The 14th annual Surrey Fire Fighters Goodwill Classic is underway at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary School.
The all-Surrey senior girls high school basketball tournament tipped off Tuesday afternoon with the first eight of 36 games to be played over five days.
Hosted by the Surrey Fire Fighters Foundation, the tournament has distributed more than $70,000 in bursaries to participants over the years.
This year’s sponsors, which include the Fire Fighters Foundation, Big Kahuna Sports, AthElite Basketball Academy and Westland Insurance, will be awarding several $750 scholarships at the conclusion of the tournament.
Twenty-two teams will compete in the 2015 tournament, with 11 each in the Axe and Ladder divisions of competition.
Four schools in the Axe Division are listed in the B.C. Secondary Schools Girls Basketball Association provincial rankings.
The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers and Fleetwood Park Dragons have received honorable mention in the Senior AAA category, while the Holy Cross Crusaders are No. 5 in the Senior AA poll, with the Southridge Storm an honorable mention.
Holy Cross and Fleetwood Park have met in the last three Axe Division finals, with the Crusaders winning two of the three.
The championship game in the Ladder Division will tip-off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Lord Tweedmuir Secondary, followed by the Axe Division final at 4 p.m.
RCMP tourney starts Sunday
With 76 games scheduled at nine schools over seven days, the Surrey RCMP Classic remains the biggest high school sports event in the city.
The Senior Boys and Junior Boys tournaments will feature 43 teams vying for the unofficial City of Surrey championship, with the first games scheduled for Sunday (Jan. 11) and the championship games on Saturday, Jan. 17 at Enver Creek Secondary.
Now in its 24th year, the RCMP Classic will include 24 senior teams, 16 of which will play in one of eight qualifying games Sunday at L.A. Matheson and Lord Tweedsmiur Secondary.
The eight winners advance to the 16-team championship round, the eight losers will play in the B pool at Frank Hurt Secondary.
The Tamanawis Wildcats are the defending champions, and have appeared in the last three RCMP finals. Currently listed as an honorable mention in the Senior 4A provincial rankings, the Wildcats will be challenged by the North Surrey Spartans – also listed as an honorable mention – and the Fleetwood Park Dragons, ranked fourth in the Senior 3A poll. The Southridge Storm, the top-ranked team in the Senior 2A category, are also competing at the RCMP Classic.
Nineteen teams will compete in the junior category, which begins Monday at Tamanawis and Princess Margaret Secondaries. The championship game is Jan. 17 at noon at Enver Creek.