The Tamanawis Wildcats will once again be the team to beat at the Surrey RCMP Classic, the annual all-Surrey senior boys high school basketball tournament which is now in its 25th year.
The Wildcats won a second consecutive RCMP Classic championship last year, edging the Southridge Storm 73-65 in the tournament final. The title was the third for Tamanawis in a four-year span.
Tamanawis is currently fifth in the provincial rankings in Senior 4A, the highest category in B.C. high school basketball. In their lineup are Grade 10 point guard Miguel Tomley and Grade 12 forward Sagar Dulay, two Wildcats who were all-stars at last year’s RCMP Classic.
Southridge, currently ranked second in the provincial 3A rankings, will make another run at the school’s first-ever all-Surrey championship. Led by Hunter Hughes, a six-foot-seven forward who was the RCMP Classic’s Most Valuable Player a year ago, the Storm have made the move from Senior 2A to the 3A level, to give a challenge to a team head coach Steve Anderson says is “the deepest we’ve ever had.
“This year, our team is very skilled, very athletic, very dedicated,” said Anderson. “They want to excel.”
Other teams which could be in championship contention when the semifinal round starts Friday evening at Enver Creek Secondary include the Panorama Ridge Thunder, given honorable mention in the provincial 4A rankings, and a two 3A schools – the L.A. Matheson Mustangs and the Kwantlen Park Timberwolves. The Mustangs area ranked ninth provincially, with Kwantlen Park earning honorable mention.
The RCMP Classic began with qualifying games Sunday, and the round-of-16 yesterday (Tuesday). Quarterfinals will be played today, with semifinals set for 5:45 and 7:45 p.m. Friday at Enver Creek.
The championship game is at 8 p.m. Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.