For our fourth annual tournament, we tried a change in format, adding a “primary” division (under 12) and an “open” division (over 18) that played in exhibition play. Six youth teams participated along with four primary teams and four open teams. Teams played in a round-robin format for seeding, then played a single-elimination tournament (with a wild card round for the youth teams).
The opening (wild-card) youth playoff round matched the High Desert Hoopers against Tri-City in a game that the High Desert squad won fairly handily, by a 51-38 margin, to advance into the semifinals against top-seeded Hook-it-Up. In the semifinal round, Hook-it-Up won that matchup by a score of 69-41, while the opposite semifinal, played between Island Armour and the Compton 1st (“Devotion”) team was a more nip-and-tuck affair. Island Armour came away with a hard-fought 59-52 victory.
This set up a championship match that most thought would be very good; the Hook it Up and Island Armour teams had played in the opening match of the round robin and battled to a 45-43 result won by Hook-it-Up. The championship game did not disappoint; it was in doubt until the final few seconds – Hook-it-Up held a slim lead late and it was only by making their free throws late in the game that they were able to hang on for a 47-43 victory.