Basketball aplenty in Hoop D’Ville Tourney at Sayre Park
There are times when the game of basketball can feel like an endless and perfect wave that stretches to eternity. The rhythm, flow, and geometry of Dr. James Naismith’s invention can hook a player for life. The joy of playing basketball is not one dimensional, nor is it a singular event in nature. The addiction to the game, if you will, can be passed through time and generations.
Former Glenwood High School players Jim Yellico and John Doose have been running and jumping around the Sayre Park courts since they were teenagers. The annual basketball rite of summer known as the Hoop D’ Ville Tournament has been in their blood since organizer Mike Picore tossed out the first ball in the year 2000. Saturday’s seventeenth installment of Hoop D’ Ville once again saw Yellico with his familiar team known as the Andrews, and Doose teaming with his regulars, who sport the moniker of Hyenas.
This year though, both Yellico and Doose welcomed a couple of new members to their respective teams. Much like prince’s ascend to their rightful positions in the kingdom, Mason Yellico and Max Doose, both recent high school graduates, joined their fathers in the pursuit of 2016 Sayre Park bragging rights.
“It’s a privilege to play on this team with my dad,” said Max Doose, who prepped at Rifle High this past year. “It’s fun to be a part of this. I grew up with basketball.”
The Andrews also featured Cameron Horning, Glenwood’s Western Slope League player of the year, and former CU Buff Greg Jensen, who played with Chauncey Billups on CU’s last victorious NCAA tournament team, a win against the Indiana Hoosiers in the late 1990’s. The Andrews were bolstered yet by former Demon Eli Houck’s 5-year old daughter Kaija, who proudly embraced her dad prior to the beginning of the day’s play and shouted, “You can win this, daddy!”
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Adam Wiggins, who also played multiple sports at Glenwood High, rounded out the roster for the Andrews.
Unfortunately, neither the Hyenas (Jason Rand, Dorian McClelland, Michael Palmer, Aaron Jewell, and the Doose’s) could turn the family atmosphere into a tournament championship, as a group of players known as the KFC Bucket Team took the day’s honors with a convincing 30-20 win over a squad of several former Basalt Longhorns known as the Bolts.
The Bolts (Kyle Kappeli, Jeff Powers, Danny Popish, Seth Thomas, and Fernando Carreon) were running on fumes when they reached the title game. A trip through the playback bracket had them playing their seventh game of the day in the championship matchup with KFC (Nathan Terrin, Colter McKenzie, Everett Robinson, Tommy Powers, and Nich LeFebre.)
Quick, early baskets by former Coal Ridge standout Nathan Terrin, and ex-Fruita Wildcat Colter McKenzie propelled KFC to a 16-0 lead that seemed almost insurmountable on the sticky-hot July afternoon at Glenwood’s venerable outdoor courts.
The Bolts did put a scare into their opponents by netting buckets both inside and outside to cut the deficit to 21-18, but a long 3-pointer by former Grand Junction Tiger Nich LeFebre sealed the title and kept KFC undefeated on the day.
The third place trophy at Hoop D’ Ville went to The Toons, a group made up largely of former Rifle Bears as Luis Carreon, Eduardo Ruiz, Fernando Flores, Rodrigo Ibarra, Armando Vasquez, and Ziga Plecnik rounded out the tournament’s podium.
Tournament director Mike Picore will donate all of the proceeds from this year’s event to the improvement and resurfacing of the Sayre Park Courts.
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.