Tamanawis Wildcat Saim Bhutta drives with the ball past Semiahmoo Totem Jajin Rai during a Grade 8 boys basketball game at Semiahmoo Secondary on Saturday.

Tamanawis Wildcat Saim Bhutta drives with the ball past Semiahmoo Totem Jajin Rai during a Grade 8 boys basketball game at Semiahmoo Secondary on Saturday.

Banner days for Surrey basketball squads

Semiahmoo, Lord Tweedsmuir, Tamanawis and Panorama Ridge teams set for Fraser Valley championships

There are a few more banners ready to be hung at Semiahmoo, Lord Tweedsmuir and Tamanawis secondaries after a successful run on the basketball court last weekend.

The three schools won a combined six hoops championships apiece, with Semiahmoo’s Grade 8 girls and senior boys winning their respective first-round playoff tournaments; Tweedsmuir capturing titles at the junior boys, junior girls and Grade 9 boys levels; and the Tamanawis Wildcats snagging a Grade 8 boys championship banner.

At Semiahmoo – which hosted all Surrey championship games Saturday, from Grade 8 through to the junior level – the Totems’ Grade 8 girls continued to roll through the competition, defeating Tweedsmuir 58-9 in the final.

The Totems – coached by Lori Pajic and former national women’s team bench boss Allison McNeill – have yet to lose a game all season.

Not to be outdone by their young Totem teammates, Semi’s senior boys – who’ve been among the city’s top teams all season – captured a Fraser Valley Southwest banner, after defeating Tamanawis 67-59 in the championship game.

Totems’ Vlad Mihaila led all scorers in the title tilt with 21 points.

In semifinals, the Totems defeated another familiar foe, Panorama Ridge Thunder, 82-57, led by the one-two punch of Brian Wallack, who had 29 points, and Adam Paige, who finished the game with 22.

The Totems now head into Fraser Valleys as the No. 3 seed, behind only top-ranked Walnut Grove (Langley) and No. 2 Holy Cross.

“It was nice to see us beat Tamanawis and Panorama Ridge – those are two top-15 teams (in the province) so it’s nice to beat them,” said Totems head coach Ed Lefurgy.

The Southwest-division title means Semiahmoo will head into the Fraser Valley championships – which begin today (Friday) – with home-court advantage; the top-four seeds play at home.

Tamanawis, ranked No. 4, will also play its opening-round games at home.

“That’s a huge bonus for us – we’ve never had a top-four seed into the Fraser Valleys, so it’s a nice boost for us to play at home,” Lefurgy said.

“We’ve got a pretty good draw.”

Fraser Valley play-in games will be staged at Semiahmoo Friday, though the Totems have a bye through the first round, and will not hit the court until Monday night.

At 8:15 p.m. Monday, they’ll play the winner of Friday’s game between Clayton Heights and Terry Fox.

Tamanawis will play Monday as well, against either Frank Hurt or Fraser Heights.

The top seven Fraser Valley teams will advance to quad-A provincial championships next month, meaning the Totems and Wildcats need only to win their first two games to qualify.

Panorama Ridge, meanwhile, heads into the tournament as the No. 11 seed. They square off against Charles Best Friday evening at Semiahmoo, with the winner advancing to play the No. 5 Yale Lions.

In addition to being happy with his team’s upcoming schedule – not to mention having home-court advantage – Lefurgy said he’s happy with the way his team has played of late, but feels the best is still yet to come.

“I think we’re just starting to get on a roll here, so we’re excited about that,” he said. “Our stars are playing like stars right now, and our supporting cast is playing well, too, and working hard.

“The guys know that the added-value of playoffs is here, and these are big games. We’ve had some big games leading up to this, but the important ones are here now.”

Fraser Valley AAA senior girls championships began earlier this week, with early-round games being staged at Tweedsmuir, Panorama Ridge, Brookswood and Walnut Grove secondaries.

No. 1-seeded Lord Tweedsmuir and Panorama Ridge, ranked fourth, both won Round 1 games Tuesday evening. Tweedsmuir defeated No. 16 Centennial 86-52, while the Thunder beat No. 13-seed Terry Fox 70-33.

Second-round games were held Wednesday, and championship-round contests began Thursday and run through until the title tilt Saturday night, hosted at Brookswood Secondary in Langley.

For more information about all Fraser Valley tournaments – including schedules and results – visit www.fvbball.org