The Gig Harbor High School boys basketball team will be saying “Mahalo” after its championship win in a holiday basketball tournament in Kona, Hawaii before Christmas Day.
The Tides were one of the teams invited to the WYBT Hawaii Holiday Invitational this season, and went 4-0 during the trip, knocking off McNair High School of Canada, 50-34, to win the tournament championship.
Gig Harbor coach Billy Landram pointed to senior wing Avery Jones as the tournament’s best player.
“He’s probably the one that stood out that did super well,” Landram said. “Other guys popped up here or there, but nobody did it as consistently. I thought RJ Green played pretty well, too — he had a lot of assists.”
While the trip’s primary focus was basketball, the players and coaches got to do some sight-seeing as well.
“The first day we got there, we went to the Hilo area to look at volcanoes,” Landram said. “We want to Black Sand Beach, saw a ton of turtles. We went the last day to the northern tip of the island, went on some hikes from some cliffs down to some valleys.”
The team and boosters began funding some time ago to cover the expenses of a trip like this. At the end of the day, Landram didn’t care much where the Tides went, he just wanted to make sure to get some games in during the holiday break.
“I don’t really care where we go — we could go to Yakima, Spokane, wherever,” Landram said.
The players got some beach time, wore some Hawaiian leis and enjoyed time swimming in the ocean. All in all, it was a fun trip for the team and a good chance to bond.
“Any time you go anywhere, you want the team to become closer, which they did,” Landram said. “We played four games and played well, which was the goal. Hopefully, they’ll have some memories that will last them through their lives.”
Gig Harbor jumps back into league play soon, hosting Timberline in a huge league game on Jan. 4. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Gig Harbor High School.