What's that you say? Alaska's Class 3A and 4A high school basketball teams have packed up for the season, but you're not quite ready to to trade gym shoes for waders?
Well, has District 3/2A got a deal for everyone going through basketball withdrawals -- four days and nights of action-packed hardcourt hoopla kicking off today at Cook Inlet Academy on Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna.
But wait, there's more.
If four days of double-elimination tournament play isn't enough, the field of eight boys teams and eight girls teams will be whittled down, giving the last two teams standing in each bracket a trip to the Alaska School Activities Association State 2A Basketball Championships next week at Service and East high schools in Anchorage.
In the girls bracket, the top-seeded Ninilchik Wolverines take on the No. 8 Unalaska Raiders at 4:30 p.m. today.
The No. 4 Bristol Bay Angels tip off the tournament against the No. 5 Lumen Christi Angels at 10:30 a.m., the No. 2 Seldovia Sea Otters face the No. 7 Community Christian School Knights at 1:30 p.m. and the host Cook Inlet Eagles, ranked No. 3 in the district, face the No. 6 Nikolaevsk Warriors at 7:30 p.m.
The Wolverines also draw the top seed in the boys bracket and will play No. 8 Unalaska today at 6 p.m.
No. 4 Lumen Christi faxes No. 5 Nikolaevsk at noon, No. 3 Seldovia plays No. 6 Community Christian School at 3 p.m. and the No. 2 Cook Inlet boys play No. 7 Bristol Bay at 9 p.m.
Play in the consolation bracket begins at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, though the prize is no small consolation -- teams still have a shot at a berth in the state tournament even if they lose on the first day of competition.
The road does get harder, though. While the district champion will be crowned Friday and will have played just three games, the runner up will have to play at least four games and as many as five games -- two on Saturday -- to stay alive for the big dance next week in Anchorage.
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