Weather delays start of Region 3 boys’ basketball tourneyAfter yesterday’s postponement of the Region 3 boys’ basketball tournament in Jamestown, a tournament official said it will be later this morning before folks find out if Old Man Winter wins out again today.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
After yesterday’s postponement of the Region 3 boys’ basketball tournament in Jamestown, a tournament official said it will be later this morning before folks find out if Old Man Winter wins out again today.
Another round of wind a snow blasted the Jamestown area on Monday, forcing the tournament’s opening round at the Civic Center to be called off. But with a blizzard warning in effect today through 1 a.m. on Wednesday, and with area snow totals associated with the storm predicted to be anywhere between 5 and 10 inches, a tipoff later today hardly seems probable.
“The official word is that we have postponed (Monday), and we are going to make a decision (this morning) on the remainder of the tournament,” Region 3 tournament manager Jim Roaldson said.
If the tournament can’t begin this afternoon, Roaldson said it will more than likely begin at the Civic Center at 3 p.m. on Thursday with the opening four quarterfinal games. On Friday, the two semifinal games would be held, and Saturday would play out with the third-place game and the championship game.
But there will be another pair of activities the tournament would have to work around this weekend. According to Roaldson, the Civic Center is hosting a regional science fair on Friday and a Just For Kix dance competition on Saturday.
Roaldson said working around the science fair shouldn’t be a problem, as it won’t occupy the main floor. But the dance competition, however, is another story.
“We do know the Civic Center itself has another renter on Saturday. The tournament would have to follow (the dance competition) on Saturday, if that is the case,” Roaldson said. “It might go until 6 p.m., but I’m just speculating. We won’t know for sure.”
Regardless of when the Region 3 tournament actually does kick off, the District 5 champion Central Prairie Firebirds will be ready to take the court.
The Firebirds (17-3) won the District 5 crown last Monday at the Civic Center, with a harrowing 66-63 come-from-behind win over the Ellendale Cardinals at the buzzer. Central Prairie’s Nic Moser sank a three-quarter court Hail Mary as time expired to lift the Firebirds to the win.
It was Moser’s third three-pointer in the final 41 seconds of the game.
“We are excited about it, and the communities are excited about it,” Central Prairie coach Paul Erbele said, regarding this week’s Region 3 tournament. “Right now, it’s just the anticipation of getting there. This wait is probably hard on the kids, but we’re looking forward to it.
“How we handle the pressure will be a big key. This will be the first region tournament for any of these kids.”
The Firebirds had been ranked at times this season in the state Class B boys’ basketball poll, and after capturing the district title last week it would be easy to agree that the Firebirds are hungry for more.
But coach Erbele said his team’s first goal of the regional is to clear the first hurdle.
“To get by the first game and play two more nights is our goal,” Erbele said. “We’d like to get to the championship game. You always want a shot at the title.”
The Firebirds will face the South Border Mustangs (9-11), the fourth seed out of District 6, when the Region 3 tournament gets underway. Central Prairie posted a pair of victories over South Border during the regular season, but Erbele explained the Firebirds won’t be looking past the Mustangs.
“They’ve improved a lot throughout the season and are coming to the region with a lot of confidence. They’re playing with a lot of emotion,” Erbele said. “They’re an aggressive team and they can shoot the ball well. They can hit a lot of threes.
“If we do a good job closing out on their shooters, we should do well.”
Whether the tournament is scheduled to start today or on Thursday, it will tip off with No. 1-ranked Linton (20-0), the champions of District 6, facing LaMoure (7-14) at 3 p.m. The second game pits Ellendale (13-9) against Strasburg-Zeeland, the third seed out of District 6.
Kidder County (15-7), the District 6 runner ups, will take on Edgeley-Kulm in the third game of the evening, which will be followed by Central Prairie and South Border.
Kidder County nearly upset the undefeated Linton Lions in the District 6 championship game last week in Napoleon. The Lions hung on for a one-point, 42-41, overtime win.
The Firebirds have split a pair of games against Kidder County this season, proving that year’s Region 3 tournament should be fun to watch unfold.
“The kids had a good week of practice this past week and worked hard,” Erbele said. “They’re ready to go.”
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org