Sports

All-Surrey tourney has reached its limit

Fraser Heights Firehawk E.J. David takes to the air during a game against the Tamanawis Wildcats in the Junior division final of last year’s Surrey RCMP Classic at Enver Creek Secondary School. - BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER
Fraser Heights Firehawk E.J. David takes to the air during a game against the Tamanawis Wildcats in the Junior division final of last year’s Surrey RCMP Classic at Enver Creek Secondary School.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

It has more than doubled in size since its inaugural 16-team tournament in 1992, and one of the largest high school basketball tournaments in the province won’t be getting any bigger.

The Surrey RCMP Classic, which tips off with four preliminary round games Monday at Earl Marriott Secondary School, is the unofficial city championship event for boys high school basketball which no longer has any room to expand.

“We’re stopping at 36 teams, 20 for the seniors, 16 for the juniors,” said Rick Inrig, one of the tournament organizers. “We just can’t get any bigger.”

The gymnasiums of seven schools in the Surrey school district will host 60 games in six days next week, culminating with championship games in the Junior (Grades 8-10) and Senior (Grades 11-12) finals Saturday, Jan. 19 at Enver Creek Secondary School.

Enver Creek is the main site for the 20-team Senior tournament, with games Wednesday through Saturday next week, with Earl Marriott, Fraser Heights and Fleetwood Park also hosting games on weekdays. The championship game is set for 7:45 p.m. on the Saturday.

Tamanawis Secondary School is the base for the Junior category during the week, with four games played Queen Elizabeth on Monday and Tuesday. The final tips off at Enver Creek at 2 p.m.

The White Rock Christian Academy Warriors, winners of eight of the last nine RCMP Classic titles, are again the huge favourites in the Senior division. Ranked third in the province by Basketball B.C., the Warriors are the top-seed at the annual event.

“It’s too bad, but I don’t know if anyone’s capable of beating them this year,” said Inrig. “Every year, there’s been a team that could beat them. Whether they did beat them or not is another thing, but there was always a team which was capable of doing it.”

The Kwantlen Park Timberwolves, given honourable mention in the provincial poll, last year’s Junior division champion Tamanawis Wildcats, and the Fleetwood Park Dragons are the best of the rest.

Eight teams playoff in four games Monday, with the four winners joining the remaining 12 teams in the round of 16 on Wednesday.

Fleetwood Park and Tamanawis are the top seeds in the Junior division, the Dragons ranked eighth and the Wildcats ninth in the provincial poll.

sports@surreyleader.com

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