The 2011 West Coast Jamboree is held Dec. 27-30 all around the East Bay. Three BVAL schools – Deer Valley (Gold Division), Liberty (Diamond) and Freedom (Ruby) – serve as tournament hosts.
“Obviously we’re expecting really good competition,” said Deer Valley head coach Mark Hurtado, citing Oak Ridge from El Dorado and Vanden from Fairfield as prime examples. “So far, we’ve played great against our better opponents, and sort of lackadaisical against others. So I’m expecting us to come out hard.”
The Wolverines open play Dec. 27 with a 7 p.m. game against View Park from Los Angeles. The winner of that takes on the winner of the contest between Buena (Ventura) and Washington (San Francisco) in the quarterfinals, while the losers square off in the consolation bracket. Some divisions are scheduled for three days of competition; others four, but all teams play every day, win or lose.
Liberty hosts the Diamond Division, a four-day event. Although the bracket’s composition makes it unlikely, it’s possible that East County fans could see a BVAL preview of sorts in the later rounds, as Heritage plays in that division, along with host Liberty. As reigning champions of the Diamond Division, having beaten Jurupa Valley 56-47 in the finals a season ago, the Lions are also playing for pride.
The Patriots open Dec. 27 at 5:30 p.m. against Kingsburg of San Joaquin Valley. The winner faces the winner of the game between Humboldt County’s Fortuna and Archer from Los Angeles. As in the Gold Division, the losers square off in the consolation bracket.
Liberty is scheduled to open tournament play against Venice from Los Angeles at 7 p.m., immediately following the Heritage game. The winner meets the winner of the game between San Francisco’s Lick-Wilmerding and San Joaquin Valley’s Ripon.
Rounding out the BVAL’s participation is the Ruby Division, which includes host school Freedom plus the Antioch Panthers. The two East County squads play on opposite sides of the bracket, but since the Ruby Division is only eight teams strong, a BVAL preview is not unlikely.
The Panthers take the court Dec. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in a clash against College Park. Antioch then takes on either Encinal of Alameda or Anderson High School from Shasta County.
The Falcons open tournament play with a 6 p.m. game against Pinole Valley and proceed to square off against Albany or Cosumnes Oaks from Elk Grove.
“We’re using this to get different looks than what we normally see,” Hurtado said. “We know very little about our opening opponent and what they’re going to bring.”
Updated schedules and brackets can be found at www.westcoastjamboree.com.