Invitational tournaments prove a hit with pupils

On attack . . . Longford Intermediate player Max Eckhout, 13, dribbles the ball down the court during a game against Gore High during the Gore High School invitational year 9 and 10 basketball tournament held in Gore on Friday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The three one-day invitational basketball tournaments hosted by Gore High School last week were so successful it is likely they will be held again next year, organiser Jack Hilton says.

The first was for senior boys on Monday, the second for year 9 and 10 girls on Thursday and the final one on Friday for year 9 and 10 boys.

Hilton is the school’s sports co-ordinator.

There seemed to be a need to offer basketball as an option while other pupils were away at the secondary schools tournament week, Hilton said.

‘‘We realised we had a lot of students that weren’t going away with teams but were sporty kids.

‘‘We’ve been pleasantly surprised to get the number of entries we did across the week.’’

Twenty-one teams from throughout Otago and Southland took part in the tournaments.

Although its players were younger than the rest of the pupils in the year 9 and 10 tournaments, Longford Intermediate had teams entered.

Feedback from the players and coaches had been very positive, Hilton said.

‘‘Everyone’s loved it.

‘‘It’s been a great day out.’’

The day-long format seemed to suit the schools and was easier to organise as well as being cheaper for teams to take part in, he said.

The teams played four eight-minute quarters.

The event doubled as a fundraiser for the school’s basketball club.

‘‘[Basketball] is probably our biggest growing sport at the school.’’