The 13th annual RET Thomas Memorial Holiday Basketball Tournament tips off tonight, as four schools -- including three area teams -- play over the next two days in support of Coaches vs. Cancer and the RET Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Hilton Head Preparatory School and Hilton Head Christian Academy will once again serve as the host sites, with action beginning at 4 p.m. with junior varsity competition. Varsity games will start around 6:15 p.m.
Thomas Heyward Academy plays at Hilton Head Christian for the first round of games, as the varsity girls and boys will get under way at 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively. The JV squads will begin earlier that afternoon. Bible Baptist, meanwhile, will travel to Hilton Head Prep for three more contests, headlined by the two varsity boys teams starting at 8 p.m.
The Dolphins' JV girls team will play Bible Baptist's varsity club at 7:15 p.m. while the two JV boys squads will start at 5 p.m.
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"We're thrilled," tournament director David Bachelder said. "All signs point to it being another very good year for the tournament. I think we have four good schools that will bring fans. I think there will be a lot of good competition."
Conslation games will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hilton Head Prep. The girls final will get under way at 4:30 p.m. with the boys championship starting at 6:15 p.m.
In addition to the hoops action, the tournament will feature a number of contests and more opportunities for fans to donate to the two foundations. The RET Pediactric Cancer Foundation was formed in honor of Ret Thomas, a former student at Prep, who passed away in April 2000 after a year-long fight with Ewing's Sarcoma.
The fundraising events are headlined by a halfcourt shot and a 3-point shooting contest, where the entrants of each have a chance to win up to $10,000. A raffle also will be held featuring tickets to both the ACC and SEC basketball championship games, clubhouse badges to the 2013 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, a photo shoot by Willie J. Rice Photography, rounds of golf at various local courses and an iPad Mini.
"A lot of things to keep people engaged and interested," Bachelder said.
The Heritage Foundation also has supplied a number of memorabilia items. The flag from the 18th green at Harbour Town -- signed by 2012 RBC Heritage champion Carl Pettersson -- will be raffled off as will a Lucas Glover signed Clemson PGA Tour hat and Sergio Garcia signed poster.
RET Thomas Memorial Holiday Tournament
What: Two-day basketball tournament featuring Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head Prep, Thomas Heyward Academy and Bible Baptist
When: Today and Saturday
Where: Hilton Head Preparatory School, Hilton Head Christian Academy
Today's schedule: Thomas Heyward at Hilton Head Christian, girls 6:15 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.; Bible Baptist at Hilton Head Prep, girls 6:15 p.m., boys 8 p.m.
Saturday's schedule: (All games at Hilton Head Prep) Girls consolation game 1 p.m., Boys consolation game 2:45 p.m.; Girls championship game 4:30 p.m., Boys championship game 6:15 p.m.
Tickets: $6 for adults, $3 for students