Youth basketball tournament tips off Saturday in Craig |

Youth basketball tournament tips off Saturday in Craig

Joshua Gordon

As the collegiate men's basketball postseason tournament gets underway this week, the Moffat County Youth Basketball program will be hosting its own annual competition.

The Yampa Valley Classic youth basketball tournament tips off at 8 a.m. Saturday and continues Sunday, with games taking place at Moffat County High School, Craig Middle School and Sandrock Elementary School.

The tournament is scheduled to include 35 teams from the Western Slope, Grand Junction, Utah and Wyoming.

There will be six divisions — boys and girls sixth-grade teams, boy and girls seventh-grade teams and boys and girls eighth-grade teams.

Moffat County will have seven teams in the six divisions.

Luke Tucker, a board member for the youth basketball program, said bringing teams in from all over provides new and exciting competition for Craig teams.

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"The tournament gives our teams an opportunity to see teams they don't usually see during the season, " Tucker said. "The Grand Junction teams bring in higher quality basketball and good competition that our players can learn from by playing those teams."

Each team is guaranteed three games, with Sunday consisting of a single-elimination tournament to crown a champion in each division.

Games consist of two 20-minute halves.

Tucker said he expects about 48 games to take place on Saturday alone.

Last year, the tournament brought in more than 40 teams, but Tucker said 35 is about the maximum with the gym space available this year.

The Craig teams travel around the state to play in tournaments, so Tucker said it's nice to have a local tournament the kids can compete in.

"I think the other teams really enjoy our tournament and I think that is reflected in the participation we get every year," he said. "I think the tournament is ran very smooth with the refs, time keepers and gate keepers we have and it seems to always be very successful."

Besides the competition level, Tucker said the tournament size is a great economic boost for the city.

"We have about 28 to 30 out of town teams with about 300 to 400 visitors staying the night here," he said. "They have to get a room and they eat at our restaurants and hopefully going bowling or something like that.

"I think this tournament is one of the best reasons for people from out of town to come enjoy our town."

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If you go…

What: Yampa Valley Classic youth basketball tournament

When: 8 a.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. Sunday

Where: Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane; Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave; and Sandrock Elementary School, 201 E. Ninth St.

— Admission is $5 for adults

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