The Semiahmoo Thunderbirds are flying up the B.C. high school senior boys rankings, after a pair of big wins over higher-ranked teams in recent days.
On Friday night on their home court at Semiahmoo Secondary, the Thunderbirds, who began the season ranked ninth in the province among senior boys 4A schools, defeated the No. 7-ranked Handsworth Royals handily, 90-73. A few days before that, Semiahmoo defeated the No. 5 Fleetwood Park Dragons 90-74, and will surely leapfrog a few teams when the province’s next top-10 rankings are released.
Ed Lefurgy, the coach of the senior squad, called Friday’s game against Handsworth “a massive win” for his group.
Cole Bekkering led all scorers with 33 points, while also adding 14 rebounds.
Considering the layoff that the Thunderbirds – as well as every other B.C. high school team – dealt with as a result of COVID-19 cancelling the 2020-21 hoops season, Lefurgy told Peace Arch News in early December that though he team did come into the season ranked highly, he knew there would be some rust to shake off.
As well, Semiahmoo’s roster is on the younger side, with only a handful of Grade 12 players, and a crop of Grade 11s and two Grade 10 players who essentially skipped the junior level altogether as a result of the cancelled season.
However, he also predicted that the younger players would quickly adjust to the new level of play, and that seems to be the case – Torian Lee, one of the team’s Grade 10 rookies, had 19 points Friday against Handsworth.
“We have been playing some good basketball,” Lefurgy said.