Winning Touch: 72nd Kendall Arnett Will Feature Seven That Have Winning RecordsBy: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
Eight varsity boys basketball teams – seven with winning records thus far early on in the 2012-13 season – make up the field for the 72nd Kendall Arnett Tournament which wil be held Dec. 27-29 at Placer High.
The tournament, one of the longest continuing running prep tournaments in the state, will feature six returning squads – Placer, Colfax, Bear River, Woodcreek, San Juan and defending champion Del Campo. They will be joined by tournament newcomers Union Mine and El Camino.
The varsity division of the tournament will open on Dec. 27 with these first round games:
3:30 p.m. – Union Mine (4-2) vs. El Camino (6-4) –
The Diamondbacks from the Sierra Valley Conference, coached by longtime foothills area mentor Mike Verbitsky (El Dorado, Ponderosa, Golden Sierra) take on the Eagles from the Capital Athletic League. One of El Camino’s wins this season is a 61-54 decision over Bear River.
5:00 p.m. – Bear River (7-1) vs. Woodcreek (5-6) –
Bear River will enter the tournament with 6-6 Justin Beskeen as one of the top scorers (23.5) in the Sacramento area. Playing without Beskeen last Saturday, the Bruins still had enough firepower to defeat Bradshaw Christian and win the Viking Classic at Victory Christian. Woodcreek, meanwhile, was one of the tournament surprises a year ago and return standouts Noah Blackwell, a sophomore guard, and Tyler Milani, a senior forward.
6:30 p.m. – Colfax (9-2) vs. Del Campo (7-3) –
Perhaps the night’s most attractive match-ups pairs the Falcons, who are coming off last week’s tournament win at the Les Curry Invitational at Davis, and the Cougars who won the Maverick Classic at Mesa Verde. Del Campo is led by the one-two punch of 6-4 junior wing Vince Saraba (21.3) and 6-7 post player Semir Cahtarevic (15.0).
8:00 p.m. Placer (6-2) vs. San Juan (5-4)
The Hillmen are off to a strong start with their losses coming only at the hands of talented foes in the form of Enterprise and Kennedy of Sacramento. Coach Mark Lee’s squad has used a balanced offensive approach following the scoring of Isaiah Pineiro, Peter Kean, Michael McNamara and Jordan Tucker. San Juan has been competitive in all of its games this season including a four-point loss to Bear River. Top player for the Spartans is guard Lincoln Gallegos who is scoring at 15.5 per game.