Earlier this month, after her team had run undefeated through the Surrey Fire Fighters Goodwill Classic, Semiahmoo Totems senior girls basketball coach Allison McNeill was asked what the key to her team’s success was.
Her answer was a simple one: the Totems’ best players have to be the best players.
“Our core group… they have to play well for us to win, and they did,” she said at the time.
The same sentiment was true for the South Surrey squad last week in Coquitlam, too, as that group – all Grade 11 players – led the quad-A No. 1-ranked Totems to victory at the Centennial Secondary-hosted Top Ten Shootout, which featured some of the province’s best teams.
The Totems took top spot at the tournament, defeating Port Coquitlam’s Riverside Rapids 98-69 in the championship game. Tara Wallack and Izzy Forsyth – two members of the aforementioned core – combined to score more than 50 points in the win.
It’s the second year in a row that Semiahmoo has won the tournament.
Wallack was named tournament MVP, Forsyth was chosen for the first all-star team, and another Grade 11 starter, Deja Lee, made the second team. Lee had 14 points in the final against the Rapids, while Raushan Bindra had 16.
The victory was never really in doubt for the Totems, who led by 20 at halftime and didn’t give up any ground in the second half.
A trio of Semiahmoo Totems and one Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers are among a number of Canadian high-school basketball players listed as nominees for this spring’s Biosteel All-Canadian all-star game.
Semiahmoo’s Lee, Forsyth and Wallack are all among the contenders for a spot in the girls game, as is Tweedsmuir’s India Aikins.
In total, nine players from B.C. are listed, with the list set to be narrowed down to 24 All-Canadian selections later this spring.
On the boys side, one Surrey player has been nominated – Holy Cross School’s Uyi Ologhola.
The Biosteel event is set for March 27-29 in Toronto.