Like almost all sports events since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 81st annual Bossier Invitational boys basketball tournament has a different look this year.
The event, which starts Wednesday at Bossier High and runs through Saturday, is technically not a tournament. There will be no championship game on the final day.
Instead, in order to easier deal with COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, 14 games will be played over the four days,
While it may not be the same, at least the event is being played. The only other tournament played in the parish this season was Bossier’s Battle on the Hardwood Classic girls event in November.
Boys and girls tournaments usually hosted by Airline (“Doc” Edwards Invitational), Parkway, Benton and Haughton were all cancelled.
The challenge of following COVID-19 protocols was just one reason. The financial burden on schools hosting tournaments was another. Attendance would have been limited because of the restrictions.
Attendance at the Bossier Invitational will also be limited. Tickets are $8 per session with two sessions on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The gym will be cleared after each session.
A limited number of tournament passes are also being sold for $40.
The tournament lost one of its marquee teams Monday when Class 3A power Madison Prep withdrew because of COVID-19 issues within the program.
But fans who do make it to Bossier will still be treated to some outstanding high school basketball.
Joining defending Class 3A champion Bossier in the field are 2020 3A runner-up Wossman and Division IV runner-up Calvary Baptist.
Wossman will take on Calvary Baptist in Friday’s Session II at 8 p.m. The Wildcats will face late addition Red River as part of the event’s final session at 4:30 Saturday.
Bossier closes the event against traditional Class 5A power Ouachita Parish at 6:30.
Bossier is also scheduled to play Plain Dealing at 5:30 Wednesday, Calvary at 6 Thursday and DeRidder at 6 Friday.
(Subject to change; records are through Monday, Jan. 4)
3:30, Mansfield (5-6) vs. North Caddo (4-11)
5:30, Bossier (7-4) vs. Plain Dealing (1-4)
8, Calvary Baptist (11-4) vs. Loyola (3-10)
4, Ouachita Parish (5-8) vs. Green Oaks (4-13)
6, Bossier vs. Calvary Baptist
8, Loyola vs. Homer (3-4)
4, Plain Dealing vs. Green Oaks
6, Bossier vs. DeRidder (6-6)
8, Wossman (10-1) vs. Calvary Baptist
10, Homer vs. North Caddo
Noon, Loyola vs. Plain Dealing
2, DeRidder vs. Mansfield
4:30, Wossman vs. Red River (6-3)
6:30, Bossier vs. Ouachita Parish