Pittsburg hosts Bill Hanson Memorial Tournament

Five local schools and seven ranked teams are competing in this weeks tournament

PITTSBURG, Ks. – The Pittsburg Purple Dragons are hosting the Bill Hanson Memorial tournament this week. Games kick off for both the boys and the girls on Thursday.

“We’re really excited to host the tournament this year,” says Pittsburg boys head coach Jordan Woods. “We know that this tournament has a lot of great teams coming in and great players are going to be playing. It’s going to help prepare us for the rest of the year.”

Five local schools are competing this year. The field is extremely competitive in the girls and boys bracket. Seven teams are ranked and two teams are #1 in their state.

“It’s just a great opportunity for our kids because we are a 5A program, so a lot of times it’s difficult for us to see the competition that we need to in order to make a run late in the year,” Woods says. “This tournament gives us a great opportunity to see teams that are very talented. When you play great teams, the little details get magnified. It’ll be good for us to retouch on those little things that we preach day in and day out and hopefully we can take care of it and get better.”

The tournament has always attracted top tier talent.

“Christian Braun is now playing at Kansas and there’s quite a few other players that have played in the NCAA tournament that have also played in our tournament.”

Pittsburg is one of the teams to beat this year. They are 7-1 and ranked 10th in 5A in Kansas. The goal is to win, but Woods also has a larger goal in mind.

“I want them to realize that you can’t just show up during basketball season and expect to be good,” Woods says. “We also encourage our youth programs to come and attend so they can watch all these great teams play and be encouraged to become future dragons and basketball players.”

Pittsburg plays its first game against Owasso on Thursday at 7pm.

“We actually played them a couple of years ago,” Woods says. “They were talented then and I’m pretty sure they bring all those players back. Owasso is a big school in Oklahoma and they have a lot of talented, athletic players. We know we have to come out and do our best. Hopefully we’re on the right end of the scoreboard at the end of the night.”