Varsity Basketball Travels Beyond California Borders


By Haley Kerner

This past winter break, Varsity Basketball travelled where no Archer team has gone before.

The tournament took place in Tempe, Arizona, right outside of Phoenix from Dec. 27 to Dec. 30. Although no victories were brought home, it was a spectacular experience for all.

The Cactus Jam Tournament is a holiday basketball tournament for boys and girls on high school teams from all over the country. It was hosted this year by Scottsdale Christian Academy in Arizona. During the tournament, there are two to three brackets for different skill levels of teams— each team is guaranteed at least three games. When asked about the different teams, Marcela Riddick ’16 said, “We played against a team from New York City that we played last year in San Diego and two teams from the [Arizona] area.”

On the first day, they played Fontbonne Hall Academy from New York. The next, they played Estrella Foothills from Arizona and they ended the tournament with a game against Mingus Union, also from Arizona.

Besides playing basketball, the players had access to many local facilities. Private pools and spas were available, the Arizona Sun Devil’s Stadium was down the street from the hotel, and the local mall was perfect for shopping during down time.

Riddick comments on how the trip affected the team: “It was great playing different teams and teams of different levels. The whole experience made us a better team.” She went on to say that the highlight of the tournament was “bonding with the team.”

The team has been to national tournaments before, but none outside of California. This tournament, the Varsity Basketball team experienced unparalleled bonding and got to compete against high-level teams.