Local teams gear up for War on the Floor tournament


The War on the Floor boys basketball tournament, one of Southern California’s most competitive and talked about boys basketball tournaments kicked off as four of the six Foothill League schools along with Santa Clarita Christian School hit the court on Monday.

In the 48-team tournament set to be played at Burbank High School, John Burroughs High School and Heritage Christian High School, teams will be put in groups of four where they will face off against each other in pool play. Pool winners will advance to play on Saturday with the championship, semifinal and consolation game to be played on Sunday.

The reigning Foothill League champions Valencia Vikings lost seven seniors to graduation, including Foothill League Player of the Year and starting point guard Richard Kawakami and will turn to either junior Noah Veluzat and senior sharpshooter Jake Hlywiak to shoulder the majority of the scoring and ball handling.

The Vikings opened up play with Lynwood yesterday, Chatsworth at 7:20 p.m. on Thursday and Price at 2:20 p.m.on Friday.

Also dealing with an exodus of seniors, losing nine, Hart looks to build off returning players like brothers Ty and Jaden Penberthy along with sophomores Isaac Deedon and Dillon Barrientos.

The Indians drew Renaissance Academy in their first game, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) today at 3:05 p.m. and Venice at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

West Ranch gets one of the toughest draws of the tournament drawing schools like Paraclete today at 2 p.m., Agoura at 3:25 p.m. on Thursday and Crespi Gold at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.

Seniors Dylan Stuman and Clyde Seo figure to be two of the most utilized Wildcats after head-turning junior years playing an integral role in their runner-up Foothill League finish in 2018-19.

Searching for their next elite scorer, the Cowboys lose Willie Yomba from a year ago, but return budding stars Anthony Gallo and Connor Cooper to the mix as they opened up the tourney with a tough opening round game against the Rio Hondo League’s champion La Canada yesterday.

The Cowboys close out pool play against Windward at 5:15 pm. later today and Buckley High School at 3:05 p.m. on Wednesday.

Santa Clarita Christian School returns two of its five starters from the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA runner-up from a year ago in Caden Starr and Kaleb Lowery along with key contributors Josh O’Garro and Kyjuan Cannady.

The Cardinals will try to figure out what roles they will need to plug going up against Serra yesterday, Grant High School at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday before ending with Knight at 6:20 p.m. on Thursday.

Golden Valley drew Sylmar in its opening round game yesterday, Campbell Hall Gold at 7:25 p.m. today before finishing up pool play against out-of-state University High School of Indiana at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The Foothill League’s third-place Saugus team welcomes a senior-heavy Centurions core with the likes of Adrian McIntyre, Stephen Tampus and Camron Nale trying to find their footing opening their tourney against Campbell Hall Navy at 8:30 p.m. today, Newbury Park at 7:25 p.m. on Wednesday and St. Genevieve at 8:25 p.m. on Thursday.

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