The V.V.H.S. Bulldogs will be hosting the seventh annual B.I.T. basketball tournament on Friday and Saturday Dec. 11 and 12. The Dawgs will host Moapa Valley, Enterprise (Utah), Desert Oasis, Shadow Ridge, Bonanza, Kanab (Utah) and Mojave High Schools. Desert Oasis, Moapa and Enterprise have played in all seven tourneys while Shadow Ridge has played in six of them.
Desert Oasis is the returning champion from 2014 and returns four starters from that squad. Leading the Diamond Backs, are Aamondae Coleman who led the D-Backs with a 15.5 points per game (ppg) average plus 10.3 rebounds, Drevin Cannon with a 11.6 ppg average and point guard Taigo Miyano 8.2 ppg plus 3.7 assists per game.
Bonanza, 2014 runner-up, returns three starters from last year’s squad including Jamal Logan who scored at a 19.3 clip, John Holden and Davian Jordan, all seniors.
Shadow Ridge, 2013 champion returns only one starter guard Je’rell Springer who averaged 16 ppg and 10 boards plus returning letterman Marshall Mayfield and Kevin Branch. Despite the lack of returnees Coach Ray Miller is high on his newcomers. New starter James Fuller scored 26 points in a recent win for the Mustangs.
Mojave could be considered the tourney favorite with Shadow Ridge as they return eight lettermen from last year’s squad, including starters Daryl Adams 12.0 ppg plus 6.0 boards, Chrishawn Thomas 8.0 ppg plus Lamaja Cunningham 7.0 ppg.
Not much is known about the Utah small schools Kanab and Enterprise except for the fact that they are always well-coached and well-disciplined and play control tempo basketball.
Moapa Valley has dropped three games to begin the season including a 96-57 loss to tourney participant Shadow Ridge. Returnee Jay Mortensen had 25 points to lead the Pirates.
The host Virgin Valley will put a small team on the floor led by seniors Zach Barnum and Marcus Saunders. Saunders led the Dawgs with a 10.8 ppg average and Barnum finished the season at 6.4 ppg but hit for 25 points in the season opener at Faith Lutheran. Also returning, are point guard Jarret Tietjen and Hogan Fowles. The lack of offensive board play will hinder the Dawgs in the tournament. Coach Sean FitzSimons seems to always have a surprise for the visiting big schools in this tournament. Let’s see if he can pull another rabbit out of his hat.
The top game of the opening day Friday at 7:30 is the match between Shadow Ridge and Mojave High Schools. See bracket below for all games.