NMBA Bantam, Mini Boys Prepare for BNB Championships
Tryouts. Tournaments. Middle school breaks.
All part of the process.
The process of getting to the final stages of the Basketball New Brunswick championship season.
It's New Brunswick's version of March Madness and it's almost upon the Northside Minor Basketball Association and its den of Lions' teams.
First up are dozens of bantam and mini championship tournaments in numerous divisions.
The bantam Division I boys will be able to stay at home in Fredericton with host YCBC Capitals rolling out the welcome mat for an eight-team tournament that begins Friday, March 14.
An eight-team tournament requires three days of play to ensure crossovers are able to be played with each team playing a single game on opening day.
That single game March 14 is a tough test for the Lions, who will battle the host squad at 4 p.m.
The 5:30 p.m. game pits River Valley of Grand Bay-Westfield against Western Valley and at 7 p.m., it's Kennebecasis Valley playing Riverview. Lancaster of Saint John faces Moncton at 8:30 p.m.
On March 15, the host Capitals play Riverview at 9 a.m. and the Lions play Game 2 against the Slammers from Kennebecasis Valley at 10:30 a.m. The noon tilt puts Moncton and River Valley followed 90 minutes later by Western Valley and Lancaster. NMBA meets Riverview at 3 p.m. to complete its round-robin play. YCBC and KVBA clash at 4:30 p.m. followed by Lancaster and River Valley at 6 p.m. and the final outing has Moncton and Western Valley at 7:30 p.m.
Crossovers and a fifth place game unfold March 16.
There is no seventh place game in the field.
The Lions will get a chance to prepare for provincials this weekend when they hit the Port City for the East Saint John March Madness tournament at Forest Hills Middle School.
NMBA will arrive in East Saint John to play the host Thunder at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Lions are back on court at 1 p.m. against Moncton B to finish round-robin play in the six-team tournament. Crossovers and the fifth place game will be played Sunday, leading to the bronze and gold medal outings.
The mini boys, many of them involved in a provincial championship for the first time, are on the road for their tournament.
The Lions are in Saint John with the Division III event unfolding in Lancaster.
NMBA hits the ground running off the hop, facing the hosts at 10 a.m. East Saint John tangles with Fredericton's YCBC B at 11:30 a.m. NMBA, after its brief break, is back on the court against Riverview at 1 p.m. followed by YCBC and Bath at 2:30 p.m. Riverview and the hosts meet at 4 p.m., and the day is capped at 5:30 p.m. with Bath and East Saint John.
Crossovers are set for 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and the fifth place game goes at noon.
Bronze medal game is at 1:30 p.m. and championship at 3 p.m.
The mini girls, bantam A and bantam B girls will prepare for their BNB bids March 22-23.
Information on those tournaments will be listed following the boys' events.