The 43rd Annual Riverside Tournament begins today with first round action starting at 1pm. The largest Southern California Junior College tournament will feature 13 Southern California teams, 2 Northern California teams, and the La Verne University Junior Varsity team. The five day event will feature 6 Southern California Signal The Light Basketball ranked teams and defending state champion Santa Rosa (3-4).
Three ranked teams will be action today as 8th ranked Mt. San Jacinto (8-3) will face Los Angeles Trade Tech (2-5). The Eagles have won four straight games, and five of their last six games. In other action today, 4th ranked East Los Angeles will battle 11th ranked Chaffey. The Panthers will try and get back on track after recent struggles, Chaffey started the season 7-0, before losing three in a row and won two straight last weekend to win the consolation championship at the Mt. San Jacinto tournament. Meanwhile, the Huskies will try and get back on track after losing to Cuesta in the championship of the Citrus Tournament on Novemeber 30th. Other games today will see Los Angeles Pierce (6-5) face Compton (2-3) and tournament host Riverside (3-6) against the La Verne Junior Varsity team. Los Angeles Pierce have lost three of their last four games. In those three losses, Pierce lost to Antelope Valley, San Bernadino and Merritt.
The upper bracket which begins tomorrow is loaded and will have some intriguing first round match ups beginning Wednesday. In what could be a championship match up, 2nd ranked San Bernadino (9-1) will face 10th ranked Antelope Valley. The Wolverines have had one setback this season against Saddleback and this will be a great first round match up. Antelope Valley (6-3) have lost three of their last 5 games, and will look to find a winning recipe against a solid San Bernadino team. The winner of this game has a great chance to advance to the semi finals and could possibly meet 3rd ranked Saddleback. The Gauchos will open up the tournament against Northern California team Contra Costa (2-3) on Wednesday. Saddleback is 9-1, and the Gauchos only loss has been to San Bernadino. Saddleback and San Bernadino have already met twice this season and could possibly meet for a third time in the semi finals. In other action defending state champion Santa Rosa (3-4) will face Citrus in the first round. The winner of that first round match up will face the winner of the Saddleback-Contra Costa game. The Bearcubs are a solid team and two of their four losses have come against the Signal The Light Basketball Southern California top ranked team Mt. San Antonio. The other two losses have been against two Signal The Light Basketball Norcal ranked teams (San Francisco and Marin). Citrus (2-4) has had a competitive schedule as well losing to Mt. San Jacinto, Southwestern and San Diego. In the last first round match up, Fullerton College (1-7) will face Barstow (1-8). Fullerton will look to end a 6 game losing streak when it faces Barstow in the first round. The two teams played last week with Barstow winning the match up 111-83.