After a one-week postponement a high school basketball classic hits the quarter-century mark this weekend.
On the heels of the delayed reopening of school’s in Alberta following the holiday break, the 25thannual Knights Classic is back on the docket on Jan. 14-15 at Holy Trinity Academy, just seven days past its originally planned date.
“When the announcement came out that we would be delayed a week and that they would be cancelling diploma exams that really gave us an opportunity,” said Knights head coach Sam Aiello. “Because normally this (Jan. 7-8) weekend is the last weekend that teams can have a tournament because then we’re into our exam break after this, but because diploma exams were cancelled that opened up a few extra weekends.”
With the flexibility of finding a better time to get on the floor through the remaining weekends of the month, the competing teams settled on the Jan. 14-15 timeframe.
“It was a lot of back-and-forth and emails over the last week here just trying to get everybody in,” Aiello said. “We had three potential possibilities and next weekend was the one that worked best for seven of the eight teams.”
An update to Rocky Views Sports Association teams during the week meant the Croxford Cavaliers and Chestermere Lakers had to pull out from the tournament, dropping it to a six-team field.
The field is made up up of the Knights, Foothills Falcons, All Saints, Western Canada, St. Francis and Joane Cardinal-Schubert.
“I hope this week goes well with school back in and we don’t have any major issues or anything and hopefully it will all go well,” the coach added.
“It’s so much stop-and-go, can’t play, can’t do this, can’t do that and that’s hard for our kids. They were pretty excited about our home tournament and when they got the news it was cancelled they were pretty down and now that it’s back up again hopefully it will stay and it’s another weekend for the kids to play and have fun.”
In the opening round, Foothills and All Saints do battle at 3:45 p.m. with the Knights and Western kicking things of at 1:15 p.m. on Jan. 14.
Due to the restrictions on school’s coming out of the holiday break, the teams were not able to hold practices during the first week of the month.
This week it will be about making up for lost time.
“Over the holidays we got in about three times with some practices and now we’ve been off for about 10 days,” Aiello said. “I’m glad we had those three over Christmas and I’m sure (this week) it will be more getting their wind back, getting their lungs back doing lots of movement, lots of drills where they’re getting their wind back under them.”
On day two of the competition, the third-place match is at 3:45 p.m. and tournament championship at 5:15 p.m.
The Knights have won the title six times in the history of the tournament, which was last held in 2020.