’Tis the season for Modesto area holiday hoop tourneys

12/03/2013 7:13 PM

12/03/2013 7:14 PM

Feel that chill in the air?

Actually, it’s more than just a chill. It’s getting downright frosty in the evenings. And you know what that means, don’t you?

It’s time to move high school sporting events indoors.

The winter sports season heats up in a hurry with a bevy of basketball tournaments, starting Wednesday with the 2013 Modesto City Classic boys basketball tourney.

All seven members of the Modesto Metro Conference, plus Central Catholic, four members of the Central California Conference (Merced, Atwater, Buhach Colony and Pitman), three members of the Valley Oak League (Manteca, East Union, Weston Ranch) and Elliot Christian of the Central California Athletic Alliance will participate in the Classic.

Last season, Central Catholic defeated Davis 79-65 in the championship contest.

The Classic fights with the Modesto JC tournament and the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs for attention. Two of its entrants, Manteca and Central Catholic, still have football teams vying for section titles.

“We mess with that but this is the only time it’s good for us because some of (the MMC teams) go to other tournaments,” said Modesto athletic director Don Wallace. “We want to get it back to where we have decent crowds on Friday and Saturday.”

In years past, the Classic has experimented with different formats in an effort to keep city teams from playing one another.

“We’ve done everything you can think of to keep the city schools from facing each other,” said Wallace. “But if we end up meeting, so be it.”

Both Enochs and Modesto high schools will host four first-round games. Tip-off times are 3:30, 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. in each gymnasium

Also getting under way today is the 37th annual Escalon Lions Club Girls Invitational Basketball Tournament. Eight teams are entered and the first game starts at 3:30 p.m., with subsequent games tipping every 90 minutes. The varsity tournament will be contested in Escalon’s new gym, while the school’s old gym will host the JV tournament.

Five other tournaments – three of them girls events – also get under way this week.

The 10th annual Big Valley Christian Holiday Classic and Riverbank’s Ron Peterson Tip-Off Tournament both begin Thursday with four games on the docket. The Golden Valley Lady Cougar Classic, the Los Banos/Pacheco and the Hughson girls tournaments also get cranked up Thursday.

The Golden Valley event in Merced features a six-team field with games at 4, 5:30 and 7 p.m. The LB/Pacheco tourney boasts an eight-team field, with games starting at 6 and 7:30 p.m. in both the Los Banos and Pacheco gymnasiums.

The Hughson tournament is a four-team, round-robin affair with games at 6:30 and 8 p.m.

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