Kirby Mannon Pepsi/Holiday Inn Tournament
Dates: December 15-17
Teams: (2) Fresno (8-3), El Camino (4-7), Shasta (7-5), (5) Cerritos (9-2), (13) Ventura (9-4), Pasadena (5-5), (10) Contra Costa (6-3), (6) Sequoias (7-3)
Matchups: The Kirby Mannon Pepsi/Holiday Inn Tournament will begin on Friday night as four Northern California and four Southern California teams will take part in the event. Four ranked teams from our Signal The Light Basketball rankings will be action this weekend in Visalia California for three days.
In the first game of the tournament at 2pm on, 2nd ranked Fresno (8-3) will face off against El Camino (4-7). The Rams come into the tournament as a possible favorite as Fresno finished in 5th place last week at the Modesto Tournament. Fresno has won four of their last five games and will look to make a semi final appearance with a first round victory over El Camino. The Rams are led by Tyus Millhollin as the sophomore is averaging 13.1 points but the scoring guard has not played the last two games for the Rams. Fred Lavender is averaging 11.0 points and 4.5 rebounds and Tommy Nuno is averaging 10.4 points, 5.9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per contest this season. Georgie Dancer (9.9 points), Drew Cobb (8.9 points), and Jess Spivey (8.3 points) have all contributed for the Rams this season going into first round action. As for the Warriors, El Camino comes into the game scoring 100.3 points per contest so we should expect a track meet. The Warriors have not stopped too many people this season and gave up a season high of 148 points to Antelope Valley earlier in December. El Camino comes into the matchup on a two game wining streak and the Warriors are led by Troy Biglow as the sophomore is averaging 17.4 points per contest this season. Isiah Armstead (14.0 points and 4.3 rebounds), Justin Chambers (12.1 points), Justin Reyes (11.4 points), Tristan Egans (11.1 points), and Omosa Ogunsuyi (10.6 points) are all averaging in double figures for the high scoring Warriors who will look to upset the 2nd ranked Rams in first round action on Friday.
In the second game 5th ranked Cerritos (9-2) will face Shasta (7-5). The Falcons come into the tournament on a two game winning streak and have been a solid team in Southern California all season long. Demetrius Thomas leads Cerritos in scoring as the sophomore is averaging 16.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest this season. Thomas scored a season high of 27 points in his last outing against Allan Hancock and the sophomore has posted five double doubles this season. Keshawn Mack is another Falcon averaging in double figures as the sophomore is averaging 13.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game this season. Jason Carter (9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds), and Riley Hamilton (9.4 points) will both look to contribute against Shasta on Friday night in first round aciton. Shasta has had a season of streaks as the Knights come into the game on a two game losing streak after winning six in a row before that. Four Knights are averaging in double figures led by sophomore Hunter Johnson who is averaging 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds this season for Shasta. Sophomore Blake Trent is another standout for Shasta as the sophomore is averaging 13.4 points a game per contest this season. Kellen Gerig (12.9 points and 6.0 rebounds), and Zach Lowe (12.4 points) are two other players that are averaging in double figures for the Knights this season. The winner of this matchup will face the winner of Fresno and El Camino in first round action.
In other action in Visalia, 13th ranked Ventura (9-4) will face Pasadena (5-5) in first round action. The Pirates come into thee tournament on a two game losing streak after starting the season off winning nine of their first eleven games. Isiah Reyes and Jacob Alonzo have played well for Ventura this season as the guard duo are both scoring in double figures this season. Reyes is averaging 15.3 points and 3.9 assists and the guard lives at the free throw line this season getting to the line 8.3 times per game. Alonzo is averaging 15.2 points per game and the shooter is shooting 43% from behind the three point line this season. John Williams is averaging 12.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest for the Pirates and will look to have a solid game in this first round match up against Pasadena. The Lancers come into the contest with revenge on their mind as Pasadena lost the first matchup against Ventura 92-84 on November 4th. Joe Hampton leads Pasadena in scoring as the Long Beach State committ is averaging 19.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest this season. Hampton has scored 30 points twice this season and been a standout this season. Kyle Mitchell has played well for the Lancers this season as the sophomore is averaging 11.2 points and 6.4 rebounds and is the only other Lancer averaging in double figures this season.
In the finale of the night, 6th ranked Sequoias will host 10th ranked Contra Costa (6-3) in a rematch of two ranked teams within our Signal The Light Basketball rankings. The two teams met on December 2nd and the Comets picked up a 82-75 win over Sequoias. Contra Costa comes into the game winning five of their last six and won the Foothill Tournament last weekend. Jonell Vance, Eric Jones and Isaiah Attles were all named to the all tournament team last weekend and Vance was named most valuable player of the tournament. The 6th ranked Giants come into the tournament losing two of thier last three after starting the season very hot. Sequoias knocked off Fresno and San Francisco in the same weekend but since then has suffered losses on hands of Contra Costa and Diablo Valley. Kody Wilson leads the Giants in scoring as the sophomore is averaging 12.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. Austin Armstead (10.3 points) and Isaiah Johnson (10.0 points) have both picked up their play of late and will look to contribute in first round action. The winner of this matchup will face the Pasadena and Ventura winner as we expect a solid first round match up between two ranked teams within our Signal The Light Basketball Northern California rankings.