Tuesday October 30, 2012

Three Berkshire County basketball teams, including a defending state runner-up, will compete in this year's Hoophall Basketball Tournament.

Western Mass. Division III boys champion St. Joseph's will return to the tournament for the second consecutive year, while Lee's girls are back in the mix for the first time since 2007.

The Lenox boys will be the third team from Berkshire County to be a part of the four-day high school and prep school extravaganza at Springfield Coll ege's Blake Arena. The tournament runs from Jan. 17-21, 2013.

"It's a great opportunity for them to go down there, see some unbelievable high school basketball and to be a part of it," Lenox coach Scott Sibley said.

Lenox and Lee will be part of a four-game opening day. The Millionaires face Smith Academy on Jan. 17 at 5:30, with the Lee girls playing old Central Mass. foe Quaboag at 7 p.m.

The Crusaders, who beat Granby last year, will be the first game on Saturday, playing Capital Prep Charter School of Hartford, Conn.

The game of the weekend involving local teams is the Saturday matchup between Massachusetts and Connecticut state championship runners-up.

Capital Prep lost the Class S title last year. Class S is for schools similar in size to Division III here. The Trailblazers are led by 5-foot-11 point guard Khalil Dukes, who has committed to Southern California.

"Because of our success, they weren't going to have us in a Western Mass.


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matchup," Crusaders coach Paul Brindle said. "It makes you feel like you're in a big-time tournament."

Lenox plays in the tourney Thursday, will face St. Joe's on Friday at the Boys and Girls Club, and the Crusaders will play Capital Prep on Saturday.

Coach Gary Wellington's Wildcats haven't been to the Hoophall since 2007, when they lost to Granby.

"It's especially nice for the seniors who have been with the program for four years," Wellington said. "It's really a nice way for the seniors to go where they have never been."

The Millionaires will play a Smith Academy team that fell in the Western Mass. semifinals to St. Joe's.