While most high school players have packed it in for the summer, a
group of girls’ basketball players still has a challenging task at
For the 19th straight year, teams will get a chance to end their
season at the annual Bell-Jeff Summer Hoop Finale, which begins today
at Bellarmine-Jefferson High.
The 16-team event concludes Saturday.
“This is a great tournament to end the summer,” said Bell-Jeff
Coach Bryan Camacho, who is also the event’s coordinator.
“We always have had good teams and some very good players taking
part over the years. We are looking forward to the competition.”
Along with the host Guards, Providence, Crescenta Valley and
Glendale will also be among the schools taking part.
The Hoop Finale is unique because it brings together schools of
all sizes, unlike some tournaments which often feature just small
schools, or others which invite only premier teams.
For example, in today’s opening round, Providence will take on CV
at 4 p.m. While Providence is a school with an enrollment of just
564, CV is a much larger school at 2,400.
Bell-Jeff -- with an enrollment of 365 -- could find itself going
up against Glendale, which has 3,500 students.
Camacho said he doesn’t mind the challenge of going against larger
“I think it is good for a team to get banged up and a little beat
up against some of the bigger schools,” he said. “It provides a good
challenge and it gets you used to what you might face during the
“It is also a good test for your team and it can show how the
players respond to different situations.”
Camacho’s team opens the tournament at 8 p.m. against Ventura St.
“This is not going to be an easy tournament for any of us,”
“For us, we are just hoping to work some things out and gain some
Returning to the event is Oxnard, which won the 2002 championship.
In last year’s title game, Oxnard hit a shot at the buzzer to defeat
Chino Hills Ayala, 30-29.
The Guards won the tourney consolation championship, defeating
One of the more interesting matchups for the Guards could feature
a familiar foe -- Westlake Village Oaks Christian. Bell-Jeff lost to
the Lions, 53-44, in March in the CIF Southern Section Division IVA
championship game at the Long Beach Pyramid.
Over the years, the event has been able to attract some very
talented basketball teams. Past tourney winners include Pasadena
Muir, Inglewood Morningside, Lynwood and CV.
Although the Guards have won the consolation championship four
times, they have never captured their own tournament title.
Some past outstanding players who have participated are Lisa
Leslie, Michelle Greco, Jaclyn Johnson and Marion Jones.
“I think we have put together a good tradition over the years,”
Camacho said. “And we are still going strong.”