High school hoopsters hit the hardwood this week

The high school basketball season gets going in earnest, with a series of major tournaments set for tip-off locally.

The high school basketball season gets going in earnest this week, with a series of major tournaments set for tip-off locally.

HAWKS GIRLS TAKE ON ELITE FOES

W.J. Mouat Secondary’s Century 21 Classic has grown into one of B.C.’s most anticipated early-season senior girls tourneys in recent years, and the Hawks welcome another tough and talented field this week.

Among the provincially ranked AAA teams in attendance are No. 3 Oak Bay, No. 5 South Kamloops, No. 8 Claremont, and honourable mentions Kelowna and Maple Ridge.

The host Hawks are No. 4 in AAA, boasting a talented Grade 11 class which won the B.C. junior title last year.

Games run at the Mouat and UFV gyms, with the Hawks tipping off vs. Archbishop Carney at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at home. Semifinals run at 7 and 8:45 p.m. on Friday at Mouat, and the finals are at 4 p.m. Saturday.

PANTHERS HOST TELUS TOURNEY PRELIMINARY GAMES

Province-wide, the highest-profile hoops tourney this week is the Telus Classic, which doles out thousands of dollars in scholarships and features over 2,000 athletes in a variety of age classes.

The bulk of the event runs in Vancouver, but Abbotsford Senior is playing host to four preliminary-round games in the senior boys draw. The Panthers take on the R.C. Palmer Griffins of Richmond at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by Holy Cross vs. Panorama Ridge at 3 p.m. The winners advance to play each other at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, with the losing teams playing at 4:15 p.m.

“Over the past 14 years, the amount of money they’ve generated for students has been fantastic, as well as the basketball exposure,” Panthers coach Prentice Lenz noted. “When they asked if we would be a host site, we were incredibly excited and honoured.”

For more information on the Telus Classic, visit canadaonefoundation.com.

HANSEN’S ROUNDBALL CLASSIC TIPS OFF

Rick Hansen Secondary’s Roundball Classic has expanded to epic proportions over the last couple of years. Originally just a senior boys and girls tourney, it now features teams from Grade 8 to Grade 12 playing on different weekends from December to February.

Organizer Jas Gill has brought together an army of student staffers and sponsors to help run the series, which will involve a total of 112 teams and over 1,100 players.

The event begins with the junior girls tourney this week, and the host Hurricanes tip off at 1:45 p.m. Thursday vs. Khalsa. The gold medal game runs at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.

Still to come on the Roundball Classic schedule are the senior boys/girls (Dec. 19-21), Grade 8 boys (Jan. 16-18), junior boys (Jan. 23-25), Grade 8 girls (Jan. 30-Feb. 1) and Grade 9 boys/girls (Feb. 6-8) tourneys.

For more information, visit classjump.com/h/hurricane.

CITY POLICE TOURNEY NEXT WEEK

Next week, the Abbotsford Police City Basketball Tournament takes over local gyms across the city. The event is a massive undertaking, bringing together virtually every local team in the Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10 and Grade 12 age groups, and culminates with championship games running all day Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Columbia Bible College gym.

Visit abbypdbasketball.ca for complete schedules and locations, and see next week’s Abbotsford News for a preview of the tourney.