The Palm Beach Central High School boys varsity basketball program hosted its third annual holiday tournament, sponsored by Flanigan’s Restaurant in Wellington, from Thursday, Jan. 3 through Saturday, Jan. 5. The host Broncos notched the championship title after defeating Vero Beach 74-66 in the final match.
Earlier in the tournament, the Broncos knocked out Jupiter Christian 69-56 in the first round and then Fort Pierce Central 72-64 in the second round. The back-to-back victories set up a final showdown appearance against the Vero Beach Indians.
The tournament has drawn much attention around South Florida since its inception, and this year, teams from as far north as Vero Beach and south as Cooper City traveled to the Wellington area to compete.
Palm Beach Central head coach Jason Pitman believes the event is fast becoming a staple of area basketball during the holiday season for the fans and athletes.
“You are going to see some really good basketball played at Palm Beach Central High School,” he explained. “It’s an event that takes a lot of high-quality, dedicated people volunteering their time to make it a success.”
Some of the recognized volunteers who participated in coordinating the tournament are Lauren Thompson, Alex Cordeiro, Melanie Abel and Christine Potter. Pitman realizes the importance of parental volunteers and getting local businesses to assist with taking on such an event.
“This year, we added Flanigan’s as a sponsor, and they really floored us with the support they provided in making our hospitality room,” he said. “It created a wonderful environment for our volunteers, coaches and referees.”
The tournament was designed to make the season something special, while bringing in quality teams that can deliver competitive games. This year’s attendees, Pitman believed, made it anyone’s tournament to win. “I kept telling people that there are a lot of really talented teams, and any team could have won it,” he said.
The tournament MVP for the Broncos was senior Alphonse Alfred. He averaged 19.6 points per game and 9.2 rebounds through the tournament. He also notched 20 points and 8 rebounds in the final match against Vero Beach.
Sophomore William VanHook had 13 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and no turnovers in the final game. Overall, the Broncos made 9 three-point baskets and were 15 for 17 from the free-throw line.
The Broncos are 10-4 on the season and are on a four-game win streak. They host crosstown rival and district foe Wellington High School on Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.