Tourneys under the tree

Tourneys under the tree
December 12, 2012, 7:30 pm

Berkeley's Asa Allen scores in the final minutes of a win against Amador Valley in the 52nd Annual Don Underwood Amador Basketball Classic.

Taylor Lambert
Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area



Christmas time is a happy time for many. With the winter air becoming crisper by the second, the thoughts of Saint Nick checking his lists (perhaps twice), and the presents piling up under the tree. But Christmas time also brings gifts of the high school sports variety, and they're not distributed by a huge dude in a chimney soot stained red and white suit. Really, what's that guy's dry cleaning bill look like?  I'm talking about high school basketball tournaments, and nothing brings tourneys around like the holidays.

The early season hoop tournaments in the Bay Area are a perfect way for squads to see where they stack up against the competition -- to see what they need to work on and to find out what they already do pretty well. Adding the tourney format to these games kicks the intensity up a notch or two as well. 

There's countless tournaments around the holiday season, with the huge West Coast Jamboree, the always popular Sand Dune Classic at St. Ignatius, the D.J. Frandsen Memorial, Pioneer Holiday Classic, and the Don Underwood Amador Basketball Classic -- to name a small portion. The high intensity tournament games give teams a good feel for what those late season and playoff matchups will feel like. If you do well in the tournaments, you're probably going to do well at the end of the season when the pressure is on.

So, if you have some time this holiday season, try to catch your local high school hoops team in a tournament. Maybe just go to the championship game, it'll be worth the price of admission. At least the gift of a holiday hoops tourney will be cheaper than most other gifts you buy this Christmas. 

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