Walker Memorial Dec. 1-2

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Senior high school basketball is in the spotlight in High Prairie on the first weekend of December.

E.W. Pratt hosts the 11th annual Tonesha Walker Memorial Basketball Tournament on Dec. 1-2 with games at Pratt and nearby Prairie River Junior High School.

The popular tournament will feature 10 men’s and seven women’s teams, says athlete director Jenelle Gallivan, longtime organizer, who initiated the tournament.

“We are super-excited to host the tournament right out of the gate for the new basketball season,” Gallivan says.

Games start the first day at noon and continue into the evening. Action resumes the second day at 8 a.m. and runs all day with the men’s final at 6:30 p.m. followed by the women’s final at 8 p.m.

Teams in the women’s tournament include Pratt, the Valleyview Hillside Cougars, the Slave Lake Roland Michener Rams, the Mistassinniy Mustangs, Grimshaw, the Fox Creek Flames and the Grande Prairie Composite JV team.

The men’s tournament features Pratt, the Donnelly G.P. Vanier Vipers, Kinuso Knights, Roland Michener, Hillside, Grimshaw, Mistassinniy, Spirit River Regional Academy, Fox Creek and the Grande Prairie Composite JV team.

The Lady Chargers won last year’s women’s tournament when they defeated Fox Creek 44-9 in the final of the five-team tournament.

Meanwhile, the Chargers finished second last year when the hosts lost to the Worsley Wildcats 75-70 in the final of the nine-team men’s tournament.

Teams again are being encouraged to bring food items to donate to the High Prairie and District Food Bank.

“Any donations would be greatly appreciated, especially getting close to Christmas,” Gallivan says.

Tonesha Walker was a top basketball player who passed away suddenly at age 16 on July 2, 2012.

“I want to make sure Tonesha’s love for the game continues and she is remembered in a positive manner because of the positive person she was,” Gallivan says.

Players of the game will be recognized with special awards.

“Rewarding players of each game with a Tonesha Walker Award illustrates they play with heart, hustle and most importantly sportsmanship,” says Gallivan, who coached Walker as a player.

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