High school basketball: Fort Vancouver Holiday Tourney set to begin Wednesday

The Fort Vancouver High School gymnasium will host eight boys basketball games each day of the three-day Fort Vancouver Holiday Tourney, which begins Wednesday. There are girls games at Heritage High School, as well. Photo courtesy Ben Jatos
The Fort Vancouver High School gymnasium will host eight boys basketball games each day of the three-day Fort Vancouver Holiday Tourney, which begins Wednesday. There are girls games at Heritage High School, as well. Photo courtesy Ben Jatos

Eight games a day set for Fort Vancouver High School, with girls games to be played at Heritage High School

You’ll have to forgive Ben Jatos for always worrying about what obstacle he will face next when it comes to Vancouver’s only high school basketball tournament over the holiday break.

There was no tournament in the third year during the pandemic.

Last year, what Jatos called “Ice-aggedon” caused cancellations and rescheduling at the last minute.

This year? The ice storm hit last week. Should be good, right?

“I’ve spent the last two weeks on weather websites,” Jatos said Tuesday morning. “This wind storm is not helping my mood.”

Wind could cause power outages, of course, but let’s just stay positive here: The Fort Vancouver Holiday Tourney will host 16 boys teams and four girls teams with three days of games beginning Wednesday.

“I feel like we’re filling a void,” said Jatos, a longtime Clark County resident, sports enthusiast, and teacher at Fort Vancouver.

Jatos said he always wanted to have a tournament in the area.

“We get really positive feedback from all who come. We have schools calling us because they want to be in it,” Jatos said. “That’s kind of cool.”

There will be two brackets for two boys tournaments, meaning three games over three days for each team. The boys games will be played at Fort Vancouver High School.

Four girls teams will play a round-robin format, with three games in three days at Heritage High School.

The hope is to expand the girls schedule in future years, as well

“James and I think of this as a county thing,” Jatos said, referring to Fort Vancouver boys basketball coach and athletic director James Ensley. “There is not another tourney around. We’re carrying the banner. It’s cool that Heritage stepped up.”

Tickets cost $6 a day or $4 for students with ASB cards. There are eight games a day at Fort Vancouver and three at Heritage.

The Fort Vancouver boys will open the Fort Bracket at 10 a.m. Wednesday with a game against Weed, Calif. 

The Battle Ground boys will play Liberty of Oregon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The Heritage boys will play at 4 p.m. against Kamiak. 

The R.A. Long boys play at 1 p.m. against Reynolds of Oregon in the Trapper Bracket. 

Also in the Trapper Bracket is Mountain View. The Thunder will take on Shorewood at 7 p.m.

In the girls round-robin at Heritage High School, Fort Vancouver and Evergreen face each other at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

For Thursday and Friday schedules, go to the tournament’s website at: https://sites.google.com/vansd.org/fortvancouverinvitational/home?authuser=0

For the rest of Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, Jatos and the local basketball community are just hoping the wind storm does not cause any power issues at Fort Vancouver or Heritage.

And for the first time since the 2019 event, basketball will be on schedule for the Fort Vancouver Holiday Tourney.


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