May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Top five reasons why the Tustin Holiday Classic was so successful

Mission Viejo’s Griff Higgins, the MVP of the Tustin Holiday Classic, brings the ball up Friday night. (Photo: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

There were many well-run, highly successful boys basketball tournaments over the past month run by hard-working, dedicated coaches and volunteers and players who gave it their all from start to finish.

We got to check out the Tustin Holiday Classic last weekend and it looked like one of the best run, most entertaining events.

Here’s five reasons why:

1. The caliber of competition: It was really good, and included two teams ranked in the top 10 in Orange County by the Orange County Register: No. 8 Mission Viejo (the tourney champion) and No. 10 Tesoro. There were some exciting games during the week, including the championship game when Mission Viejo defeated Cajon 79-72. There were several overtime contests and the semifinal games were also fun to watch. The host school Tustin, also won two games in the tourney.

2. The venue: The Tustin High Paviliion is one of the best in the county. It’s spacious with plenty of seating and great for players. Best of all, all the games are at one site. That means starting some of the games at 8:30 p.m., but for basketball fans, that’s OK.

3. The variety of teams: There were three teams from Irvine: Northwood, Portola and Woodbridge and three from Long Beach: Wilson, Millikan and Jordan. And there were two out of area teams, California San Ramon and Squalicom, Wash. That makes it fun for opposing teams to compete against teams from out of the area. Another plus is the traditional 16-team bracket, which is a lot simpler to follow than pool play format tournaments which seem abundant.

4. The tournament program: It’s important for fans to have programs and the booklet, which was free, had every team’s rosters and complete brackets to fans could fill them in as the games were completed.

5. The people who run it: Tustin Coach Ringo Bossenmeyer put in endless hours planning the event along with Gerry Harris of Courtclean and many other volunteers and their hard work paid off in a smooth running tournament. Everyone from the ticket takers to those who helped in the concession stand were helpful and friendly. Public address announcer Keith Martyn always makes Tustin games special too. And players got some very nice championship and all-tournament plaques.

We’re looking forward to the 2020 Tustin Holiday Classic!

RELATED: Mission Viejo tops Cajon in double OT to win title

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone;