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St. Thomas More basketball teams settle for second at this invitational tourney

The STM Knights reached the final of the senior girls' and boys' Tsumura Basketball Invitational earlier this month.

Burnaby high schools recently showed why School District 41 (SD41) has a strong contingent of senior girls' and boys' basketball teams this year.

St. Thomas More Collegiate (STM), Burnaby Central and Burnaby South all participated in the 2023 Tsumura Basketball Inivtational at the Langley Events Centre this month.

The STM Knights claimed silver on both sides of the annual preseason event - each in the Select 16 bracket.

The AA senior girls finished with a 3-1 record during its three-day tourney, Dec. 13 to 16; the lone loss was in the final by a score of 79-70 to the MEI Eagles (Abbotsford).

The game featured nine lead changes and seven ties, including the Knights leading after the first and third quarters. STM's game-by-game results were as follows:

  • Final = 79-70 loss to MEI (Abbotsford)
  • Semifinal = 51-40 win over Walnut Grove
  • Quarterfinal = 57-51 win over Sir Winston Churchill (Vancouver)
  • Opener = 60-44 win over Fleetwood Park (Surrey)

As of last Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Knights are fifth in the BC School Sports top 10 AA senior girls rankings, which was a jump of four spots with its current 2-1 record in Burnaby New Westminster Schools Athletic Association (BNWSAA) play.

On the boys' side, STM battled an experienced King George offense in its Select 16 bracket final.

The buzzer, however, came too early for the red and white, falling short by a score of 76-64. 

The AAA Knights — who only have two Grade 12s on the roster — were led by 30 points from Grade 11 guard Shane Deza. STM's game-by-game results at the tourney, held Dec. 6 to 9, were as follows:

  • Final = 76-64 loss to King George (Surrey)
  • Semifinal = 58-48 win over Sr. Winston Churchill (Vancouver)
  • Quarterfinal = 73-53 win over South Kamloops
  • Opener = 62-56 win over A.R. MacNeill (Richmond)

As of Dec. 12, the Knights are fourth in the BC School Sports top 10 AAA senior boys rankings, which was a jump of five spots with its current undefeated 3-0 BNWSAA record.

Burnaby Central, South

Meanwhile, Burnaby Central and South secondaries were placed in the Super 16 side of the Tsumura Basketball Invitational.

Burnaby Central AAAA senior girls matched their latest BC School Sports top 10 ranking with a fourth-place finish at the 16-team bracket with a 2-2 record.

The Wildcats, who won bronze at 2023 provincials, lost to Brookswood in the bronze-medal game by a close score of 68-60. Central is 1-2 in BNWSAA league play.

The Burnaby South senior boys team, while 5-0 in league play, settled for sixth in Langley earlier this month.

The Rebels finished 2-2 after losing to Spectrum Secondary of Saanich to a tight-knit score of 60-56.

The tournament result black and yellow matched their current provincial placing of sixth, which was a fall of three spots itself.