LANGLEY — Our collective fingers are crossed with the hope that a safe fall and winter season is on the horizon for high school sports in the province of B.C.
And in the spirit of that positivity, we hope that one of the final highlights of a challenging 2020 calendar year will be the latest edition of the annual senior girls Tsumura Basketball Invitational.
This coming season’s field is as deep, talented and tradition-laden as we’ve ever featured with the entire field of Top 10-finishers from this past March’s B.C. Quad-A championship tournament set to take part, including the two-time reigning champion Semiahmoo Totems of Surrey, making their first TBI appearance since 2017 when the current group of rising seniors were early in their Grade 9 seasons.
That season, the Totems punched their ticket to TBI’s Final Four before falling one game shy of a title-game berth against Abbotsford, falling 96-78 to Walnut Grove in the semifinals.
As well, we’ve got seven of the top-nine finishers from the 2019-20 B.C. Triple-A championships, including the champion Abbotsford Panthers, and the runner-up Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna, the overall 2019 TBI champs.
Our two Double-A entrants, Langley Christian and Vancouver’s York House, finished second and third respectively at their B.C. championship tourney.
Here’s the 20 teams which will take part in the four-day TBI 2020 tournament at the Langley Events Centre from Dec. 16-19.
TSUMURA BASKETBALL INVITATIONAL 2020
(Participating teams listed in alphabetical order with last season’s B.C. finish and tier)
Abbotsford Panthers (1st, AAA)
Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver) (3rd, AAA)
Brookswood Bobcats (Langley) (did not qualify, AAAA)
Burnaby South Rebels (9th, AAAA)
Earl Marriott Mariners (Surrey) (10th, AAAA)
G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Chilliwack) (9th, AAA)
Heritage Woods Kodiaks (Port Moody) (8th, AAAA)
Kelowna Owls (6th, AAAA)
Langley Christian Lightning (2nd, AA)
Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (Surrey) (7th, AAAA)
MEI Eagles (Abbotsford) (6th, AAA)
Okanagan Mission Huskies (Kelowna) (2nd, AAA)
R.A. McMath Wildcats (Richmond) (4th, AAA)
Riverside Rapids (Port Coquitlam) (5th, AAAA)
Semiahmoo Totems (Surrey) (1st, AAAA)
Terry Fox Ravens (Port Coquitlam) (2nd, AAAA)
Valleyview Vikings (Kamloops) (7th, AAA)
Walnut Grove Gators (Langley) (4th, AAAA)
Yale Lions (Abbotsford) (3rd, AAAA)
York House Tigers (Vancouver) (3rd, AA)
Closer to tournament time we will release the TBI 2020 girls draw. Entering our second season as a 20-team event, a total of eight teams will comprise an opening-round of four games. Those Day 1 winners will join the remaining 12 teams in our Thursday Sweet 16.
Yet based on the overall strength of the field, coaches from around the province know they will be getting potentially the best games this side of zone championships and the provincial tournament throughout their entire run at TBI 2020.
We will be following with the TBI boys line-up as soon as it is confirmed.
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