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Stiff competition expected at Terra Nova tourney

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There will be one certainty when the 36th annual Terra Nova High School girls’ basketball tournament gets underway today in Pacifica. There will be a new champion crowned Saturday, as defending champion Sacred Heart Cathedral is not part of the field this year.

Aside from that, it is a wide-open tournament with a field of eight teams, any one of which is capable of claiming the trophy Saturday night.

“It should be a great tournament,” said Terra Nova coach Kareem Summerville, who is preparing for his third tournament since taking over as the Tigers’ coach. “There are some very good teams this year.”

With the defending champions elsewhere, Summerville sees a semifinal on Friday that will feature Monte Vista (Danville) and Moreau Catholic battling for the right to face either Menlo-Atherton or Summerville’s own Terra Nova squad. Both Menlo-Atherton and Terra Nova are in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division this year.
But that doesn’t mean Summerville is expecting those four teams to be a lock.

“Any of the other four teams can certainly get in too,” Summerville said.

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The tournament opens up at 3:15 p.m. today when Washington faces Menlo-Atherton, followed at 4:45 p.m. by Monte Vista and Castilleja, Mountain View and Moreau Catholic at 6:15 p.m., and Terra Nova takes on Westmoor at 7:45 p.m. to close out the opening night.

The first semifinal will tip off at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, followed by the second at 7:45 p.m. Saturday’s championship game is slated for 6 p.m.

Today’s opener against Westmoor will be the second game of the year for the Tigers, who routed Santa Teresa 77-47 on Tuesday night in San Jose to open the 2010-11 campaign.

Summerville is hoping to use a strong tournament field as a springboard for Bay Division play when league opens up next month.

“It should get us started,” Summerville said. “Normally we would have played four games before the tournament, but this year we’ll have just the one. And with the kids we had coming back, I felt a stronger schedule would help us down the road in league.”

The defending Bay Division champions from last year with a 9-1 league record, Terra Nova finished fourth in its tournament last year and went on to finish with a 20-9 record overall before falling to Notre Dame (Belmont) in the quarterfinals of the Central Coast Section playoffs.

 Terra Nova Tournament

Today’s games

Washington vs. Menlo-Atherton, 3:15 p.m.

Monte Vista (Danville) vs. Castilleja, 4:45 p.m.

Mountain View vs. Moreau Catholic, 6:15 p.m.

Terra Nova vs. Westmoor, 7:45 p.m.

Friday’s semifinals

Quarterfinal winners, 6:15 p.m.

Quarterfinal winners, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday’s championship

Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

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