Boys High School Holiday Hoops Preview
For most students, the December Holiday Break is a time for vacation, rest, and no school commitments. For Varsity Basketball Players this couldn’t be farther from the truth. While regular season games go on hold, Basketball Never Stops. Enter Holiday Hoops.
Burnaby South Rod Thomson Memorial Tournament (Dec 20 - Dec 22)
Featuring a stacked lineup of teams, there doesn’t look to be one “bad” game throughout the entire tournament which will give Vancouver Basketball Fans great basketball right before the Holiday Break begins.
Game 1: #6 AAA Richmond vs #6 AAAA Burnaby South
The opening game features the home team #6 AAAA Burnaby South Rebels playing the #6 AAA Richmond Colts. After dropping from the #1 Spot and a disappointing result at the Tsumura Basketball Invitational the Rebels will be looking to earn their way back to the top led by Vince Sunga and Jiordano Khan against a strong and rising Richmond Colts team.
Game 2: Carson Graham vs #5 AAA North Delta
The second game of the tournament features the Carson Graham Eagles who are coming off a fresh Top-4 finish in the North Shore “No Regrets” Tournament playing the #5 AAA Ranked North Delta Huskies led by a young core of Grade 11’s like Suraj Gahir and Vik Hayer. The Eagles will look to super quick guard AJ Lartey to earn them an upset victory.
Game 3: #7 AAAA Handsworth vs #8 AAAA Kitsilano
Two Top-10 teams in the province meeting in the first round of a tournament almost seems unfair, but that just goes to show the quality of teams recruited by Burnaby South for this tournament. This matchup is a rematch of the “No Regrets” Final that had the Blue Demons narrowly edge out the Royals just one week ago. Have the Royals made adjustments? Can the Blue Demons prevail again? Kits will be led by flashy and ultra quick guard, Tyrone Asenoguan supplemented with a heavy dose of Tiago Costa inside. The Royals will look to Senior Leaders Stanley Choo, Blake McLean, and Ben Grant to avenge their last loss.
Game 4: #2 AAA McMath vs Western Canada(Alberta)
The Final Game of the opening round could prove to be the most interesting with the #2 AAA McMath Wildcats playing the perennial Alberta powerhouse, Western Canada Redhawks making the trip out from Calgary. In a battle for provincial pride, McMath will be led Bryce Mason and Victor Radocaj, who are both coming off strong tournaments at the TBI, to continue their ascent up the AAA ranks.
W.J. Mouat Hawkball Tournament (Dec 20 - Dec 22)
Leading into the Holiday Break the W.J. Mouat Hawkball Tournament will also provide some high level basketball featuring a number of provincially ranked teams facing off in a round-robin. The #4 AAAA ranked W.J. Mouat Hawks are the early favourites in their home tournament after coming off a strong performance at the TBI with a 3-1 record led by stand-outs Dhivaan Bogal and Harvir Garcha. Two AAA Teams, the South Kamloops Titans and G.W. Graham Grizzlies, will also be fighting for provincial rankings currently ranked #4 and #6 respectively. The Pacific Academy Breakers recently fell out of the AA Top-10 Rankings down to an Honorable Mention, but will surely look to use strong efforts against top teams to make their case as why they belong back in the Top-10. Rounding out the competition in the tournament are the Mission Roadrunners and Mount Douglas. Seemingly the underdog in every game they will play, these teams can make some noise for themselves with any number of upsets out in Abbostsford next weekend.
Tamanawis Holiday Invitational (Dec 27 - Dec 29)
The very last tournament and games of the 2017 year are shaping up to be good ones. Another heavily stacked tournament, the Tamanawis Holiday Invitational could have drastic impact on the Provincial Rankings entering the new year.
Game 1: Pitt Meadows vs #6 AAAA Burnaby South
The Burnaby South Rebels clearly wanted to put their boys through a tough schedule with their third tournament in the month of December. They will battle the Pitt Meadows Marauders in the opening round of the Tamanawis Holiday Invitaional. Will the Rebels assert their dominance or be subject to an upset bid from the scrappy underdog Pitt Meadows in the first round? Tip-off 10:00am Dec 27.
Game 2: #3 AAA Sir Charles Tupper vs #4 AAAA W.J. Mouat
Both teams were featured in the loaded TBI tournament just a few weeks ago. Although they never met in that tournament, you can bet that they had this game circled are we scouting each other weeks in advance. Tupper will look to Gaurab Achyra and Ranell Sebastian to continue their strong play and lead the AAA Tigers over the AAAA Hawks. The trio of Harvir Garcha, Prab Sran, and Dhivaan Bhogal will look to keep the Hawks soaring.
Game 3: L.A. Matheson vs #2 AAAA Tamanawis
As the Home Team, visiting opponents will always want to leave with an win. Being one of the top teams in the province will only add fuel to that fire. The Tamanawis Wildcats are coming off an impressive run in California where they won two tough games against south of the border competition. Will the L.A. Matheson Mustangs rise to the occasion? Or will the home team Tamanawis Wildcats send an early reminder to those in attendance why they are currently the #2 AAAA Ranked team.
Game 4: Riverside vs #9 AAA Clayton Heights
The final game of the first round features the Riverside Rapids and #9 AAA Clayton Heights Nightriders. Both teams are considered underdogs in this tournament, but who doesn’t love a good Cinderella story? Can the Rapids use this tournament to prove themselves and begin their rise in the rankings? Will Clayton Heights cement their position and ascend to the top of the AAA rankings?