The 43rd annual Baron-Optimist Holiday Classic (girls and boys teams) and 24th annual Spartan Classic (boys only teams) are now in the books. It was an exciting four days of competition that wrapped up last Saturday — and a rewarding one, at that.
Besides offering local and out-of-area teams a chance to partake in some holiday hoops action, both tournaments also serve as fund-raisers — the Baron-Optimist tourney for Bonita Vista High School’s boys and girls basketball programs and the Spartan Classic for Chula Vista High School’s hoops program.
“Our whole goal is to generate funds for the kids,” Bonita Optimist Club President Buffy Parker said. “We’re all about it for the kids.”
The Optimists donated $3,000 to the BVHS programs in 2011. Tournament director Michael Parker said a similar amount is likely to be donated from the 2012 event, though exact figures are yet to be announced.
Both hoops tourneys started Dec. 26 and wrapped up with championship games on Dec. 29. Action was continuous on both sides of Chula Vista.
The Baron-Optimist event featured eight girls teams and five boys teams; the Spartan Classic included 12 boys teams.
South County teams generated quite a bit of success heading into the new year at both tourneys.
Chula Vista’s girls team finished third in the Baron-Optimist field after defeating Alhambra (Ariz.) 56-38.
Bonita Vista finished fifth in the same field after defeating Mesa League rival Hilltop by a 53-32 score.
Southwest finished eighth in the Baron-Optimist girls field following a 44-5 loss to Morse.
Brittania, hailing from British Columbia, Canada, topped Scripps Ranch, 42-33, to win the girls championship title.
A scheduling quirk landed Morse’s junior varsity team in a pool play pairing against Bonita Vista’s varsity squad. The result was a lop-sided 65-0 Baron win.
The Baron-Optimist tourney featured an enhanced boys field this time around, with Grossmont Valley League rivals Monte Vista and El Cajon Valley squaring off in the championship game.
Monte Vista prevailed 63-59.
Bonita Vista and Mar Vista both finished with one victory along with Gompers.
ECV lit up the Barons’ gym in a 77-53 victory against Bonita Vista on Dec. 26 as Braves senior guard Loqman Sulyman sank 13 three-point shots. The El Cajon team jammed in 15 treys altogether.
The boys field was a bit deeper at the CVHS tourney, with Vista defeating Grossmont, 49-38, to win the championship title.
The Spartan Classic field also featured prominent San Diego Section teams in Helix, San Diego, Point Loma and Central Union as well as out-of-towners Deer Valley (Ariz.), Huntington Park and Santa Ana Valley.
Four teams were 2-0 after the opening two days of competition: Vista, Grossmont, Helix and Central Union.
The host Spartans finished 2-2.
“The tournament was very even as far as all the teams went,” CVHS coach Garrard Galvan explained. “It’s not the largest tournament in San Diego but it’s a good competitive tournament with a good mix of teams.”
The Spartans’ Richard Walker earned selection to the all-tournament team.
43rd Baron-Optimist Holiday Classic
•Brittania (Canada) 42, Scripps Ranch 33
Note: Brittania finishes 4-0
•Chula Vista 56, Alhambra (Ariz.) 38
•Bonita Vista 53, Hilltop 32
•Morse 44, Southwest 5
•Bianca Uriarte (Alhambra)
•Brittany Garare (Hilltop)
•Christina Labar (Southwest)
•Ashley Quidolit (Bonita Vista)
•Kira Dossenberry (Scripps Ranch)
•Anessa Wolfblack (Chula Vista)
•Angelica Wilson (Morse)
MVP: Ashley De la Cruz (Britannia)
•Monte Vista 63, El Cajon Valley 59
Note: Monte Vista finishes 4-0
•Justin Brandy (Monte Vista)
•Landon Clark (Mar Vista)
•Clayton Keomanivong (Gompers)
•Dejuan Owens (Bonita Vista)
MVP: Andre Nikita (El Cajon Valley)
24th Spartan Classic
•Vista 49, Grossmont 38
Note: Vista finishes 4-0
MVP: Hakim Arnold (Vista)