If player and sponsor reaction were any indication, it seems that the Best in the West – March Madness basketball tournament is here to stay, said Synergy North tourney organizer Judy Carlick-Pearson.
With four teams competing in the junior division and eight in the seniors, the four-day tournament wrapped up without issue.
“[The players and sponsors] loved it because for the players, there were no real [qualifying restrictions]. You had to play in the first two games to be eligible to play in the third, which is a big rule – you have to be on the original roster, [but that’s it],” said Carlick-Pearson last week.
“The sponsors were really supportive … they were new guys in town and a lot of them came down to the games and watched, so that was kind of atypical,” she said, adding next year’s seniors first-place prize money will be an expected $3,000, up from $1,000.
“We’re going to add a women’s division next year and probably a girl’s division as well.”
Along with the organizational and funding changes, Carlick-Pearson hopes to add a special guest in the vein of Steve Nash or Kenny Dobbs to add some star-power to the mix.
The organizer also praised the performances of the referees who filled in for missing officials who dropped out of the tournament at the last minute. They had to supervise a very physical final seniors’ game.