The Semiahmoo Totems senior boys basketball team is headed into Fraser Valley Championships on a high this week, after taking down the reigning division champs on the weekend.
Last weekend, Semiahmoo won the Fraser Valley South division crown after a convincing 97-62 win over the Tamanawis Wildcats, who last year became the first Surrey public school in 33 years to win a Fraser Valley title.
With the win, the Totems will enter the Fraser Valley tournament as the No. 6 seed, and have earned a first-round bye – a first for the program under coach Ed Lefurgy. Last year, Semi was an 11th seed in the regional tourney.
“We’ve got the bye, which is really huge for us,” Lefurgy said. “Now if we win two more games, we go to provincials.”
On Friday, Semiahmoo will play its first game, against the winner of a first-round matchup between Surrey’s Queen Elizabeth Secondary and Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat.
Semiahmoo has not faced Queen Elizabeth yet this season, but did beat Mouat earlier in the year.
Semiahmoo has been playing well all season, but Lefurgy said his troops have upped their game even further since a road trip to Vancouver Island in late January, where they played three exhibition games – against Cowichan, St. Michael’s and G.P. Vanier.
“Ever since that trip, the team has just been playing great. The guys are a very close-knit group, and they’ve really started to gel now,” he said.
The key to their recent success – including the win over the Wildcats – has been a much-improved defence, Lefurgy noted.
“Our defensive intensity is just much better – it has been since the Island.”
As well, the play of shooting guard Curtis Harvey has helped spur the team’s offence to greater heights. Harvey lead the team with 35 points against Tamanawis, and Lefurgy said “he’s just been playing amazing.”
Friday’s contest against the yet-to-be-determined opponent is scheduled to be played at Holy Cross School at 6 p.m. If the Totems are able to advance past that game, they’ll play Monday night.
A win Monday, and they’ll be guaranteed one of the six Fraser Valley berths at provincials. It’s been decades since a South Surrey public school qualified for the AAA (now 4A) provincials.
“That would be huge – it would mean everything to us,” Lefurgy said about qualifying for the provincial tournament.
“But we can’t look that far ahead. First, we have to worry about Friday.”