A Fleetwood Park Dragons player goes for a shot during the opening game of the Tsumura Invitation Basketball tournament at the Langley Events Centre. The Surrey team was playing the R.A. McMath Wildcats from Richmond for a berth in the tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 4. McMath led the game from start to finish, winning 91-58. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

A Fleetwood Park Dragons player goes for a shot during the opening game of the Tsumura Invitation Basketball tournament at the Langley Events Centre. The Surrey team was playing the R.A. McMath Wildcats from Richmond for a berth in the tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 4. McMath led the game from start to finish, winning 91-58. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Tsumura Basketball Invitational begins at the Langley Events Centre

Top teams clash in event billed as preview of provincials

Fleetwood Park Dragons from Surrey and R.A. McMath Wildcats from Richmond clashed at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational (TBI) at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 4).

McMath led the game from start to finish, winning 91-58.

It was the opening game in the annual basketball series, one of four matches that day for teams vying to enter the main draw.

This year, the tournaments for selected boys and girls teams has been expanded from 16 to 20 teams from around the province.

Both defending champions from the 2018 invitational, Langley’s Walnut Grove Gators (girls) and Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers (boys) are back to defend their titles.

Howard Tsumura, who handpicked the mix of top teams and honourable mentions, said it’s “all about the best of BC basketball without tiers getting in the way.”

TBI includes some smaller schools who were just out of contention for BC titles.

Play with the boys teams was set to run till Saturday, Dec. 7.

Girls teams are scheduled to begin playing next week from Wednesday, Dec. 11 till Saturday, Dec. 14.

READ MORE: Panthers win Tsumura Basketball Invitational at Langley Events Centre

READ MORE: Walnut Grove Gators win Tsumura basketball championship

Last year, Walnut Grove Gators senior girls averaged nearly 90 points a game en route to their second consecutive TBI title.

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Fleetwood Park Dragons from Surrey played the R.A. McMath Wildcats from Richmond for a berth in the Tsumura Invitational Basketball tournament at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 4. McMath won 91-58. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Fleetwood Park Dragons from Surrey played the R.A. McMath Wildcats from Richmond for a berth in the Tsumura Invitational Basketball tournament at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 4. McMath won 91-58. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Game one of the Tsumura Invitational Basketball tournament at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 4 saw Fleetwood Park Dragons from Surrey play the R.A. McMath Wildcats from Richmond.(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Game one of the Tsumura Invitational Basketball tournament at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 4 saw Fleetwood Park Dragons from Surrey play the R.A. McMath Wildcats from Richmond.(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

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