Southmore cheerleaders display welcome signs for schools set to play at their school on thursday. (Back row, left to right) Estefhane Garcia, Evelyn Ibanez, Alexandra Olivares, Amanda Garcia, mascot Gladys Galvan, Jennifer Vargas, Michelle Estrada, Kassandra Hernandez, Brendaly Benavides and Ruby Delao; (front) Marisa Nino, Marisol Gomez, Nallely Rodriguez, Yesenia Rodriguez, Taylor Rodriguez and Nicole Bautista.
Eleven Venues, 84 Teams Part of Tournament Mix
The McDonald's Texas Invitational Basketball Tournament is set to make it a dandy dozen next week when the 12th edition of the state's most star-laden, early-season high school tournament tips off at 11 venues in Pasadena, Houston, South Houston and Pearland.
Four dozen boys teams and an expanded field of three dozen girls teams - the largest participation list to date - will compete in the three-day (Nov. 18-20) tournament.
The championship game in Boys Division I Gold is set for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. in Phillips Field House, adjacent to Veterans Memorial Stadium in Pasadena. The third-place game in Boys Gold is set for 6 p.m. at the same venue.
The championship game in the Girls Division I Gold is set for Saturday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. at Pasadena Memorial High School. The third-place game in that bracket is set for 4:30 p.m. at Memorial High.
This year's field features two reigning state championship teams, the first private school to be invited to the tournament and also the first live TV coverage of the Boys Division I title game outside of the Pasadena area.
The game will be streamed live via the Internet at FoxSports.com.
Both the boys and girls tournaments feature the defending Class 5A state champions from 2009-2010 - Fort Bend Bush on the boys side and Cypress-Fairbanks on the girls side. Several other past state championship programs are also included.
The number of reigning champs was reduced by one when Houston Yates, the Class 4A boys champ, withdrew at the start of the school year. To replace Yates, tournament organizers granted a one-time, private-school exemption and accepted a request by Houston Second Baptist to enter the boys tournament. The participation commitment for Second Baptist also includes the 2011 tournament.
The Second Baptist team features one of the top high school prospects in the nation - junior point guard L.J. Rose, the son of former University of Houston basketball player Lynden Rose.
Second Baptist will open play on Thursday (Nov. 18) in a Boys Division I pool game against Austin Westlake at Memorial High. Tip is 3 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., at the same venue, Second Baptist will take on the state 5A champs, Fort Bend Bush. Both schools will be playing their second game of the day.
Bush opens the tournament at 11:30 a.m. against Westlake, also at Memorial.
On the girls side, state 5A champ Cy-Fair will compete in Division I pool play at San Jacinto Intermediate in Pasadena on Thursday. Cy-Fair will take on Klein Collins in its opener at 11:30 a.m. and play again at 6:30 p.m. against A&M Consolidated.
Both of last year's Gold champions are back in the field.
Bellaire, which claimed the boys title last year with a victory over Westlake, will compete in Division I pool play at South Houston High School. The Cardinals will open against Humble at 11:30 a.m. and double up against Mansfield Summit at 6:30 p.m.
The Mansfield Summit girls, who claimed the title last year with a victory over Cy-Fair, will also compete in pool play at San Jacinto Intermediate. Mansfield Summit will open against Cy-Falls at 10 a.m. and come back against Tomball at 1:30 p.m.
The tournament format is based upon a seeding process that breaks down participating schools into Division 1 and Division 2 groups. After that, three-team pools are formed and pool play is completed on Thursday.
On the boys side, the eight pool-play winners in each division advance to the quarter-finals on Friday. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday night with the consolation, third-place and title games set for Saturday.
On the girls side, pool play will produce six winners. The top two emerging seeds from pool play will receive byes to the semifinals.
Venues and many of the tip times for quarter-final and semifinal games will not be determined until the end of pool play on Thursday.
Scores and information on venues and tip times will be updated on the tournament website -
All boys and girls teams from the five Pasadena ISD high schools - Pasadena, South Houston, Sam Rayburn, Dobie and Memorial - are included in the tournament field. Also participating are Pearland and Pearland Dawson's boys and girls teams, La Porte's boys and girls teams, and the girls teams from Clear Creek and Clear Brook.
Since its inception in 1999, the tournament has generated more than $525,000 for the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation, which is used for various Pasadena ISD grants and projects.
Sponsor commitments for the 2010 tournament are expected to reach $200,000, a increase of at least 10 percent over last year's record
The tournament incorporates the efforts of over 400 volunteers, dispersed at 14 gymnasiums at 11 sites. Twin gyms will be used at Pasadena High, South Houston High and San Jacinto Intermediate.
The gyms at Pearland and Pearland Dawson high schools will also be used.
Tournament organizers are using the intermediate schools to compensate for the loss of San Jacinto College, which could not provide use of its arena because of a scheduling conflict.
Hoop-La 2010, a basketball-theme carnival sponsored by the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation, will be held on Nov. 20 from 3-5 p.m. at Phillips Field House as a prelude to the third-place and championship games in Boys Division I Gold.
The free event will include vendor booths, blow-up games, an interactive game zone and live entertainment.
For additional information on Hoop-La 2010, contact Cindy Parmer, the district's Executive Director for Community Relations, at 713-740-0288, or email email@example.com.
POOL PLAY GAMES FOR PASADENA ISD SCHOOLS
(All games on Thursday)
DOBIE: vs. Dickinson 1:30 p.m., vs. Westside 5 p.m. (both games at Dobie)
PASADENA: vs. Mayde Creek 10 a.m., vs. La Porte 1:30 p.m. (both games at Pasadena)
MEMORIAL: vs. Crosby 10 a.m., vs. Spring Branch Memorial 1:30 p.m. (both games at Memorial)
SAM RAYBURN: vs. Fort Bend Kempner 10 a.m., vs. Dallas Hillcrest 1:30 p.m. (both games at Sam Rayburn)
SOUTH HOUSTON: vs. Cinco Ranch 10 a.m., vs. Sharyland 1:30 p.m. (both games at South Houston.
DOBIE: vs. La Porte 10 a.m., vs. Dickinson 5 p.m. (both games at South Houston)
PASADENA: vs. Houston Madison 11:30 a.m., vs. Kingwood Park 3 p.m. (both games at Pasadena)
MEMORIAL: vs. Brazoswood 10 a.m., vs. San Antonio Madison 1:30 p.m. (both games at Pasadena)
SAM RAYBURN: vs. Clear Brook 10 a.m., vs. El Paso Eastwood 1:30 p.m. (both games at Southmore Intermediate)
SOUTH HOUSTON: vs. Houston Yates 11:30 a.m., vs. Pearland Dawson 6:30 p.m. (both games at South Houston)