Peach Basket scores record number of teams in 17th tourney

Last year, the tournament raised roughly $15,000 for YMCA scholarships.

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Playing both the game and the waiting game, teams line the curbs, waiting to compete, their shadows advance with the morning sun onto the streets while Peach Basket Classic games in progress are finished up.

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Department of Corrections inmates (in orange, left to right) Sokoto Goff, Chris Miller and William Motter unload sandbags from a flatbed semi loaded with finished basketball hoops to be set up for this year's 17th Annual Peach Basket Classic. Inmates helped with unloading, placement and erection of the baskets on the downtown streets Friday evening. First-year tournament director Pat McConn believes the inmates have helped since the beginning of the tournament.

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Department of Corrections inmates (in orange, left to right) Walter Currah, William Motter, Mike LeMaster and Chris Miller reposition one of the Peach Basket hoops in the fading sunlight on Main Street Friday evening.

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Department of Corrections inmate William Motter hops a hoop ride on one of a line of Peach Basket Classic wooden hoops lining the flatbed of a semi as it moves to its next drop-off point on Main Street.

WALLA WALLA - The 17th Annual Walla Walla Peach Basket Classic brought in a record number of participants for this year's three-on-three street basketball tournament.

Last year's tournament saw about 237 teams, while this year netted 269, volunteer coordinator Scott Adams said, noting that teen girls outscored other divisions in attendance.

"This year our best turnout was with the seventh-grade girls," Adams said.

He noted that while most of the contestants are from the Valley, a large number of participants come from the Tri-Cities, Pendleton and Yakima.

The two-day event takes over downtown Main Street from Second Avenue to Spokane Street, as well as parts of First Avenue and Colville Street. A total of 29 courts are set up for 36 divisions of players from first grade to over-60.

The tournament, which is put on by the YMCA, includes three-point and slam-dunk competitions.

Last year, the tournament raised roughly $15,000 for YMCA scholarships for youth camps and memberships, Adams said.

Today, the Peach Basket Classic will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the women's open final at 11:30 a.m. and the men's open final at 1:30 p.m.

The event is free to the public.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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