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Spokane Hoopfest a hit with Arlington teams
For the last 17 years, Spokane has shut down its downtown streets on the last weekend of June to bring in the worlds largest three-on-three basketball tournament. Teams come from all over the state and nation to compete in the premier Washington basketball event of the summer.
This year saw a number of Arlington teams make the trek across the Cascades to compete. Boys and girls of all ages participated, as well as some adults in the many bracket divisions of the tournament.
The Arlington Ballers, consisting of Bailey Abdo, Brittany Craig, Katie Ramos and Tiffany Dagget won their first game on Saturday, June 30, before losing the second. They came up through the losers bracket of their division, winning twice more before finally bowing out of the tournament.
The tournament is played in a double elimination style format to allow more games for the competitors. Teams play in a minimum of three games during the weekend.
The Arlington Eagles team included Cole Carpenter, Lucas Larson, Tyler Busby and Will Heath, who had no trouble at all with the competition, disposing of everybody in their path for a five-game sweep of their bracket. Winning teams receive a Champions shirt along with the shirt given to all participants.
The Arlington Oldies featuring Brent Hampton, Dave Busby, Mike Thornes and Stephen Moore also turned in an impressive performance, winning twice on the first day before age caught up to them.
In the co-ed youth division Kyle Bailey, Kylie Granado, Melanie Lobaito and Nick Morin endured an early day two loss, before righting themselves in the losers bracket and playing their way to the championship game.
Team Arlington, featuring youngsters A.J. Passalacqua, Brandon Kennedy, Dan Boyden and Tyler Riker ripped off three consecutive victories to start the tournament before getting bounced out.
Hoopfest has been raising money for Special Olympics since its inception in 1990. As of this year, over $770,000 has been given to organizations including the YMCA, YWCA, and other youth sports programs in the state.