REIBT? No, it’s not the sound a frog makes, but an acronym for Redwood Empire Invitational Basketball Tournament, the oldest continuous basketball tournament in Northern California, held in Healdsburg since 1949.
The four-day tournament began Wednesday evening with games at both Smith Robinson Gym and East Gym, starting at 5pm on Wednesday, 6pm on Thursday and 4:30pm on Friday. The championship games are Saturday, Dec. 10: Boys championship game at 6:30pm, girls at 8pm, both games at Smith Robinson.
Competing in the tournament will be teams from Kelseyville, Arcata, Middletown, Justin-Siena, Fortuna, Ukiah and McKinleyville, as well as host Healdsburg.
Healdsburg High student athletes were honored with several “players of the year” awards this fall season, as noted last week. However, there was an oversight: Theresa Helfrick was named Co-Player of the Year in girls volleyball, capping her senior season with a significant honor.
“She was the heartbeat of the team and the captain of the ship,” said Coach Richard Mitts. “Both on and off the court, girls looked to her for strength and assistance… (the) type of player that can pick up a trick or technique after being taught it once and then can go on to teach the other teammates immediately after. Genuinely can’t say enough great things about her.”
Helfrick shared the Player of the Year honor with Kylie Lopes of Rancho Cotate. The Healdsburg girls ended the season in a tie for second with a 7-3 league record; Rancho Cotate was first with a 10-0 record.
Other Healdsburg players singled out included senior Cameron Pippi, League Defensive Player of the Year in football; Runner of the Year for Kaedan Anderson, a sophomore; and girls golf Player of the Year, sophomore Tehya Mitchell.
Since the Tribune ran a story on the then-undefeated Healdsburg Girls Basketball team, they suffered their first loss on Nov. 29, falling to Middletown by a heart-breaking 49-48 score. But they followed it up with a 59-32 victory over St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) on Dec. 3. They are now 8-1 going into this weekend’s Redwood Empire Invitational Basketball Tournament here in Healdsburg.
The Lady Hounds are not the only Healdsburg team on a roll, however. The boys basketball team is also without a loss, now 5-0 against their early season opponents.
The girls soccer team won their first match on Dec. 1 against St. Helena, 2-1, and met Santa Rosa’s Elsie Allen on Tuesday.
Boys soccer is also without a loss so far, standing at 3-0 with wins over St. Helena, Cardinal Newman and in Tuesday’s match against Piner.