McMath enters BC basketball championships with high hopes

By Don Fennell

Published 3:01 PST, Tue February 25, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Richmond’s McMath Wildcats enter this week’s BC Secondary School Girls 3A Basketball Tournament seeded third, but they hope to leave Langley Events Centre ranked No. 1.

“When we are shooting the three-ball well, we can beat anyone in the province,” says coach Chris Kennedy. “Hopefully we can do what the 2016 team did and find a way to make it to the finals. If we play well, we definitely have a chance this year to make a run at the championship.”

If the old adage that practice makes perfect is to believed, the Wildcats have more reason to hope. Their campaign has been packed with games against quality opponents, forcing the Wildcats to adjust to a myriad of situations.

But Kennedy is concerned that the final push to the provincial tournament lacked the same level of challenges.

“I think this year was challenging in getting used to new zones and new tiers,” he says. “In the past we have had very competitive zone playoffs, but this year we were not challenged in our three zone playoff games. Hopefully, all the strong tournaments will have us prepared for provincials. We have played most of the top teams, so we should not be caught off guard by anyone.”

Kennedy says McMath is lucky to have a solid nine-girl rotation, which is the deepest in his time coaching at the school.

“It is all about playing well at the right time,” he explains. “Our experience last year, and playing at the Langley Events Centre in December at the Tsumura Invitational Tournament (recognizing the significant contributions of longtime basketball writer Howard Tsumura) should definitely help.”

McMath has now qualified for the provincials in five of the last six seasons.

The 2020 provincial championships tip off Wednesday (Feb. 26) and continue through Saturday (Feb. 29) at the Langley Events Centre. McMath—Richmond’s lone representative at the tournament—is scheduled to play its first game Wednesday versus No. 14-ranked Mark Isfeld Secondary School, located in Courtney. The championship final is set for 2:45 p.m.

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