LANGLEY — They took a Final Four-bound Brookswood Bobcats team right down to the wire before suffering a heartbreaking 70-68 loss in the opening round of the recently-completed B.C. senior girls Triple A championships.
This coming season, however, there is not only a complete revamping of the provincial zone structure, but the addition of a fourth ‘Quad A’ tier.
Yet while the landscape may seem very unfamiliar, Richmond’s R.A. McMath Wildcats — who return 10 players including many from its regular rotation — will know each other very well as they open play in the newly-configured Fraser River South zone along with other Surrey, Delta and Richmond schools.
All of that is going to come in handy for the Wildcats, who open as preseason No. 1 atop the Triple A tier, now the province’s second-largest, and reserved for those schools with a population of between 163 to 262 female Grade 11-12 students.
The Quad-A tier is for schools who have 263 or students falling under the same guidelines.
Among the team’s rising seniors is lead guard Liz Kennedy who is expected to carry the majority of the scoring load.
As well, McMath welcomes back rising 6-foot-2 Grade 9 forward Marina Radocaj.
The Abbotsford Panthers, paced by the prodigious scoring punch of rising senior guard Marin Lenz and playing out of the newly christened Fraser Valley East zone, come in at No. 2 in the preseason poll.
North Vancouver’s Argyle Pipers, now a part of the Vancouver-Whistler zone, sit third, while Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies, two-time B.C. finalists at Double A, make the step up to Triple A and hold the No. 4 ranking out of the F.V. East.
The Vernon Panthers out of the Thompson-Okanagan zone, are ranked No. 5.
As we mentioned last week with our B.C. Double A Top 10 posting, teams sitting under a tier number may elect to move up in classification before the start of the 2019-20 season.
Or, others who have initially indicated a desire to play up, may elect to come back down to their actual classification.
Here’s the early look at the B.C. Triple A Top 10:
B.C. SENIOR GIRLS BASKETBALL
PRESEASON TOP 10
1 R.A. McMath Wildcats (Richmond)
2 Abbotsford Panthers
3 Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver)
4 G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Chilliwack)
5 Vernon Panthers
6 Nanaimo District Islanders
7 Valleyview Vikings (Kamloops)
8 MEI Eagles (Abbotsford)
9 Pitt Meadows Marauders
10 Steveston London Sharks
Honourable mention — Mt. Baker Wild (Cranbrook)
(B.C. Secondary Schools Basketball Association)
If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. VarsityLetters.ca and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.