The sound of sneakers squeaking on polished hardwood will be prominent this week on the two basketball courts at Duchess Park Secondary School.
Duchess is hosting the North Central zone triple-A girls and junior girls zone championship tournaments, both starting Thursday.
In the three-team triple-A girls tournament, the marquee matchup gets started Thursday at 7 p.m. when the College Heights Cougars, ranked No. 5 in the province, take on the host Duchess Park Condors, who made the rankings in the honourable mention category.
The Cougars have dominated zone play all season and won the Prince George City League senior girls championship Wednesday at Duchess Park, defeating the Price George Polars 114-47.
In other triple-A zone matchups this weekend, the Condors will be back on their home court Friday at 12:30 p.m. to play the Correlieu Clan of Quesnel. Then in the evening game at 7 p.m., College Heights faces Correlieu.
The round-robin winner will draw a bye, while the second- and third-place teams face each other in a playoff game Saturday at noon. Then at 5 p.m., the first-place round-robin team will take on the winner of the second-versus-third game.
If the first-place team loses the morning game Saturday, a second final involving the same two teams will be played Sunday at 10 a.m.
However, if the second- and third-place teams each have one win and one loss after the noon game on Saturday, they would play each other again at 5 p.m. Saturday and the winner of that game would then advance to the first final against the first-place round-robin team , Sunday at 10 a.m.
If the first-place team suffers its first loss in the early game Sunday, a second final would be necessary at 3 p.m.. If each of the three teams lose one game in the round-robin, point differentials would determine playoff seedings.
The North Central winner will advance to the 16-team B.C. triple-A girls championship in Langley, Feb. 28-March 3.
Two provincial berths up for grabs this week in the eight-team junior girls tournament.
The Sir Alexander Mackenzie Grizzlies of Hagensborg are the top seed and they will play the No. 8 Cedars Christian Eagles at 4 p.m. Thursday, while on the other court at Duchess the No. 4 Nechako Valley Vikings play the No. 5 Westside Warriors.
Then at 5:30 p.m., the No.2 Duchess Park Condors face the No. 7 Quesnel Junior Secondary Spartans, and the No. 3 College Heights Cougars play the No. 6 North Peace Grizzlies.
Semifinals are scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m., with the zone championship game set for 5:30 p.m. The second final starts at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The two top North Central teams advance to the 32-team junior provincial tournament in Langley, March 2-5.
Three Prince George teams are involved in zone playoffs this weekend.
The Shas Ti Kelly Road Grizzlies are matched with the Northside Christian Northstars in the best-of-three double-A championship which starts at 6 p.m. Friday in Vanderhoof. Game 2 is set for Shas Ti Kelly Road gym Saturday at 10 a.m., with a third game (if necessary) at 3 p.m.
The Prince George Polars senior girls and senior boys teams are in Fort St. John Friday and Saturday for zone playoffs against the North Peace Grizzlies.
Next week, the Cedars Christian Eagles will host an 11-team single-A boys zone championship, Feb 24-26. The Feb. 24 games are at the Roll-A-Dome, while games on the 25th and 26th will be played at the College of New Caledonia. The host Eagles are the top North Central seed and are ranked No. 3 in the province.
The Duchess Park Condors, ranked No. 3 in B.C., and the College Heights Cougars are entered in the triple-A boys zone championship at Correlieu in Quesnel, Feb. 24-26.
The Shas Ti Kelly Road Grizzlies are hosting the four-team double-A boys zone championship, Feb. 24-26. The D.P.Todd Trojans, Nechako Valley Vikings and Peter Skene Ogden Eagles of 100 Mile House are also entered.
All North Central zone boys champions advance to their respective provincial tournaments in Langley, March 9-12.