One win and we're in.
That was the mantra in four Surrey high school gyms Monday as the Fraser Valley class AAA senior boys basketball tourney reached the quarter-final round.
Four Surrey schools - White Rock Christian Academy, Tamanawis, Lord Tweedsmuir and Enver Creek - were still in the race for the semifinals and a guaranteed berth in the 2013 provincial championship tournament. White Rock hosted Enver Creek Monday night while Tamanawis entertained W.J. Mouat and Lord Tweedsmuir took on Walnut Grove in Langley. The winners will advance to the Fraser Valley semifinals Friday, while the losers play a sudden-death elimination game Thursday.
Two other local teams - Fraser Heights and North Delta - were still alive, but faced elimination Monday against higher-seeded opponents. Game results were not available at the Now's press deadline.
The White Rock Christian Academy Warriors lived up to their No. 1 seeding by posting a pair of impressive wins to open the Valley tourney. Led by Sam Ykema's 29 points and another 21 from Matthew Perrin, White Rock dispatched Clayton Heights 88-44 in their opener Wednesday.
White Rock kept the momentum going Friday night when they beat North Delta 83-67 on a night when the Warriors saluted their nine graduating seniors.
Vartan Tanielian held the hot hand for White Rock with 23 points, three more than teammate Tyus Allen.
"Down the stretch our mantra has been tightening up in the defensive end and creating points off of our defensive effort," said Warriors coach Dale Shury. "That's exactly what happened against North Delta. They're a very capable team in terms of offensive power, but we did a good job containing them. We held them to nine points in the first quarter and most of our 22 points came off the fast break."
The Warriors took on a dangerous Enver Creek team on Monday night in a rematch of the Surrey RCMP tournament's semifinal round last month. Enver Creek opened the Valleys with an 80-53 win over Pinetree Wednesday and then upended Sardis 75-64 on Friday night.
The fourth-seeded Tamanawis Wildcats had little trouble eliminating L.A. Matheson 94-47 on Wednesday but the Wildcats slipped on a banana peel Friday night and needed a massive fourth-quarter comeback to beat lightly regarded 79-72.
"We beat them earlier in the year by 35 points and our guys kind of thought the game would be a joke," lamented Wildcats coach Mike McKay. "The guys snapped out of it after the third quarter when we were behind by 16 points and finally decided to play. We outscored them 24-9 in the fourth quarter and everybody looked great, but it should never have reached that point."
Sukjot Bains led Tamanawis with 24 points while Parm Bains and Sukhman Sandu chipped in with 20 and 15 points, respectively.
The Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers' late season surge has them on the brink of qualifying for the provincial tournament for the first time since 1953.
The Panthers opened the Valley tourney by beating Semiahmoo 110-71 in Wednesday's opener and then outlasting Gleneagle 65-57 on Friday night.
In elimination round play, North Delta took on Sardis in South Surrey Monday night while Fraser Heights took on Pitt Meadows in Abbotsford. A loss in those games would end the respective teams' seasons while a win would propel them into another sudden-death game on Thursday.