The field has been set for the 2020 Snowball Classic, and a California favourite is returning to Abbotsford for the 60th annual event.
The Rolling Hills Prep Huskies are back in the mix, and are aiming to avenge their elimination in the 2017 semifinal game.
The Huskies were upset by the Kelowna Owls 104-92 in that year’s semifinal on Jan. 14, 2017. The Walnut Grove Gators took home top prize in 2017, beating the Owls 90-84 in the tournament final. The same two teams also met in the 2017 4A provincial final, with the Gators again coming out on top.
Kelowna is another of the announced teams for the 2020 tournament, which runs from Jan. 15 to 18 at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Rolling Hills is currently 8-0 overall this season and ranks 78th in California and 483rd overall in the country. The Huskies have outscored the opposition 578-255 in those eight wins.
Abbotsford teams will also be heavily represented at the event, with host Panthers, the Yale Lions, MEI Eagles and Robert Bateman Timberwolves all competing.
Five of the top-10 4A senior boys basketball teams will also be hitting the floor, including the Centennial Centaurs (#1), the aforementioned Kelowna Owls (#2), the Burnaby South Rebels (#3), the St. George’s Saints (#7) and the Panthers (#9). Burnaby South fell 95-77 to Mt. Vernon in the 2019 final.
The Heritage Woods Kodiaks, a current 4A honourable mention, have also been invited. The Sir Charles Tupper Tiggers (ranked seventh in 3A) and the G.P. Vanier Touhees will also be competing.
The tournament opens on Jan. 15, with the lone game featuring the host Panthers taking on their cross-town rivals from Bateman.
MEI opens on Jan. 16 at 9 a.m. against St. George’s, and Yale begins the tournament against G.P. Vanier on Jan. 16 at 10:45 a.m.
Teams with first-round byes are Centennial, Burnaby South, Kelowna and Rolling Hills. Kelowna and Rolling Hills will meet again in the semifinal if they both win their first games on the evening of Jan. 16.
Semifinal games occur on Jan. 17, with the final scheduled for Jan. 18 at 8 p.m.
For more information on the tournament, visit snowballbasketball.com.