Another five prep basketball tournaments are on tap for this week and next throughout the Redwood Empire.
North Bay League and Sonoma County League basketball teams are hosting three tournaments this week, all culminating with championship games on Saturday.
And the NCL’s St. Helena hosts the boys Sutter Home Invitational this week, while their girls host their own Lady Saints Invitational next week.
In Santa Rosa, Montgomery High School hosts the eight-team Russ Peterich Viking Tip-Off Classic, named after the revered Viking coach.
Play tips off Thursday at 4 p.m. with a matchup between McClymonds and Escondido, followed by Monte Vista-Redwood at 5:30 p.m. and Campolindo-Marin Catholic at 7 p.m.
The bracket concludes with the championship at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
First-year coach Zac Tiedeman takes the baton from longtime coach Tom Fitchie, who posted a 21-12 and 12-2 league record last year, sharing the NBL title with Cardinal Newman.
With 10 seniors gone from last year’s team, Tiedeman will showcase his new team in an 8:30 p.m. contest against Eureka.
In Ukiah, the 48th annual Fred Iten Invitational begins with a 3:30 p.m. game between Fortuna and Fremont, followed by Maria Carrillo-San Lorenzo, Ukiah-Fort Bragg and Drake-Hillsdale.
That tourney crowns its champ at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
One of the longest-running girls tournaments in Sonoma County is the Dragon Classic, hosted by Sonoma Valley.
It is also a mix of local and greater Bay Area teams, setting up some quality pre-league competition for the Dragons, the returning SCL champs who finished 22-7 last year, including 11-1 in the league.
“It’s always been a very competitive tournament,” said Dragons coach Sil Coccia. “We’ve had a good array of teams. . . . The teams keep coming back every year because people like coming to Sonoma and we run a pretty decent tournament. They know the competition is pretty keen.”
Last year, the Dragons won their first outright title in more than 30 years. And with 10 returning players — including all five starters — the outlook is rosy.
Competition like Menlo-Atherton, Northgate, Montgomery, Maria Carrillo, Drake and San Marin and Analy will help get the Dragons into playing shape for the SCL, Coccia said.
“Expectations are a lot higher than last year,” Coccia said. “I think we’re the favorite to win the league, but that doesn’t mean anything except that we’ve got a bullseye on our backs now.”
Menlo won the tournament last year, downing the Dragons, 40-23, in the final.
“We’ve won it a couple times and been in the championship game two of the last three years, but come up short,” Coccia said. “We’d like to win our own tournament.”
In St. Helena, the boys tournament includes Lower Lake, John Swett, Piner, Willits, Buckingham Charter, Calistoga, Healdsburg and the host Saints.
The girls tourney welcomes Roseland Prep, Bay School, Lower Lake, Berean Christian, Ferndale, Benecia and El Molino in play that runs Dec. 10-12.
These five tournaments are in addition to Cardinal Newman’s second annual girls tournament, starting Thursday, and the 58th annual Redwood Classic in Boonville, which tips off today.
You can reach Lori A. Carter at 521-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @loriacarter.