It was a good day to be a member of the Toor family Saturday.
Not only did the Seaquam Seahawks under coach Lucky Toor take home the Junior Girls Basketball Provincial Invitational Tournament title, but his daughters Syra and Priya played prominent roles, winning Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player, respectively.
The Seahawks — who were the second seed going in to the 24-team tournament at the Langley Events Centre March 2-5 — used an outstanding defensive effort, holding the No. 4 seed South Kamloops Titans to well below their season average in a 50-20 victory Saturday afternoon (March 5).
The championship title was the first in any sport for the North Delta school.
“We had this vision, but you don’t know what’s out there and where you stand. I knew we had a hard working bunch and a very strong team, but we did have this vision from day one and for them to realize it is pretty special,” Lucky Toor said as he watched his young team take turns cutting down the net after the win.
Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter, with the Titans hitting just one field goal on 12 attempts to trail the Seahawks 11-4.
Scoring remained hard to come by in the second, with Seaquam taking a 21-10 lead to the locker room at the half, but the Seahawks’ offence roared to life in the third period, scoring 22 points to increase their lead to 43-17.
The team’s defensive strategy revolved around shutting down Titans guards Lucy Marchese and Kiana Kaczur.
“I believe [Marchese] had six or seven threes [Friday]. She is one of the best shooters in the whole tournament, so our strategy was to contain her, put our best defensive stopper on their point guard who everything runs through, and take our chances with the rest,” Toor said.
“Our whole concentration was on the defensive end because that is the one thing you can control; shots are going to be missed or made, [but] you can control your defensive effort.”
The Titans shot just 16.3 per cent, with Kylee Koppes providing half the offence and 10 points.
The Seahawks were led by Syra Toor’s 22 points, half of which came in the third quarter.
Sydney Roufosse, who was named the Championship Player of the Game, had five points, but more importantly controlled the boards with 14 rebounds. Seaquam beat South Kamloops in that department 42-26, including 20 offensive rebounds.
Seahawks Neelam Sidhu and Camryn Tait were also chosen as tournament first and second team all-starts, respectively.
As for his daughter snagging the MVP award, Lucky Toor said there were many worthy candidates on the team, which has three Grade 8s on it – including Syra — and will lose just three players next season to the school’s senior squad. (Toor also coaches the senior girls team, which finished 13th at the 4A provincial championship that same weekend.)
“The way I look at it, we have multiple MVPs on our team and on any given day, at any given tournament, it could be any one of them,” Toor said. “[Syra] showed up in the biggest moments and that was yesterday and today. Super proud of her as a coach, but obviously (…) super proud of her as a father as well.
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