PREP BASKETBALL: Annual Ganskie Invitational Tournament tips off Thursday | TheUnion.com

PREP BASKETBALL: Annual Ganskie Invitational Tournament tips off Thursday

The Bear River girls basketball team will tipoff the Ganskie Invitational Basketball Tournament against Forest Lake Christian at 3:30 p.m., Thursday.

Bear River's annual Ganskie Invitational Basketball Tournament gets underway today, tipping off three days of competitive boys and girls high school hoops action at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium.

The Ganskie Invitational, named after former boys and girls basketball coach and current Bear River athletic director Duwaine Ganskie, held its inaugural event in 2016 and was just a boys tournament. Now, in its second year, the tournament features a boys and a girls slate of games.

"We're totally excited," Bear River head coach Randy Billingsley said about competing in the Ganskie Invitational and in front of a home crowd. "It's always fun to play at home… It's also cool that we can support the boys and they can support us. It creates a little more of a culture at the school."

The tourney follows a round-robin format and will feature boys and girls teams from Bear River, Forest Lake Christian, Golden Sierra (Garden Valley) and Western Sierra Collegiate Academy (Rocklin).

The Lady Bruins (4-3) get things going with a matchup against the Forest Lake Christian Lady Falcons at 3:30 p.m. today.

"I really like the way this team brings energy defensively," Billingsley said of this year's Lady Bruins. "We get a ton of steals. I really like the way they are coming together as a pressing team. That's kind of our identity. I also like the way the seniors have taken ownership of the team."

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The Lady Bruins are led by seniors Katelyn Meylor, Mallory Rath, Kylee Dresbach-Hill, Kayla Toft and Karinne McDonald.

Forest Lake Christian comes into the matchup with a 2-4 record.

The Lady Bruins will also take on Western Sierra at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and Golden Sierra at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Falcons fill out their schedule with a game against Golden Sierra at 3:30 p.m. Friday, and a bout with Western Sierra at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Bear River boys start at 5 p.m. today, facing off with Forest Lake Christian.

Bruins head coach Jeff Bickmore said he has a young team, and likes what he's seen from them so far despite being short several players due to an extended football season.

"This year we are definitely young, we got three sophomores, and only two seniors," he said. "I'm happy with where we are right now, and getting the football players makes a big difference."

Bear River's team went from nine players to 12 this week with the addition of three players that were part of the Bruins football team that made a deep postseason run.

The Bruins are off to a 2-4 start to the season and will be facing an FLC team that is off to a 3-4 start.

Bear River fills out its tourney schedule with a game against Western Sierra at 8 p.m. Friday, and will close the tourney against Golden Sierra at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The Falcons play their second game against Golden Sierra at 5 p.m. Friday, and close with Western Sierra at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Bruins' boys team went 2-1 at the tourney last year, losing to Lindhurst in the first round but finishing strong with wins over Western Sierra and Paradise.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

Ganskie Invitational Schedule

THURSDAY

3:30 p.m. Forest Lake Christian girls vs. Bear River girls

5 p.m. Forest Lake Christian boys vs. Bear River boys

6:30 p.m. Western Sierra girls vs. Golden Sierra girls

8 p.m. Western Sierra boys vs. Golden Sierra boys

FRIDAY

3:30 p.m. Golden Sierra girls vs. Forest Lake Christian girls

5 p.m. Golden Sierra boys vs. Forest Lake Christian boys

6:30 p.m. Bear River girls vs. Western Sierra girls

8 p.m. Bear River boys VS. Western Sierra boys

SATURDAY

11 a.m. Forest Lake Christian girls vs. Western Sierra girls

12:30 p.m. Forest Lake Christian boys vs. Western Sierra boys

2 p.m. Golden Sierra girls vs. Bear River girls

3:30 p.m. Golden Sierra boys vs. Bear River boys

All games played at Bear River’s Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium