Tim Martinez: We've managed to fill out the holiday brackets

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I have to admit I'm pretty proud of myself right now.

You see, it's my job here to let you know what high school sporting events are happening during the week and when and where they will occur.

But every year at this time, it's a challenge because so many basketball teams are participating in holiday tournaments.

That's because most schools when they release their winter sports schedules will simply list the tournament and dates that their basketball teams will be playing. For example, the Prairie boys basketball schedule reads "Dec. 27-29, Surf 'n Slam Tournament."

It doesn't state when the Falcons will play or against whom. Heck, it doesn't even say WHERE the Surf 'n Slam Tournament is at.

And that's because pairing for these tournaments aren't set when winter sports schedules are released in November. The tournament directors are often juggling their brackets up until a few weeks before their tournaments. Once they have the schedule set, they let their participating teams know.

The problem is that the participating teams don't always pass that information on down to the local media.

But luckily, through the magic of a thing called "the internet" I was able to track down the tournament schedules for every Clark County basketball playing this week.

You see, more and more tournament directors are figuring out that if you want people to attend your event, it may be a good idea to post their game schedules and brackets on the internet so fans can plan to watch their favorite team by spending money on tickets at their tournaments.

Yeah, I know, weird, right?

Now some of the these holiday tournaments aren't traditional bracket tournaments. You know, those are the ones in which you play a first-round game and your second-round opponent won't be known until the first-round games are played.

At other tournaments, teams will travel to a site and play two or three games against a predetermined opponent at a predetermined time. And there is not a championship game, per se. It's just a chance for different teams from around the state or region to get together and play some games.

Boys basketball

Columbia River: The Chieftains get a big challenge by playing in the Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High in Hillsboro, Ore., Wednesday through Saturday. The Chieftains open with a 4 p.m. game against Century of Hillsboro.

Battle Ground: The Tigers will travel to Gillette, Wyo., to take part in the Energy Classic, which annually draws Clark County teams to participate. The tournament runs Thursday through Saturday. The Tigers open against Davis High of Kaysville, Utah, at 9:15 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday.

Skyview, Evergreen: The two 4A Greater St. Helens League rivals will play in the Barlow Trail Tournament at Barlow High in Gresham, Ore., Thursday through Saturday. Skyview opens against Service (Alaska) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by Evergreen vs. Aloha (Ore.) at 5:30 p.m.

Union: The Titans will play in Tournament of Champions, Thursday through Saturday at Franklin High in Seattle. Union opens against Lakes of Lakewood at 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

Prairie: The Falcons play in the aforementioned Surf 'n Slam Tournament. To be precise, the Falcons will play in the Slam Division of that event, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at Mission High in San Diego. Prairie opens against Willow Glen (Calif.) at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Mountain View: The Thunder will play in the Archbishop Murphy Tournament Thursday through Saturday in Everett. The Thunder open against Shorewood at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

King's Way Christian: The Knights will play in the Regis Holiday Tournament on Thursday and Friday in Stayton, Ore. The Knights will face Pleasant Hill (Ore.) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Hockinson, Ridgefield: The Hawks and Spudders are playing in the SunDome Shootout, a non-bracket event on the floor of the Yakima facility that will host 2A and 1A state tournaments in a couple of months. On Friday, Ridgefield will face Seattle Christian at 3 p.m., while Hockinson meets Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Ridgefield meets Seattle Academy at 10:30 a.m. and Hockinson plays Bellevue Christian at 1:30 p.m.

Girls basketball

Prairie: The Falcons, always looking for a challenge, will play in the Energy Classic in Gillette, Wyo. Prairie will open against Lynwood (Calif.) at 11 a.m. Pacific Time on Thursday.

Camas: The Papermakers play in the Nike Interstate Shootout at Lake Oswego (Ore.) Thursday through Sunday. Camas' opener will be at 10 a.m. Thursday against West Salem, Ore.

Mountain View: The Thunder girls also will be at the Archbishop Murphy Tournament in Everett where they will open against Post Falls, Idaho, at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

Skyview: The Storm will play three predetermined foes as part of the Snohomish Tournament: Issaquah at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Stanwood at 5:45 p.m. Friday and Jackson at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Heritage, Battle Ground: Both 4A GSHL rivals will face Mark Morris and Kelso at the Mark Morris Tournament. Battle Ground plays Kelso at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by Heritage vs. Mark Morris at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Heritage meets Kelso at 5:30 p.m. and Battle Ground meets Mark Morris at 7 p.m.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.