MODESTO -- The busy basketball tournament season tips off with the 16-team Modesto City Classic, an all-Stanislaus District affair, today at Downey and Gregori.
There will be four games at each school for the next four days, with Saturday's 7:30 title game played at Downey.
That's one of many tournaments this weekend, the first big weekend for hoops. The Escalon Lions Club, the first major tournament for girls, also gets under way tonight.
Escalon has one of the district's most prolific scorers in Turlock Christian's Halie Bergman, who signed with the University of the Pacific, and her Eagles face Central Catholic in a 5 p.m. opener.
The Modesto tournament is drawing teams from Manteca to Merced, including the seven public schools in Modesto.
One of the featured teams is Central Catholic, with center John Fenton. The 6-foot-9 senior has signed with Colgate. The Raiders still are playing football, and will be missing a point guard and reserves.
The Raiders face Johansen at Gregori today at 3:30, then Merced faces Beyer at 5. If the favorites win, that sets up a Central versus Merced quarterfinal battle Thursday at 6:30. The most competitive opener should be be talented Turlock taking on Enochs at 6:30.
The top opener at Downey could be Pitman versus Davis at 5, following what should be a fast-paced opener between Golden Valley and Los Banos.
Many teams have played games, including Monday's Foundation games that don't count in the standings.
Games start today at 3:30 p.m., with others following at 5, 6:30 and 8 at Downey and Gregori High Schools. The four-day event features 16 teams.
Modesto City Classic Boys Tournament
At Downey High: Golden Valley vs. Downey, 3:30 p.m.; Pitman vs. Davis, 5 p.m.; Manteca vs. Downey, 6:30 p.m.; Atwater vs. Modesto, 8 p.m.
At Gregori High: Central Catholic vs. Johansen, 3:30 p.m.; Merced vs. Beyer, 5 p.m.; Turlock vs. Enochs, 6:30 p.m., Lathrop vs. Gregori, 8 p.m.
Escalon Girls Invitational
Bear Creek vs. Riverbank, 3:30 p.m.; Central Catholic vs. Turlock Christian, 5 p.m.; Ripon Christian vs. Gregori, 6:30 p.m.; Waterford vs. Escalon, 8 p.m.