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CHS junior Kameron Stelzriede hangs on to the ball struggling for a spot under the basket. Photo by Mari Erin Roth

Volcanoes host Mountain Pride Tournament

Chester basketball hosted a boys and girls tournament for visitors from Big Valley, East Nicolaus and Burney over the days of Dec. 12 through 14. The tournament was organized with ladders displayed in multiple locations by team, listing challengers with regular updates posting scores. The event was fan-friendly as were the hosts in Chester. A list was posted of housing provided for the visiting team members as well. The Volcano parents really stepped up.

Spartans 62, Volcanoes 42

The Chester boys were up against some tough competition as they took on their first challengers, the East Nicolaus Spartans. The game started at 8:30 p.m., but the parking lot was full and so were the Volcano bleachers. The Chester boys got a good warm up as the Spartans made a regular habit of stealing the ball and picking up practically every rebound of any missed Volcano shots.

The CHS team rallied and kept pace with the team of consistent Spartans, which held fans in their seats for the length of the game.

Battle-tested seems to be the method first year head basketball coach T.J. Ragan is aiming for with the Volcano boys. The tough skills of the invited teams will surely tune up the CHS team. Many players on the Chester basketball team are members of the 2019 undefeated Northern Section Championship Volcano football team, so they know each other well, and they know their coach.

The Vols played the Big Valley Cardinals the second night of the tournament, again the last game of the evening, 8 p.m. The tough Burney Raiders were the final competition for Chester on the final day of the Mountain Pride Tournament, Dec. 14.

Next up for the Volcano boys will be a battle with the Quincy Trojans in Chester on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. That will wrap things up for the boys until next year in 2020 when they play in Westwood with the Lumberjacks on Thursday, Jan. 9. They will travel to Portola to play the Tigers Friday, Jan. 10, at 6 p.m., and then open the season with the first league game with the Bulldogs in Los Molinos on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

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