The South Delta Sun Devils senior girls basketball team will be getting a steady diet of elite competition this week at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational at the Langley Events Centre.
Coming off a breakthrough season that saw them advance to the provincial tournament for the first time in 17 years, the Sun Devils will be a major force again under head coach Sharon Butler. They return four starters and begin the season in the top 10 of the provincial “AAAA” rankings.
South Delta is part of the main 16-team draw and will open the Tsumura Invitational against “AAA” powerhouse St. Michael’s University on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. A win would set up a potential quarter-final match-up with Mulgrave or Brookswood on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.
“I feel like the 2022 field is, top to bottom, the strongest and most competitive we’ve had yet – and so many other coaches around the province have told me the same thing, so welcome players, coaches, fans and families,” said Tsumura. “Over the course of our tournament, it is my hope that the best qualities of the game we love so much will be evident for all to see.”
North Delta's Seaquam Seahawks are also in Langley this week and have high expectations under head coach Lucky Toor. The Seahawks are in the top 10 of the provincial rankings thanks to returning the vast majority of their players and capturing the B.C. junior title last year. They open the tournament against Kelowna.
South Delta defeated Seaquam in last year’s South Fraser AAAA title game, so it’s a good chance the city rivals will see each other again in February.
Rounding out the field are: Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver), Burnaby Central Wildcats (Burnaby), Fleetwood Park Dragons (Surrey), Kelowna Owls (Kelowna), Langley Christian Lightning (Langley), Okanagan Mission Huskies (Kelowna), RA McMath Wildcats (Richmond), Riverside Rapids (Port Coquitlam), St. Michaels University Blue Jags (Victoria), Sir Winston Churchill Bulldogs (Vancouver), Walnut Grove Gators (Langley) and the Yale Lions (Abbotsford).