Preseason basketball tournaments underway as holiday break approaches

Paloma Valley’s Tyler Kessinger (11) drives the lane in their season opening non-conference win against Tahquitz, 85-35. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

The transition to winter sports is always a fast one, and that means the high school basketball season is underway, as well as soccer, girls water polo, cheerleading/traditional competitive, and wrestling. To get things started coverage wise, the basketball season kicked off this past week with a trio of tournaments. The Battlezone tournament hosted by Centennial High School featured two local area teams, including Rancho Christian, who were ranked No. 9 in the recent Division 2A CIF Southern Section coaches’ polls (Nov. 7 release), and Great Oak.

The Veterans Week tournament hosted by Norco is where Vista Murrieta took part, and the Big Daddy Tournament featured local area participants Chaparral (ranked No. 4 in Division 2AA), Heritage, Liberty, and Orange Vista.

Battlezone updates, prior to this article going to print for the holiday week, saw Great Oak fall to Rancho Christian 78-47 in their first matchup of pool play. Saturday action pitted Rancho Christian (1-0) vs. St. Bernard (Playa del Rey), and King-Drew (Los Angeles) vs. Great Oak (1-1). Info for those games will be available online.

Vista Murrieta was 2-1 in the Veterans Week tournament, taking wins over Indian Springs, 53-51, and Wilson, 59-44, but fell to Fairmont Prep 38-36 heading into the weekend. The Broncos had one final game against Redlands East Valley to wrap up their bracket. Info for that game will be available online.

As for the Big Daddy Tournament, Chaparral (2-1) were 1-1 in pool play at last glance, Heritage was also 1-1 in pool play, Liberty was 2-0, and orange Vista was 0-1. The championship bracket ran through last weekend, with updates available online.

Tournaments taking place over the Thanksgiving weekend include the Cage Classic at Linfield Christian School, and Titan Turkey Shootout, taking place at Colony High School. Temecula Valley and Elsinore will be playing in the Cage Classic, and Rancho Verde will be at the Titan Turkey Shootout. Article contributions made by Action Captures Media Group.

All stats, schedules, photos, and scores, are supplied by local high school athletic directors, MaxPreps, CIF-SS offices, contributing writers/photographers and countless fans of the games via social media. To submit any additions or corrections to the schedule or stats, please email

JP Raineri can be reached by email at