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That's right, the San Pedro Pirate Shootout Tournament is back for a fifth straight season.
Also for the first time since 2008, there will be a new champion, thanks to reigning three-time champion Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates dropping out of the tournament, along with five other schools. This recent drop of schools have narrowed the tournament field down from 16 schools to ten, so the first three days of this four-day tournament will be all pool play games.
San Pedro, currently on a 9-2 start after a strong showing in the Hoover High Tournament in Fresno, is the host school of the tournament, but in-city neighbor Mary Star is also in the tournament.
Rounding out the ten-team field includes South Tahoe of Nevada, South Torrance, who placed third in the tournament a season ago, Gardena, New Millennium of Carson, Venice, South East of South Gate, Rancho Dominguez Prep of Long Beach, and this year's favorite to win the Pirate Shootout... Serra of Gardena.
The Pirates started off strong winning their first nine games, including a 68-56 victory over Washington Union of Fresno in the Hoover Tournament, before dropping their final two games to settle for fourth place. So far, not one particular player has dominated, because they attack their opponents in waves with the likes of senior guards Elijah Gaines, Austin Freitas and Michael Garcia, junior guards Isaac Stell and Zach Foster and junior forward Quincy Thomas.
Mary Star is currently 4-4 this season and will be paced by the likes of junior guard Elijah Davis, senior guard Bryce Cole, sophomore forward Neil Green and senior forward Anthony Camacho.
All the games for all four days (first three are all pool play) are at 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm, 5pm and 6:30pm, and the 6:30 pm game on Wednesday will be a barnburner of a pool play game when San Pedro takes on Serra (6-3 overall), matching up two former Harbor College coaching teammates in San Pedro coach John Bobich, and Serra's Dwan Hurt, both highly established coaches in the South Bay area.
The final day games on Saturday will be for 9th place (12:30pm), 7th place (2pm), 5th place (3:30pm), 3rd place (5pm) and the tournament championship game is set for 6:30pm.
If you love high school basketball, then look no further than the 2012 Pirate Shootout Tournament.
WEDNESDAY 12/26/2012 Pool Play Games
12:30pm - New Millennium vs. Venice
2pm - Mary Star vs. Rancho Dominguez Prep
3:30pm - Gardena vs. South Torrance
5pm - South East vs. South Tahoe (Nevada)
6:30pm - San Pedro vs. Serra