Fifty-one teams, including clubs from Ottawa, Barrie, Sudbury, Montreal and Toronto, are descending on Kingston Friday for the seventh annual Mega Tournament for girls basketball teams hosted by the Kingston Impact.
The visiting teams will be joined in the competition by seven local teams, six from the host organization, as well as the Kingston Cats major bantam team.
It’s the largest field in the history of the event. Forty-four teams participated a year ago, when Impact teams emerged with four medals: two gold, in major bantam AA/AAA and major atom AA/AAA divisions, and two silver, in major atom A/AA, major bantam A/AA divisions.
Tournament chair Chelsea Reynolds said it’s exciting to see such growth in the event.
“We like to think we’ve been doing a good job,” she said, allowing that word of mouth seems to be contributing to that growth.
“People who have had a good experience, as their kids get older, they keep coming back. Others in their organization see that and think, ‘Maybe we should go there, too.’”
Competition will be held in five age groups, in eight divisions, for players in Grades 5 through 12. There are eight venues throughout the city:
• Queen Elizabeth Collegiate, major atom AA/A, eight teams; Kingston Impact plays its first game at 5 p.m. Friday against Arnprior Valley
• Kingston Collegiate, major atom AAA/AA, eight teams; Kingston Impact plays its first game Friday at 5 p.m. against the Goulbourn Hornets
• Frontenac Secondary School, bantam, six teams; Kingston Impact plays its first game Friday at 5 p.m. against Goulbourn
• Sir John A. Macdonald Public School, major bantam AA/A, eight teams; Kingston Impact plays its first game Friday at 5 p.m. against the Prince Edward County Clippers
• La Salle Secondary School, major bantam AAA/AA, six teams; the two Kingston teams, the Impact and Cats, will open the draw at 6:30 p.m.
• Bayridge Secondary School, major midget AA/A division, seven teams, with no Kingston team entered
• Holy Cross Secondary School, major midget AAA/AA division, eight teams; Kingston Impact will play its first game at 5 p.m. against the Naismith Gaels of Almonte
• Ernestown Secondary School, junior, seven teams, with no Kingston team entered.
In all divisions, teams are split into two pools, and each team will play a round robin within its pool Friday night and Saturday with the top teams advancing into medal round games that will be played Sunday.
For a complete schedule, visit the Impact web site, http://kingstonimpact.ca/ and follow the Mega Tournament link.