It's basketball time

February 16, 2005 12:00 am

The classic basketball film "Hoosiers" has been rereleased on DVD.

But don't rush down to the video store quite yet. This week in Baker City, you don't need Gene Hackman or an Indiana gymnasium to get your fix of good sporstmanship and tireless teamwork.

Baker High School plays host this week to the District 4-1A basketball tournament, a technical way of describing the small town leagues of the Blue Mountains.

It's the start of "tournaments," the generic way of referring to this week's district tournament and the subsequent big show — the state 1A basketball tournament, which comes to town March 2.

For Baker County area fans, this year's district tournament is packed with familiar faces.

Both Powder Valley squads are playing at district. And the Pine-Eagle and Burnt River girls are in town to try for a state berth.

But you don't have to be a local booster to find this tournament intriguing.

For $4 a session, or $25 for the entire four-day tournament, you can catch teams from Cove, Imbler, Crane, Dayville-Monument, Spray — Oregon small towns where basketball often is both a town's entertainment and a student's character education wrapped up in one.

And you can welcome to town the players, parents, grandparents and fans who have depopulated their small town for a week to take up residence in the "metropolis of Eastern Oregon."

Congratulations, teams, and welcome to Baker City.

Enjoy your stay.

And good luck. Play your hearts out. We'll cheer you on.