Richmond’s senior boys basketball teams return to work next week with an early January schedule focused on tournament play.
No team will be busier than the McNair Marlins.
Thanks to a December trip to Hawaii, the 1-1 Marlins have some catching up to do with their league schedule. They have a key tilt at Hugh Boyd (2-2) Monday night, then host Burnett (0-4) on Tuesday. It’s then off to St. Thomas More for another four games in as many days at the renowned 54th annual Chancellor Tournament.
McNair will take on the host Knights on Wednesday for a noon tip-off in what for certain will be an electric atmosphere in front of a packed pro-STM gym. Joining them at the 16-team tournament are the Steveston-London Sharks and McMath Wildcats.
The Sharks will open play against Fleetwood Park. They are also getting ready for their own Bob Carkner Memorial Classic, slated to start Jan. 17.
The Wildcats will open play against No. 9 ranked Rick Hansen Hurricanes of Abbotsford on Wednesday morning.
The Chancellor is loaded with ranked schools including the top three 3A teams — Byrne Creek, North Delta and Charles Tupper.
Meanwhile, the MacNeill Ravens will be looking for another tournament win when they head to the Bulldog Classic at Churchill, starting Thursday.
The No. 10 3A ranked Ravens are coming off tourney victories last month at John Oliver and New West. They will open against Lord Byng in an eight team event that also includes Point Grey, Pinetree, Killarney, Seaquam, 4A honourable mention Heritage Woods and the host Bulldogs
The 3A honourable mention Richmond Colts take momentum to the Claremont Spartan Classic in Victoria after their impressive second place finish last month at Burnaby South — knocking off the 4A No. 1 ranked host Rebels in the semi-finals.
The tournament is a round-robin format with the Colts scheduled to play Dover Bay, Cowichan and defending 2A champion Brentwood over the three days.
In league play, the Ravens (4-0) and Sharks (3-0) are the city’s two remaining unbeaten teams and slated to meet Jan. 28 at Steveston-London. Cambie (3-1), Richmond (2-1) and McMath (2-1) are lurking.
After some controversy the past couple of seasons, next month’s city championships will feature the top eight teams in the final standings, regardless of what tier (based on school size) they play in. The Sharks will be hosting this year’s tournament.