By Ray Hamill — The Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament gets under way on Thursday with a competitive field lined up, including four local teams.
And all four local teams open the tournament against out-of-area schools, with the action getting under way at 4:30 p.m.
“I think the out-of-town teams we have are all pretty good, and I think our local teams are pretty good,” Arcata head coach Dusty Scofield said. “Obviously Fortuna is playing well and McKinleyville played in the championship game of their own tournament, so I think it’s going to be a good tournament.”
The Huskies get things started against Montgomery, are are 4-0 after a successful few days at the St. Helena Tournament last weekend and a victory over Lower Lake on Monday.
The high-octane Huskies have been putting up plenty of points early, scoring more than 70 in three of their four wins, with an average wining margin of more than 27 points.
Montgomery was 1-1 going into Tuesday night’s game against Petaluma.
In Thursday’s second game, McKinleyville plays Antioch at 6 p.m., while Arcata plays Red Bluff at 7:30, followed by Eureka (0-3) and Piner (6-0) at 9 p.m.
Arcata is coming off a disappointing weekend at the McKinleyville tournament, where the Tigers were 1-2.
“I thought we played pretty poorly,” new head coach Dusty Scofield said. “We’re adjusting to a new offense, but overall we did not play well.”
The Tigers lost to Casa Grande by 14 in their tourney opener, before defeating Lower Lake 69-56, and then dropping their third game 70-64 to Lincoln in overtime.
This weekend, Scofield will be looking for a better performance, particularly on defense.
“For us, it’s important to just try and get better each day,” the coach said. “And keep working hard. We need to stay after it.
“We need to continue to get better, especially on defense and from a communication standpoint.”
The McKinleyville Panthers, meanwhile, are 2-2 after an impressive showing at their own Rotary Tip-Off tournament over the weekend, reaching the championship game before falling to Division-I Heritage.
Unlike the Tigers, the Panthers were particularly impressive on the defensive side the ball, with a big team performance in the semifinal against Casa Grande.
Eureka, meanwhile, is still without several of its football players, and went 0-3 at the Ukiah tournament last week.
Things won’t get any easier for the Loggers against an undefeated Piner squad to open the AIBT.
For more on the Eureka boys, see Young Loggers getting their chance to impress …