Courting on summer nights
The Hoops d’Ville 4-on-4 Night Tournament hasn’t been around as long as its older 3-on-3 sibling, but it seems to be taking center stage in organizer Mike Picore’s summer basketball series.”I think it’s kind of evolved that this is the big tournament to win. At least I’m going to say that, since we won last year,” joked Picore, who started with the first 3-on-3 tourney in 2000.In last year’s inaugural night 4-on-4 tournament, Picore’s squad, now known as the Tighty Whities, downed the Lost Planet Airmen in the title game. The Whities consist of brothers Nick and Chris Hoffmeister, Picore and his brother Jared, Daniel Koski and Judah Legge.The Airmen enter as another favorite with Paul Caine, John Doose, Mike Vidakovich, Jason Rand, Dorian McClelland and Mike Shubert. The Airmen have dominated the 3-on-3 version of the tournament, with titles the past three years, including a championship earlier this summer. Unlike the 3-on-3 halfcourt event, Saturday’s action features four players on each team playing a full-court game on the Sayre asphalt. Each team can have up to six players on the roster.”Everyone’s kind of getting their good team for this one,” Picore said. “You can have six players, so you can kind of get a couple more of your good friends.”Players are coming from as far as New York, Phoenix and Wyoming, said Picore, saving their air miles for the 4-on-4 tourney instead of the 3-on-3.”If they have to pick one they pick (the 4-on-4 tourney),” Picore said. “It’s the cooler part of the day and it’s at night, which is the traditional time of playing at Sayre.”Along with the Airmen and Whities, a couple of teams from Grand Junction and a couple of teams made up of current or recently graduated prep players are also rumored to be entering the tournament. And the young legs could be the difference in the full-court version.”They are in a little better shape than most of the people,” Picore said.The championship games are at night, but teams will have to get through the early rounds during the heat of the day. The tournament starts at 1 p.m. There is a quick break for the slam-dunk contest at 6 p.m., then the later rounds. The tournament should wrap up at around 9:30 p.m.Legge has claimed the slam dunk title four times and is the favorite to win again if he enters. Last year’s champion, Bryan Pyland, won’t be participating this year.
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.