Merry Christmas, basketball fans of northern New Mexico.
A souped-up Stu Clark Tournament bracket and a Tri-Cities tourney loaded with the area’s favorite small schools await.
Both boys’ tournaments run from Thursday through Saturday.
The Stu, in its 59th year, will be hosted at New Mexico Highlands University’s Wilson Complex. The Tri, also a longtime holiday tradition, is being held at Mora’s Montoya Gym.
First-round Stu Clark matchups are as follows: Bernalillo vs. St. Pius X, 1 p.m.; Capital vs. West Mesa, 3 p.m.; Robertson vs. Moriarty, 6 p.m.; and West Las Vegas vs. Central, 8 p.m. All first-round games are Thursday.
Thursday’s losing teams play in the consolation bracket in Friday’s afternoon session.
The RHS-Moriarty loser plays the Capital-West Mesa loser at 1 p.m.; the Bernalillo-St. Pius loser faces the WLV-Central loser at 3 p.m.
On Friday afternoon, Thursday’s winners play in the semifinals set for 6 and 8 p.m., respectively.
On Saturday, the action starts at 11 a.m. with the seventh-place game, followed by the fifth-place game (consolation championship) at 1 p.m.
Saturday’s evening session will include the third-place game and the championship final, in addition to a Highlands men’s game with Lubbock Christian.
Tickets and tournament passes ($12) will be available at the gate and from Stu Clark committee members.
Capital’s Jaguars are the defending Stu Clark champions and are fresh off a win over St. Michael’s in the final of the Capital City Invitational.
St. Pius, Capital, Bernalillo and Moriarty are all ranked among the top Class 4A teams in New Mexico. West Mesa is a 5A school, and Central is a big program from the Phoenix area.
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Mora hosts the Tri-Cities Boys’ Basketball Tournament.
In the opening afternoon session, Santa Rosa plays McCurdy at 1 p.m. Thursday. That game will be followed by Pecos vs. Escalante at 3 o’clock.
In the nightcap, defending Class B state champion Wagon Mound tangles with Monte del Sol at 5:30 p.m. Then the host Rangers take on district rival Peñasco at 7:30.
Consolation semifinals will play out at 1 and 3 p.m. Friday. The Santa Rosa-McCurdy loser plays the Pecos-Escalante loser at 1; the Wagon Mound-Monte del Sol loser gets the Mora-Peñasco loser at 3.
Winners of Thursday’s games play in the semifinals Friday evening, 5:30 and 7:30.
The seventh-place game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, followed by the consolation bracket final (fifth-place game) at 3. The third-place game tips off at 5:30, and the championship contest starts at 7:30.