Prep basketball season kicks off with Native American Classic tonight in Havre, as well as tournaments in Big Sandy and Chester this weekend
High school wrestling got started last weekend. Now, it’s basketball’s turn to heat up. And nowhere will the start of the high school basketball season be more prevalent than in Havre and on the Hi-Line.
Three high school basketball preseason tournaments will be held in the area starting tonight and running through Saturday night, marking the beginning of a brand new season of boys and girls hoops.
The Native Amercian Classic, held annually at the Armory Gymnasium, kicks off the action tonight with a local doubleheader between Harlem and Box Elder. The NAC will see three games tonight, followed by eight games on Friday and eight more and Saturday. Local teams Harlem, Box Elder, Rocky Boy and Hays-Lodge Pole will all play two games over the weekend, while Kainai, Alberta, and Class B Poplar will also be in attendance. Poplar is a new addition to the event.
The NAC is annually one of the most exciting, and well-attended, preseason tournaments, and fans will get a real treat on Saturday night when Rocky Boy and Box Elder meet in a boys matchup at 8:30 p.m. The game will pit perhaps one of the top teams in Class B against one of the top teams in Class C, and it also renews an old rivalry. Box Elder and Rocky Boy were once District 9C foes, but now the two teams, separated by just six miles, play only once, and it’s always at the NAC.
But Havre won’t be the only hoops hot spot this weekend.
The annual Big Sandy Preseason Tournament runs Friday-Saturday, and will feature 9C powers North Star and Chinook, as well as the host Pioneers. All three 9C boys and girls teams will get two non-conference games in Big Sandy, while the likes of Power, Roy-Winifred and Stanford-Geyeser-Denton, will also be in the field.
Chester will also be busy this weekend. The C/J-I Preseason Tournament has been a big event over the years, and will be again Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The tournament will give the host C/J-I Hawks teams two games each, but it will also feature other schools kicking off their season, including Helena Christian, Geraldine, Fort Benton, Centerville and Valier. The unique part of the C/J-I tourney is its using two sites, as all of the school’s with junior varsity teams will also get two games each throughout the weekend.
This weekend also marks the start of the basketball season for the Havre Blue Ponies. Both the HHS girls and boys are in action Friday night in Malta, while the Pony girls make their home debut against CMR Saturday. The HHS boys travel to Great Falls to take on the Rustlers Saturday afternoon.