When you try to play a basketball season during the coronavirus era, you schedule games whenever you can.
That’s because you’ve likely lost a few games along the way.
That’s certainly been the case with the Riverside Academy Rebels.
The Rebels are 5-2 in the first week of the new year. In a normal season, Riverside likely would have played up to 20 games at a similar point in the season.
Along with individual matchups, the Rebels lost out on numerous games because of called-off tournaments. Once such tourney was the annual Sugar Bowl Tournament.
“The problem is there are so many tournaments that have been cancelled. On top of that, you schedule a team, and if they have to go in quarantine or you have to go in quarantine, whoever you had scheduled for 10 or 14 days, you don’t get to play. It’s caused a problem as far as sticking to games,” Riverside coach Timmy Byrd said.
To try and get a few more games under their belts before the eventual start of district play, the Rebels will host the Riverside Academy Invitational. The tournament begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday.
“We had the Sugar Bowl Tournament cancelled due to COVID,” said Byrd. “The sponsors in Jefferson Parish didn’t want to have any event that would maybe be deemed as a ‘super-spreader,’ so we decided not to not have it.
“We are doing a scaled-down version and decided we would do a tournament for some of the teams that were in the Super Bowl Tournament that wanted to participate. We decided to do a 10-team tournament and we have some real good teams in it.”
Along with host Riverside, the tournament includes Sophie B. Wright, Chalmette, Hannan, Northshore, Ponchatoula, St. Thomas More, Country Day, Dunham, and Edna Karr.
Chalmette will face Hannan in the opening game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by Riverside taking on Wright.
On Thursday, St. Thomas More faces Country Day, while Dunham takes on Karr. Also on Thursday, the Riverside-Wright winner will take on Northshore, with the winner of the Chalmette-Hannan game taking on Ponchatoula.
The tournament continues through Saturday, with the finals slated for 6 p.m.