By Garrett Simmons
Westwind Weekly News
It’s a big weekend in Raymond.
Finally, holiday-break basketball is back in southern Alberta, as the 54th edition of one of the biggest basketball tournaments in the province is set to make its return.
Dec. 27-28, Raymond High School will host the Sugar Bowl Varsity Basketball Tournament.
It has been a long time coming, as COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the 2020 version of the iconic event. Basketball is back in the south in 2021, however, as the Southern Alberta High School Basketball League has commenced, and the final preparations are underway for the Sugar Bowl.
The tournament begins Dec. 27, with games in Pool A and Pool B, which begin bright and early at 10 a.m., when Cardston and Medicine Hat square off in Pool B play. Pool A play begins at noon, when the host Comets take on Cochrane.
Later in the day, Medicine Hat and Foothills clash at 2 p.m. and Lethbridge Collegiate Institute and Cochrane play at 4 p.m. At 6 p.m., Cardston and Foothills take the court before the signature game of the evening, as LCI and Raymond renew acquaintances in an 8 p.m. game. If all goes well for the Comets, and the team goes 2-0 in Pool A, Raymond will play the Pool B champion in next Tuesday’s championship game. Fifth place will be determined at 4 p.m., while the second-place teams in each pool will play for third at 6 p.m.
Tournament tickets are $20 each and went sale to the public on Dec. 13. Payments for tickets can be made by E-Transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All spectators and athletes are asked to adhere to restrictions due to COVID. The Alberta government has granted Westwind School Division permission to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program. Details on Westwind’s REP can be found at http://www.westwind.ab.ca.
On the day of the tournament, fans will need to remember to have a valid Government of Alberta vaccination QR Code or proof of a negative test result from within the last 72 hours.
In terms of league play, local teams will not hit the court again until Jan. 4, when the Magrath Pandas head to Lethbridge to face Catholic Central.
The first boys game of 2022 for the Zeniths will be Jan. 5, when Magrath will host Chinook.
Raymond’s girls team will be in Lethbridge Jan. 5 to face Chinook and will host Cardston on Jan. 11 and travel to Taber Jan. 12 to face W.R. Myers. The Raymond boys will play in Magrath on Jan. 12.