LANGLEY — It’s run of success as it translates to B.C. Quad A tournament berths is still relatively fresh, yet getting to the Big Dance for the third time in four years is enough that Surrey’s Semiahmoo Totems know how to leave nothing to chance.
“You can prep as much as you want for this moment, but it is always different,” said Totems head coach Ed Lefurgy after his charges came off the Arena Bowl floor Tuesday afternoon here at the Langley Events Centre following its tourney-mandated 20-minute team shootaround.
“We walk into the gym and it smells different, it looks different, everything is so polished and shiny,” he continued as star Totems like Adam Paige and Vlad Mihaila got in their workouts. “But the one thing we have to do at this point of the year is trust our practice, trust all the morning shoot-arounds, all the hard work, our competitive schedule, our wins and how we hopefully learned something from our losses.”
That comes in awfully handy if you have to play in the dreaded 8:30 a.m. game, which the Totems have drawn this season, as a No. 6 seed against Kelowna’s No. 11 seed Rutland VooDoos.
In 2015, when the program made a return to the tourney after decades of missing, they also drew the 8:30 a.m. slot, and as an 11-seed knocked off Duncan’s No. 6 seeded Cowichan Thunderbirds led by Josh Charles.
Of course having to play Yale and its star Jauquin Bennett-Boire led to a narrow loss the next day, but the experience of prepping for that game has been invaluable to Lefurgy this week.
“I know what 8:30 a.m. game will be like,” he said. “We woke up early today and we had a 7 a.m. practice so we are ready.”
And what did his team try to accomplish Tuesday with its 20 minutes on the big floor?
“Shoot game shots,” said the coach. “Game shots, game spots, game speed. I heard (former Nanaimo District, SFU and current Thompson Rivers head coach) Scott Clark say that a long time ago. So we try to shoot the stuff that we shoot in games. Everything we do, we try to be competitive about. We want to have the best possible shootaround.”
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