Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Back to Boulder

Posted 12/13/2015 by Chase Remme

Sophomore Breon Harper is a transfer student and a key part of the team. photo by Corbett Tate

The boys and girls basketball teams return to Boulder for the Boulder Valley Invitational this year.

Every year since 2010, the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have travelled in early December to the Boulder Valley Invitational Tournament, a unique tournament which hosts eight teams in the boys’ bracket and eight in the girls’ bracket. This years tournament runs December 9th through December 12th. What is unique is that every team participating is guaranteed three games, even if they lose a game. If a team loses in the first round, they can finish as high as fifth and as low as eighth. If they win the first game and lose the semi-finals, they will enter the third place game. If that team wins each of their first two games, they will enter the Boulder Valley Invitational Championship. The boys’ team has won this tournament four times, while the Lady Spartans won it for the first time last season, defeating Erie High School 70 to 59. The boys’ team last won the tournament in the 2013-14 season, and finished third place last season.

“It’s the only tournament I’m aware of that’s varsity and junior varsity,” explained Head Coach of the boys’ varsity team Grant Laman. “They have two gyms, and games are going on all day, so TJ has four teams that can go and compete.” The team opened this year’s tournament against Standley Lake High School with a victory, winning 62 to 37. Along with the Spartans and Standley Lake, the boys’ tournament includes Mead, Weld County, Erie, Sheridan, Prairie View, and Centaurus High Schools. Senior Evan Gould commented, “Since it is a longer drive there, it is good to spend time with my teammates on the bus ride there.”

Meanwhile, the Lady Spartans are coming back as the defending champions and looking to win a second straight. For their first game, they went up against Erie, the team they defeated in the championship last year, and they defeated them again 57 to 51. Along with Erie and TJ, there are two other DPS schools, West and South High Schools, along with other schools competing to win it this year including Prairie View, Standley Lake, Brighton, and Centaurus High Schools. “I believe we have some pressure, but only the pressure we put on ourselves to play well. Everyone else knows we were last year’s champions, so they will be gunning for us,” said girls’ head coach Damion Allen.

The boys’ team is looking to bounce back from their third place finish last year. As for the Lady Spartans they hope to repeat as champions. Centaurus High School is the host for the tournament every year because of its uniqueness in having two gyms. As Centaurus is far from TJ, wish all the players good luck, and try to make it out to the games to support them if you can.