments for us,” Dominic, named tourney MVP, said after celebrating the win. “In Grade 10 (as juniors two years ago), we had a battle with these boys and it came out as a win for them (at the RCMP Classic), so it was a pretty important game for myself and my brother, and we ended up getting the W. I’m super happy right now.”

Damien called the win “a total team effort. We came into this tournament as the most underrated team, and everybody expected us to lose, each and every game, but we gave our hearts in this, as a team. I can’t be more proud of myself, my brother, our whole team.”

Semiahmoo head coach Ed Lefurgy, now a four-time winner of the RCMP Classic – three with the Semi seniors and one with juniors – says the tournament means a lot to him and his players.

“It really shows who the cream of the crop is in Surrey, and it’s really, really meaningful for the boys,” he said post-game.

Five of the Semi players are now repeat winners, including the Calderon brothers, David Cao, Dennis Alizadeh and Jake Dhillon.

Playing Tweedsmuir for the all-Surrey tourney title is something Lefurgy said he saw coming.

“I knew right away, as soon as the draw came out, that’s where our sights were set – playing to get to the final, and we wanted a matchup against Tweedsmuir, who we think are one of the best teams in the Fraser Valley,” he said. “And there’s a good chance we’ll see them again in the Fraser Valley playdowns, so we definitely wanted to have an early test, and we got that.”

For the injury-bugged Tweedsmuir, Elijah Devison led all Panthers with 19 points, followed by Jackson Corneil’s 16, Alex Le’s 15 and Arjun Samra’s 13.

Friday night’s semifinal games saw Cloverdale’s Tweedsmuir beat Fleetwood Park 79-74, and Semiahmoo top Tamanawis, 75-71 in overtime.

In the end, Tamanawis placed third in the tournament, Guildford Park fourth and Fleetwood Park fifth.

First-team allstars were Ravi Randhawa (Fleetwood Park), Jeevan Sidhu (Tamanawis), Elijah Devison (Tweedsmuir), Hamza Saqib (Semiahmoo) and Arjun Samra (Tweedsmuir).

Second-team allstars were Damian Calderon (Semi), Edrielle Asirit (Guildford Park), Dre Clayton (LA Matheson), Michael Chifan (Pacific Academy) and Jackson Corneil (Tweedsmuir).

Other tourney award-winners were Arbin Dhillon of Tamanawis for Most Inspirational Player, Guildford Park for Most Sportsmanlike Team and Tweedsmuir’s Samra for 3-Point Champion.

The 28th annual Surrey RCMP Classic, which kicked off Jan. 13, involved close to 650 student athletes in games played at school gyms across the city.

Elsewhere on Saturday night, the boys of Surrey’s Holy Cross Regional High School won the BC Catholics tournament for a fourth year in a row, edging Vancouver College 64-59 in the final at the Fleetwood-area school.

Elsewhere on Saturday night, the boys of Surrey’s Holy Cross Regional High School won the BC Catholics tournament for a fourth year in a row, edging Vancouver College 64-59 in the final at the Fleetwood-area school.

Brent Padilla led the way for the home-court Crusaders with 12 points in 26 minutes played, while Michael Risi and TJ Fujimura each added 10.

In the girls final at the BC Catholics, St. Thomas Aquinas beat Little Flower Academy by a score of 72-41. STA was led by Jessica Clarke and her 25 points in 26 minutes played.

 

Tweedsmuir Panthers player Elijah Devison in action during the 2019 Surrey RCMP Classic tournament championship game Saturday at Enver Creek Secondary. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Action during the 2019 Surrey RCMP Classic tournament championship game Saturday at Enver Creek Secondary. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Tweedsmuir Panthers player Alex Le in action during the 2019 Surrey RCMP Classic tournament championship game Saturday at Enver Creek Secondary. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Semiahmoo Totems player Dennis Alizadeh, left, is defended by Arjun Samra of Lord Tweedsmuir during the 2019 Surrey RCMP Classic tournament championship game Saturday at Enver Creek Secondary. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Semiahmoo team captains with trophies and banner following the 2019 Surrey RCMP Classic championship game Saturday at Enver Creek Secondary. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

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