February 17, 2011 |

Hotch tourney starts Thursday

The Dick Hotch Memorial Basketball Tournament is set for a four-day slate of games next week at the Haines School.

Organizer Larry Sweet said nine adult teams are expected for the Feb. 24-27 tournament, from Haines, Juneau, Klukwan, Sitka, Skagway and Whitehorse.

"A lot of the guys didn’t like using the little gym last year, so we’re leaving it at nine teams so we can get all the games in the big gym," Sweet said.

Games start 6 p.m. Thursday and noon Friday and Saturday. The Sunday championship will tip-off around 1 p.m. Each team will play at least four games.

The Haines Merchants are looking to defend their title.

Sweet said the Merchants and three Klukwan teams are preparing for a March trip to Juneau’s Gold Medal Tournament, and some of the proceeds from the Hotch competition will help finance their travels.

A tournament spectator pass is $25 for adults. Senior and children’s discounts are available, and concessions will be served.

The Dick Hotch Memorial Basketball Tournament has been an annual event for more than 30 years.

"What I’ve done in years past is for trophies, I ask people to purchase the trophies in memory of somebody, a family member that they’ve lost," Sweet said. "With that, I’m able to order in excess of 25 trophies for it."

Athletes can earn awards in three-point and free-throw contests, and trophies also will be handed out to the top three teams. Memorial trophies, though, also are offered for honors such as "best fan."

"Some years I have trophies for the top scorer in the tournament or the most rebounds in the tournament," Sweet said. "It just depends on how many people order trophies."