Sophomore Tony Besse makes a dunk shot as the SoHi Stars prepare for the Region III Tournament this weekend at SoHi.
The chance to play for the Region III Basketball championship title on your home court is an opportunity that only comes every 8 years. This weekend the Soldotna High School Stars will have the home court advantage as they play host to the 2005 Region III 4A Basketball Tournament at SoHi. "There's absolutely a home court advantage regardless of your seeding at the tournament. Our girls and boys teams will both play the late game the first night, which is a better deal than getting up at 9:00am to play, and there is that home town crowd and familiarity that is a definite advantage," said Mark Tuter, Athletic Director and SoHi coach.
There will be 16 teams battling for the Region Title and one of 3 State Tournament openings for both boys and girls. The 8 schools competing will be Soldotna, Skyview, Kenai, Homer, Kodiak, Wasilla, Palmer, and Colony. The tournament is expected to attract a couple thousand visitors to the local area over the weekend. "You'll have over 300 players and cheerleaders and with family and fans we're expecting well over 2,000 people here over the three days of the tournament," said Tuter. The SoHi coach is excited about how his team is shaping up for the tournament, but is not making any predictions. "It's a wide open tournament, both our boys and girls teams are looking good and working hard and we'll be right in the mix of it, but one thing I will predict is some real fine basketball over the weekend," added Tuter.
Jovi Harp, SoHi senior is ready for Region III Championship play this weekend.
Tickets will be available at the door, and Coach Tuter recommends fans show up early to get the best seating at the championship games. Additional balcony bleachers are being brought in to accommodate the anticipated crowds and make seats available for everyone. Half time shows will feature opportunities for students to win scholarship money and automobile compliments of the tournaments major sponsors Hutchings Chevrolet and Wells Fargo Bank. For more information contact Soldotna High School 262-7411.
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