Tourneys under the tree


Tourneys under the tree

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. 

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah


What looked like a no-brainer win for the Warriors over the Jazz for most of the contest, turned out to be a game too close for true comfort late. 

Still, Golden State overcame a surge by Utah to pick up the victory -- their second straight of the five-game road trip. 

Stephen Curry scored 25 points to lead all Warriors scorers -- four others scored in double figures. 


Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness


Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Raiders left guard Kelechi Osemele was questionable to play Thursday night’s game at Kansas City with a knee sprain.

His knee is doing just fine, thank you.

Even still, Osemele wasn’t ready to play. He was a late scratch due to an illness, which sapped him to the point he couldn’t go.

Osemele was listed about the Raiders inactives, announced shortly before kickoff.

That creates a huge void in the offensive line – the Raiders run best between Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn – that will be filled by rookie Vadal Alexander.

Alexander is an aggressive player and a good run blocker, but he isn’t on Osemele’s level. Not having the high-priced player could hinder the Raiders offensive line, which must remain strong for the attack to operate well. The Raiders have allowed a league-low 13 sacks this season. 

Defensive tackle Darius Latham was questionable with an ankle injury, but wasn’t quite ready to play this game. This marks his second contest missed with injury.

Strong safety Karl Joseph was ruled out earlier in the week with a toe injury. Cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Shilique Calhoun, Connor Cook and Stacy McGee are also inactive.