WEST COLUMBIA — In its 12th season, the Robert “Bob” Ducroz Memorial Basketball Tournament will be hosted at Columbia High School starting today and again on Saturday.

Nine teams will fill up pools Maroon, White and Silver with the Columbia Lady ’Necks as the host team.

“This tournament is so early that it is good and bad — bad because you might see a lot of ugly, but good because there will be a lot of minutes on the court,” Columbia Lady ’Neck basketball coach Brett Nidey said. “Right away teams will see what they need to work on. Plus it will be good for some of our girls to get some varsity experience.”

Today’s action will start at noon with two gyms being utilized, the main gym and the auxiliary gymnasium next to it. On Saturday, action will start at 8 a.m.

Columbia, Santa Fe and Tidehaven will make up the Maroon Pool; Stafford, Boling and Van Vleck are in the White Pool and Fulshear, Bay City and Danbury will be in the Silver Pool.

The Lady ’Necks are coming off a 42-28 victory against Van Vleck to open their season on Tuesday.

“We played good at times and we played confused at times,” Nidey said of his Lady ’Necks. “In the first half we didn’t shoot the ball well, but we’ve only had two days of practice so I expected that. But we turned it on in the second half and pulled out the win.”

Nidey will try to work in three freshmen, two sophomores and a junior who have not experienced varsity play yet. One of the main returners is junior Kirsten Bragg, who was a first team all district performer.

“She will be dominant because she is physical and this is her third year starting,” Nidey said. “She scored 15 or 17 on Tuesday and can rebound and control everything. Jada Rhodes has started a couple of years for me and this is her fourth year on varsity, and Mariah Wessells is a senior and is playing well so far.

“I think I have a team that can play the way I want them to, we pressed the whole time on Tuesday. I dressed 10 on Tuesday and rotated eight of them solid the whole game. We pressed all the way up to the last three minutes of the game.”

Columbia will start at noon against Santa Fe in the main gym and follow that up with the Lady ’Necks taking on Tidehaven at 1:30 p.m.

Danbury will take on Fulshear at 3 p.m. in the auxiliary gym and follow that up with a game against Bay City in the main gym at 6 p.m.

“Fulshear is back and with everyone returning from last season they could be a team to look out for,” Nidey said. “Stafford normally is pretty solid along with Santa Fe. But Santa Fe graduated its point guard and post from last season.”

Santa Fe won the tournament last season.

Ducroz was a former school board member and local businessman who contributed to the girls basketball program at Columbia High School.

Joel Luna is sports editor for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0160 or at joel.luna@thefacts.com

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