Casa Grande High School's Gauchos will be trying to regain the championship of their own Brett Callan Memorial Tournament when they tip-off against Alameda Thursday night in the featured opening night game.
This is the seventh season for the annual pre-holiday tournament named in honor of former Casa Grande basketball star Brett Callan who died as the result of a car crash in July, 2004.
Casa Grande won its tournament for the first time in 2010 behind the play of tournament Most Valuable Player Joey Rodriguez. Last season, the Gauchos finished second, losing in the finals to Cardinal Newman, 45-36.
The Cardinals are not in the tournament thisseason, but there is still a multitude of talent in what figures to be a wide-open field.
Elsie Allen, a prenenial tournament fan favorite for its exciting style of play and gritty determination will open with Windsor, one of the pre-tournment favorites to claim the title, in a 3:30 p.m. game.
The game matches two teams swapping leagues this year. Elsie Allen, along with Piner, has moved from the North Bay League to the Sonoma County League. Windsor has gone in the opposite direction, leaving the SCL, along with Casa Grande, to join the NBL.
Elsie Allen's Lobos come into the tournament with a 3-5 record that includes wins over Colusa, 60-55, Clear Lake, 81-69, and Lower Lake, 82-68.
Windsor is 3-2 with wins against El Molino, 47-33. Rancho Cotate, 51-43, and Elsie Allen, 62-44. The win over the Lobos came last week at Windsor.
The second game on opening night will pair Albany against Fairfield in a 5 p.m. contest.
Albany comes into the tournament with a 3-7 record, holding wins over Sonoma Valley from the SCL, 62-52; Kennedy from Fremont, 59-55, and Tennyson from Hayward, 53-40.