The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community hosts various athletic tournaments throughout the year, and one of them is the Pi-Copa Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament. This year’s tournament was held at the Salt River Community Building November 27-30.
“This tournament is different from all the other tournaments because it’s an annual event, it has been happening every Thanksgiving for more than 20 years now. If [you’re] from the Community [you] know that [you] can always come and play or watch some basketball,” said SRPMIC Recreation Coordinator I, Robin Martinez.
This year the tournament attracted eight teams in the men’s division and six teams in the women’s division. Each team brought different talents to the court, making this double-elimination tournament competitive.
“We don’t get as much teams as we used to, mainly because a lot of the players want to go home for Thanksgiving. Before, we used to get about 20 plus teams. Although we still manage to get enough teams to keep the tournament going every year,” said Martinez.
The women’s championship game was close until the second half. The Aces team dominated team Ball It Up with a score of 47-39; turnovers held Ball It Up from winning the game. Team Orange Crush lost to Ball It Up 67-59, finishing in third place, and the Renegades lost to Orange Crush 61-31, taking fourth place.
The men’s championship game was fast-paced and competitive. Team Komatke came out on top in the second half, beating the Warriors by 14 points, with a final score of 62-48. The Fort McDowell Kings lost to the Warriors 51-49 for third place, and the Kings lost to the Fort McDowell Kings 69-64, taking home fourth place.
The champions took home hoodies, while the second- through fourth-place winners took home T-shirts. All-tourney players and most valuable players took home pullover sweaters.
For more information about upcoming basketball tournaments, call Salt River Recreation at (480) 362-6360.