(University Place, WA) With the Fall sports season now in the rearview mirror and Winter sports underway it is Holiday Tournament time! There are many great basketball tournaments over the holiday break, many out of state and many here at home. They range from a shoot-out format to a small 2-day round robin but few are actual bracketed like a District or State Tournament. One of those bracketed tournaments is the Curtis Winter Classic, a boys 8 team bracket tournament set to be played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

4 games will be played each day with each team getting 3 games. The winner’s on day 1 will meet in the Semi-finals on day 2 while the losing teams will battle in the consolation bracket. The semi-final winners will play for the Classic Championship while the other 6 teams will play for 3rd through 8th places. This is a realistic play-off experience and the Classic has drawn 8 quality programs to come and battle for the Classic crown at Curtis High School.

Eli Sports will be there for all 12 games and so if you can not attend, but we highly encourage you to get to the games when possible, you can watch or listen live through the subscription NFHS network. The cost is just $10.99 for 30-days of full access, this is NOT a pay-per-view and you may cancel at any time. To get to the NFHS landing page to watch live go to our broadcast schedule page where you can see our full line-up of games and start times and there is a link to click to watch live to take you to the correct page to watch or subscribe.

Here is the line-up for Thursday’s opening round with a little preview of each team:

Game 1 4pm Tip-Off

North Kitsap Vikings Head Coach Scott Orness
The 2A Vikings play in the play in the Olympic league and come in with a 3-0 conference record and 6-0 overall with wins over Crosspoint Academy, Sumner, Olympic, Bainbridge, Kelso and Sequim. The high powered NK offense is averaging 83 points a game with 2 games finishing with 93 and 96. The Vikings have been to 5 straight State Tournaments with 2 6th place finishes and winning it all in 2020, the last time there was a State Tournament. This senior dominated team with 6 on the squad is certainly making a case that once again the 2A Title will go through North Kitsap.

Timberline Blazers Head Coach Allen Thomas
The 3A Blazers compete in the South Sound Conference in the Olympia area and are currently 1-1 in conference and overall. The Blazers were nipped by Gig Harbor 73-71 and defeated Yelm 87-60. After advancing to the State Tournament for 6 straight years finishing as high as 4th the Blazers have missed the past 2 tournaments and looking to string some wins together and make another run.

Game 2 5:30pm Tip-Off

Tahoma Bears Head Coach Rick Tripp
The 4A Tahoma Bears play in the NPSL and come into the Classic with a 2-1 record and 2-0 in conference play. The Bears lost their opener in a non-league game to Union 62-55. Tahoma bounced back with league wins over Auburn-Mountainview 85-61 and 61-58 over Kentwood. The Bears are trying to get back to the State Tournament for the 1st time in 24 years. The Bears have only 2 State Tourney appearances in their history in 1997 and 1981 and no placings.

Mt. Spokane Wildcats Head Coach David Wagenblast
The Wildcats are from Spokane and play in the Greater Spokane League. Mt. Spokane is 4-0 so far on the season. The Wildcats have run off 4 straight wins 76-49 over Mead, 64-39 downing Lewis & Clark, a 68-58 win over Central Valley and dismissing Ridgeline 64-21. The Wildcats have only played in 3 State Tournaments and although no top 8 finishes for them their last tournament appearance was the most recent in 2020.

Game 3 7pm Tip-Off

Kentridge Chargers Head Coach Dave Jamison
The 4A Chargers play in the NPSL and are 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in league play. Kentridge began the season with a loss to Issaquah 51-43. Since then they have reeled off 3 straight victories beginning with a 68-45 victory over Graham-Kapowsin. Up next a blow-out win over Kent-Meridian 83-46, the knocked off Auburn-Mountainview 89-49 and most recently cruised past Kentwood 57-36. The Chargers are averaging 72 points per game. Kentridge has made 8 State Tournament appearances since 2006 with a 2nd place finish in 2006 and 2 other top 8 finishes with a 3rd and 6th place trophy.

Curtis Vikings Head Coach Tim Kelly
The Vikings play in the 4A SPSL and roll in with a 2-0 record, 1-0 in league play. Curtis knocked off Bethel 85-37 and took care of Rogers 75-47. The tournament hosts will play these 3 non-league games and then fly to Southern California and play in a 4 day tournament at Torrey Pines between Christmas and New Years. After a 9-year run of State Tournament appearances the Vikings missed in 2019. But during that streak they won it all in 2013 and added a runner-up in 201, a 4th place in 2017 and 5th place trophies in 2016 and 2018.

Game 4 8:30pm Tip-Off

Jackson Timberwolves Head Coach Steve Johnson
The 4A Timberwolves play in the 4A Wesco league and come into this tournament with a perfect 4-0 record. Jackson beat Meadowdale 54-42, Burlington-Edison 79-70, Cascade 95-56 and Marysville-Pilchuck 84-73. Since 1997 the Timberwolves have been to State 10 times with their top finish in 2010 and 2013 with 2nd place finishes. They have also added a 4th and 5th place trophy to their collection. In 2020 they fell short of getting to the Tacoma Dome losing in the Regional round.

Port Angeles Roughriders Head Coach Kasey Ulin
The 2A Roughriders play in the Olympic league and come in with a 2-0 record in non-league play with a tight 61-60 win at Foss followed up by a 92-17 thrashing of North Mason. Port Angeles is looking to get back to the State Tournament for the 1st time in 10 years. The Roughriders last placing was a 7th place trophy in 1997.



By paulb

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