Back on Dec. 7 at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational, Sufi Ahmed (left) and the Byrne Creek Bulldogs clashed with Jordane Burke and the Oak Bay Bays. This weekend, Byrne Creek is at the STM Chancellor, while Oak Bay is at the Terry Fox Legal Beagle. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2018. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Boys Basketball

What happens when Fox’s Legal Beagle and STM’s Chancellor collide? Fourteen Top-10 teams, 46 games and 21 kilometres of pavement!

LANGLEY — The best collection of B.C. senior varsity boys basketball talent will all be gathered under one collective roof on March 6.

That’s when all four tiers begin respective four-day runs at the B.C. championships hosted by the Langley Events Centre.

But how about the next-best overall collection of teams from that same talent pool in the days and weeks leading up to the tip-off of provincial playoffs?

The answer to that question comes in the names of the two invitational tournaments set to open this week.

Between the Quad-A dominated Terry Fox Legal Beagle and the Triple-A filled St. Thomas More Collegiate Chancellor, the largest share of B.C.’s top-ranked teams from its two largest tiers will clash.

And when all is said done, after its two respective champions are crowned this coming Saturday night, Jan. 12, the countdown to the start of March Madness will hit 54 days and counting.

Interested in checking out to the two behemoth invitationals?

The Triple-A filled 16-team Chancellor begins a four-day run at its Burnaby campus on Wednesday, while the 10-team Quad-A filled Legal Beagle opens its gym doors Thursday at Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Secondary.

Some of the numbers that matter most (and remember, amendments will be made when the first set of B.C. rankings for 2019 are issued Wednesday)?

Both No. 1s will be present in Quad-A co-No. 1 Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers of Surrey, and Triple A No. 1 Byrne Creek Bulldogs of Burnaby.

If you combine the current ranked teams in Quad A and Triple A who will make up the fields in both the Legal Beagle and Chancellor, 14 teams will carry Top 10 status between the two events.

Remembering that there are currently 11 teams ranked in the Quad A Big 10, eight of those teams will be among the Beagle’s 10 invitees.

And within the Chancellor’s 16-team field, six of Triple A’s Top 10 will be checking in for the festivities.

Oh, and one bit of co-Beagle/Chancellor trivia, other than the fact that St. Thomas More head coach Aaron Mitchell is a Terry Fox basketball alumnus?

The two schools are located 21 kilometres apart in what an on-line trip calculator estimates is a 24-minute drive.

The Chancellor’s title game is set for a 6 p.m. tip-off this coming Jan. 12, while the Legal Beagle’s title game is set for the same day at 7:30 p.m.

If all goes as planned, and based on the distance and travelling time between the two sites, it would seem possible to watch the tournament champion crowned at both gyms.

Of course, you have all week to dart between the two sites to see all of the teams in action, with Wednesday as a Chancellor-only day. In totality, the two tournaments will feature a combined 46 games.

For the exact Chancellor tourney details, click here.

And for the precise Legal Beagle details, click here.

Of course, in the name of full disclosure, it’s one of the busiest invitational weeks of the entire season with a total of 15 senior boys tournaments taking place.

To see all 15 draws, click here.

We’ve got our own look at both the Chancellor and Beagle draws below. Just remember: Keep your eyes on the road and drive safely!

If Geevon Janday (right) and the rest of Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham Grizzlies, as well as Ivan Denyssevych and the rest of Coquitlam’s Centennial Centaurs can get past their opening-round foes Wednesday, they would clash in an 8:45 p.m. quarterfinal on Thursday at the STM Chancellor Invitational. Their last meeting (above) came Dec. 7 at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2018. All Rights Reserved)


On the top half of the draw, Friday’s on-paper semifinal clash is shaping up as the No. 1 Byrne Creek Bulldogs against the No. 2 North Delta Huskies.

The No. 9 Rick Hansen Hurricanes of Abbotsford are the only other ranked team within the eight-team top half.

On the bottom side there is a lot less certainty.

That’s because of the presence of a pair of improving Quad A teams in Coquitlam’s Centennial Centaurs and the under-the-radar Fleetwood Park Dragons of Surrey.

Throw those two teams into the fray within an eight-team bracket that also includes No. 3 Sir Charles Tupper of Vancouver, No. 4 G.W. Graham of Chilliwack and No. 5 Duchess Park of Prince George, along with honourable mention Argyle of North Vancouver, and no one will be able to touch the cruise-control button.

So on the top half, if it’s Byrne Creek vs. North Delta in a Friday 3:30 p.m.semifinal, you would have what could very well be a preview to the 2019 Final Four round, and maybe the final.

Based on its play at the Tamanawis Holiday Classic and its gruelling schedule of Top 10 Quad- and Triple-A foes, Tupper would get the nod on the draw’s bottom half.

The tournament draw:




8:30 a.m. — No. 1 Byrne Creek vs. Brookswood

10:15 a.m. — No. 9 Rick Hansen vs. R.A. McMath


12 p.m. — St. Thomas More vs. McNair

1:45 p.m. — No. 2 North Delta vs. Maple Ridge



3:30 p.m. — Steveston-London vs. Fleetwood Park

5:15 p.m. — No. 3 Sir Charles Tupper vs. Argyle


7 p.m. — No. 4 G.W. Graham vs. West Vancouver

8:45 p.m. — No. 5 Duchess Park vs. Centennial


(consolation games begin at 8:30 a.m.)



3:30 p.m. — Quadrant A winners

7 p.m. — Quadrant B winners


5:15 — Quadrant C winners

8:45 p.m. — Quadrant D winners


(consolation games begin at 8:30 a.m.)


7 p.m. — Top-half winners

8:45 p.m. — Bottom-half winners


(Placing games begin at 11 a.m.)

4:15 p.m. — third place

6 p.m. — championship final

The No. 4-ranked Terry Fox Ravens are the second-highest rated team at their own 10-team Legal Beagle Invitational beginning Thursday in PoCo. Ravens’ coach Mark Prinster will no doubt have some last-minute advice for guard Ko Takahashi and the rest of the Ravens. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of 2018. All Rights Reserved)


Again, full disclosure.

Co-No. 1 and defending B.C. champion Burnaby South is not a part of the proceedings, and neither is a No. 3-ranked St. George’s Saints teams which is currently on tour in China. Ditto for a co-No. 9-ranked Walnut Grove Gators squad which was simply not on the radar of the province’s top invitationals this season.

Everyone else, however, is coming to this party, one which for the first time in a few seasons, could actually be won by the host and No. 4-ranked Ravens.

Joining Lord Tweedsmuir and Terry Fox are No. 5 Holy Cross of Surrey, No. 6 Oak Bay of Victoria, No. 7 Tamanawis of Surrey, No. 8 Vancouver College, No. 9 Kelowna and No. 10 W.J. Mouat of Abbotsford.

The Beagle’s 10-team format is somewhat unique.

Two teams are given opening day byes and plugged in to so-called quarterfinals play-in games Friday morning.

This year, the honour goes to the two Surrey schools, creating the potential of a Vancouver College vs. Holy Cross battle for a semifinal spot 10 a.m. Friday. The New Westminster Hyacks, who face the Irish in a 3:15 p.m. Thursday game, however, hope to have a lot of say in the matter.

Tamanawis will await the winner of a Thursday battle between Kitsilano and Oak Bay in its 11:45 a.m. Friday play-in.

On the top half of the draw, Lord Tweedsmuir has to be considered the favourite, although their opening-round foe, the Kelowna Owls, are coming off a battle-tested stint at the Franklin Quakers Invitational over the holiday break in which they fashioned a win over recent Washington state Triple A champion Nathan Hale.

On the bottom half, the Ravens didn’t try to dodge anyone, scheduling a Mouat team well capable of pulling an upset.

Add a Tamanawis team which was seconds shy of upsetting Burnaby South in the third-place game of its own holiday invitational a week ago, and the Beagle once has the potential to shake up the rankings in a significant way.

The tournament draw:





3:15 p.m. — No. 8 Vancouver College vs. New Westminster


8:30 p.m. — No. 1 Lord Tweedsmuir vs. No. 9 Kelowna



5 p.m. — No. 6 Oak Bay vs. Kitsilano


6:45 p.m. — No. 4 Terry Fox vs. No. 10 W.J. Mouat 


(consolation games at 3:15 and 5 p.m.)



10 a.m. — Holy Cross vs. Game 1 winner


6:45 p.m. — Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner



11:45 a.m. — Tamanawis vs. Game 2 winner


8:30 p.m. — Game 3 winner vs. Game 6 winner


(Consolation and placing games begin at 9 a.m.)

5:45 p.m — third place

7:30 p.m. — championship final

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