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Fire on the basketball court

Surrey Firefighters Goodwill Classic, featuring 21 high school girls teams, runs Jan. 8-12.
Members of the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers girls’ basketball team are preparing for the Surrey Firefighters Goodwill Classic tournament.

Twenty-one senior girls high school basketball teams will compete at the Surrey Firefighters Goodwill Classic, and the finalists from last year are the favourites to tip off again in the championship game just days away.

The 12th-annual all-Surrey tournament, run by the Surrey Firefighters Association, will take place Tuesday through Saturday next week at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, 6151 180 St., with four other schools also hosting a total of six games Tuesday and Thursday.

The Holy Cross Crusaders have won the last two firefighters championships, and defeated the Fleetwood Park Dragons 68-56 in the 2012 final last January at Lord Tweedsmuir.

Provincial rankings suggest a rematch this year is likely, as the Dragons are eighth in the Senior AAA polls, while the Crusaders are tabbed as the best team in the Senior AA ranks.

Holy Cross was led by a group of Grade 10s a year ago, including tournament MVP (Most Valuable Player) Michelle Bos, who scored 26 points in the final.

Rachel Beauchamp, who netted 20 points against the Dragons, and Alli Buck were both selected to the 15-player Firefighters Goodwill Classic Dream Team for displaying skill, team work and sportsmanship.

Both the Crusaders and Dragons will play their first games of the tournament Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Holy Cross will play the Panorama Ridge Thunder at 2:30 p.m., while the Dragons will be at home at Fleetwood Park Secondary at 6:45 p.m. against the Elgin Park Orcas.

The games are the first in the Axe Division, an eight-team group which is one of two at the Firefighters competition.

The Ladder Division, the second of two tiers, will feature 13 teams. Championship games in each group will be Saturday, Jan. 12 at Lord Tweedsmuir.

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