It’s tourney time at the Towhees’ nest.
The 47th annual Towhees Invitational goes Jan. 15-17. Joining the hosts are the Highland Raiders of Comox, NDSS Islanders of Nanaimo, South Delta Sun Devils, Kwalikum Kondors of Qualicum Beach, Ballenas Whalers of Parksville, Timberline Wolves of Campbell River, Edward Milne Wolverines of Sooke, Wellington Wildcats of Nanaimo, Ladysmith ’49ers, Dover Bay and John Barsby Blazers of Nanaimo.
Fans can expect to see some high-calibre hoops as 11 of those teams are ranked Top 10 or Honourable Mention on Vancouver Island and in B.C.
Kwalikum is #3 in Island 2A and #10 in B.C,, Nanaimo is #1 in Island 3A and an HM in B.C., Wellington is #3 in Island 3A and HM in B.C.
Riding high in the Vancouver Island rankings are Vanier #3 4A, Dover Bay #4 4A, Ballenas #4 3A, Edward Milne #7 3A, Timberline #10 3A, John Barsby #6 2A, Ladysmith #8 2A and Highland #10 2A.
The action starts Thursday at 3 p.m. with Ballenas taking on Dover Bay. That’s followed by NDSS vs. Ladysmith at 4:40 p.m., Highland vs. John Barsby at 6:20 p.m. and Vanier vs. Edward Milne at 8 p.m.
Friday’s games go at 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.
On Saturday there’s a 9 a.m. game at Highland while at Vanier games go at 8:20 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 1:20 p.m., 3 p.m. 4:40 p.m., 6:20 p.m. and the final at 8 p.m.
When the final buzzer sounds on Saturday there will be a new champion as the Sentinel Spartans are not returning to defend the title they won last year.
The West Vancouver squad defeated North Vancouver’s Handsworth Royals in last year’s barn-burner final. The Towhees, who have won their own tourney nine times, took third place in 2014.
FREE THROWS The Towhees defeated Dover Bay Dolphins 78-75 on Tuesday night in the Vancouver Island North league opener …