TAKING A SHOT An unidentified Healdsburg High basketball player (#22) takes a jump shot over the defense in a 1950s game in the REIBT, or Redwood Empire Invitational Basketball Tournament. (Photo courtesy Healdsburg Museum)

Starting Wednesday, Dec. 6, 16 basketball teams from all over Northern California will compete in the 74th annual REIBT at Healdsburg High School. Eight boys teams and eight girls teams will vie in the elimination tournament during the next several days until the championship matches on Saturday night.

Girls finalists will play at 6:30pm, boys teams at 8pm, both at Smith Robinson Gym on the high school campus. Complete schedules and updates can be found at reibt.org.

Girls: Opening game Healdsburg 61, Ukiah 38. Friday game: Arcata 55, Healdsburg 34. Final game for 3rd place, Saturday: Healdsburg 64, Fortuna 40.
Boys: Opening game South Fork 42, Healdsburg 30. Friday game: Healdsburg 60, Roseland College Prep 8. Final "consolation" game, Saturday: Archie Williams 66, Healdsburg 19. 

Given the venerable history of the tournament—its 75th anniversary will be played next year—it’s fitting we dig into the archives of the Hound’s Bark, the school newspaper at Healdsburg High. We found the following article, written in 2021 by Graham Macdonald (Class of 2022), himself a star player on the Healdsburg Greyhounds varsity team, as a 6’ 8” center. 

SCORE! A cheering crowd at the Redwood Empire Invitational Basketball Tournament (REIBT), late 1950s. (Photo courtesy Healdsburg Museum)

“Redwood Empire Invitational Basketball Tournament or REIBT is the oldest continuous basketball tournament in Northern California. Started in 1949 REIBT has a long deep-rooted history in this town. Founded by Art McCaffrey it was a way to fill in time between football season and the start of league basketball. It started as a fairly small tournament with the only teams participating were the seven teams from the North Bay League, Section II.

“The REIBT committee wanted the tournament to be much larger. In the ’50s the committee sent an invitation to the then-Soviet Union to send a team to the tournament as a publicity stunt. This made headlines across the country, and in 1959 teams from all over Northern California were participating. Later, in 1966, REIBT got its first international team which drove 51 hours from El Salvador. Ten high schools from Canada have also played in the tournament. This now-prestigious tournament drew in even more local attention, causing some of the games to be so packed that everyone in the crowd would have to stand.

“In 1985 a girls bracket was implemented into the tournament. Now more games were being played than ever before spread across a couple of days. Both the Smith Robinson gym and the old Junior High School gym had to be used.

“There haven’t been many dynasties in REIBT’s long history until recently. Our own Healdsburg Hounds boys team is currently on a four-year-long winning streak which is the first time that a team has ever won four years in a row. Unfortunately, this year (2021) will be the first time since 1949 that REIBT will not be played.

“This tournament is rich with history and will only get richer as the years go on.”

Complete schedules and updates can be found at reibt.org.

Previous articleBoys Win, Girls Back on Track
Next articleSpecial Events Policy Gets a Makeover


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here