Brentwood set to host annual tip-off basketball tournament
By: Ray Fisher
Friday, November 30, 2018 | 6:33 PM
It has become a time-honored tradition at Brentwood High School.
The Brentwood High Athletic Boosters’ annual tip-off basketball tournament will take place Friday and Saturday (Dec. 8-9) at both the Brentwood high school and middle school gyms.
The boys tourney consists of Brentwood, Carrick, Northgate and Propel Montour. The girls field includes Brentwood, Northgate, Steel Valley and West Mifflin.
Tickets will be available at the door at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.
Brentwood (girls) and Carrick (boys) are defending tournament champions.
“Last year was one of our highest-attended tournaments in recent memory,” said Bob Bauer, BHAB president. “In fact, during the 8 p.m. Friday game, we needed to stop selling tickets due to hitting maximum capacity in the gyms. It was a lot of fun.
“With the great turnout from last year, we expect the same for this year if not better.”
Friday’s first-round schedule is as follows:
• At 6 p.m., the Brentwood and Northgate girls will play in the high school gym. The Carrick and Propel Montour boys will play in the middle school gym.
• At 8 p.m., the Brentwood and Northgate boys will play in the high school gym. The Steel Valley and West Mifflin girls will play in the middle school gym.
The following day, the girls consolation game will be held at 1 p.m., followed by the boys consolation game at 3 p.m.
The girls championship game will take place at 5 p.m.; the boys championship game will start at 7 p.m.
All games Saturday will be held at the high school.
“The tournament has some of the same teams as we’ve had in the past along with some newer teams, which should bring a lot of excitement,” Bauer said. “The tournament brackets are balanced with any one of the eight teams being able to win the championship. Every game should be competitive.
“Past tournaments have included a number of overtime games and buzzer-beaters. We hope to pack the gyms once again.”
The Brentwood girls have won five consecutive tournament titles, defeating Brashear, Carlynton, Avonworth (twice) and Beaver Falls in the five championship games.
The Spartans beat Beaver Falls, 59-44, in the 2017 championship game, and went on to rack up an 18-8 overall record.
Brentwood’s Morgan Dryburgh was dominant as a senior forward last year, netting 39 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in the two-day event.
Dryburgh was named MVP of the girls tournament, and was joined on the all-tournament team by two other Brentwood players — guard Anna Betz and forward Rebecca Dirling. Betz and Dirling are seniors in 2018-19.
“The Lady Spartans had a terrific season last year and went to the second round of the PIAA playoffs,” Bauer said. “Expectations are high for this year’s squad, as well. Even though they have some key personnel losses, they have a strong group of players who are returning and are very experienced.
“Coach (Rachel) Thomas and her staff will have these ladies focused and prepared for this tournament and the upcoming season.”
Carrick captured the 2017 boys tournament title with a 70-56 victory against Steel Valley. The Raiders were led a year ago by senior forward Ernie Howard and junior guard Vernon Washington, who scored 30 points apiece.
Howard was named MVP of the boys tournament. Along with his point total, he grabbed 28 rebounds, dished out three assists and had three steals.
Washington joined Howard on the all-tournament team, as did Brentwood’s C.J. Ziegler, a junior guard this year.
“The Spartans are coming off an 8-13 season in which they made the (WPIAL) playoffs with a close loss to Washington in the first round,” Bauer said. “As the season went on, the team improved dramatically and that is credit to coach (Dan) Thayer and his staff.
“The players who are returning saw significant playing time last year and should be ready to build upon what they started last year.”
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.