Starting next Saturday, the Columbia Gorge Basketball Academy hosts several teams from across the area in the two-day Gorge Hoops Invitational at Kurtz Gym and The Dalles Middle School.
Tournament players range from fifth through eighth grades and hail from Hermiston, Dufur, The Dalles, Hood River, White Salmon and Goldendale, to name a few.
Games are slated to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday in pool play matchups at TDMS, and action starts at 8 a.m. on Sunday for bracket play with games at TDMS and The Dalles High School.
On Saturday, every team will play two pool play games for each division to determine seeding.
Seeding is based on overall record, head-to-head games, point differential and points scored, in that order.
Double elimination bracket play kicks off on Sunday until the championship games.
Trophies will be handed out to the team that wins each age division on Sunday.
“Spectators are encouraged to come and support these young people,” said CGBA president and coach Greg Cummings. “They’ve been working so hard the last couple of months and I want to see their hard work pay off.”
TD suits up around 40 players at all four levels, so there are four teams donning CGBA colors.
Out of the 10 sixth-grade players, Brayden Parker is the lone newcomer, and he hits the hardwood with Nolan Donivan, Sam Shaver, J.J. Johnston, Calvin Floyd, Tristan Kuku, Andre Niko, Cooper Cummings, Henry Begay and Olsen Meanus.
With Lindsay Brock as head coach, the fifth-grade girls’ team, which has seven of eight on the roster in their first year of action, trots out second-year veteran, Jackie Begay, and she is joined by Hailey Johnston, Lacy Hoylman, Despina Seufalemua, Makaila Miller, Maddie Brock, Sydney Newby and Ava Graves.
On the boys’ side, Michael Cates and Andrew Voodre are on the sidelines coaching a fifth-grade boys group that has nine returning players, with Avery Schwartz, Luke Hoover, River McClure, Sterling Coburn, Leighton Voodre, Nolan Cates, Jason Hull, Hudson Case, Brandon Lentz as the standouts.
Back for another season with an experienced seventh-grade boys’ team are coaches Ken Brock and Phil Hukari.
Kai Semlor is the only newcomer on this squad, with nine others back in the fold, joining forces with Sam Rogers, Osbaldo Lopez, Riley Brock, Styles Deleon, Braden Schwartz, Jack Morgan, Fernando Ayala, Tyler vonSlomski and Manatu Crichton Tunai.
The eighth-grade boys’ team is loaded with top talent, with the likes of Jameson Woodside, Chase Sam, Shane Floyd, William Hoover, Tristan Bass, Isaac Anthony, Rowan Simpson, Jaxon Pullen and Gabe Petroff in the mix. They are being coached by Deric Anthony and Cummings.
All games will be scheduled on the Tourney Machine application through the website, http://www.tourneymachine.com.
Fans can download the application to their smartphones to stay up to date on scores, pool play standings and bracket play games.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students over five years old. Children 4 and younger are free.
Another multi-team basketball tournament is set for Feb. 24-25 at the same locations.