Eight teams will vie for the title at the 32nd annual Bob Hagen Memorial boys basketball tournament, which is hosted by Gilroy High and kicks off Thursday afternoon.
Christopher, San Benito, Pioneer, Harbor, Alvarez, Live Oak, the Mustangs and defending champion Aptos are in this year’s field.
“It’ll be a competitive tournament,” GHS head coach Matt Tait said. “The teams are all pretty level so the games should be good throughout.”
The Mustangs have scuffled out of the gates, losing four of its first five contests, including a 47-38 defeat at Oak Grove and a 59-50 loss at North County last week.
The two local teams – GHS and CHS – are on opposite sides of the bracket, so a matchup between the squads would only take place in the finals or in the consolation final, which are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.
If that doesn’t happen, there is always Dec. 21 when the Mustangs and Cougars square off at GHS.
But back to the tournament, for now.
At the previous five Hagen’s, the Mustangs have a combined 11-4 record. Gilroy last won its home tournament in 2006.
Last season, the Mustangs sandwiched a loss to Aptos with victories over Live Oak and Pioneer.
“We had four starters out last week,” Tait said. “They should all be ready to go by Thursday.”
– Thursday’s first-round games are scheduled as follows: Christopher vs. Alvarez, 3:30; Aptos vs. San Benito, 5; Live Oak vs. Gilroy, 6:30; Pioneer vs. Harbor, 8.