The Chalmette boys basketball team hasn’t played in the Allstate Sugar Bowl CYO Tournament since the pre-Hurricane Katrina days.
But the Owls return to the 62-year old tournament this season.
“This tournament can help us a lot as far as getting better and getting us ready for district,” Chalmette coach Butch Stockton said. “Our district is very tough. So this will help us get better as a team and see teams with different styles.”
The 16-team tournament begins Wednesday at four venues and ends with Saturday’s championship game at Jesuit.
Chalmette opens the tournament on Wednesday against district foe Higgins at 7:30 p.m. in a game at Holy Cross.
Chalmette, led by 6-foot-11 transfer Mitchell Robinson, is 3-1 this season.
Robinson, a junior who is committed to Texas A&M, is averaging 27 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots in his first season with Chalmette after transferring from Florida.
“Mitchell has been playing really well for us,” Stockton said. “I have been very pleased with him. He’s fitting in with the rest of the guys. They are just trying to feel each other out and still learning to play with each other.”
Robinson is one of four juniors in the Owls starting lineup.
He is joined by the guard trio of Carlton Campbell, Josh Williams, Blake Coker and forward Jeremiah Sumler.
Coker is the only senior on the Chalmette roster.
“I have a lot of young, inexperienced players,” Stockton said. “We are just trying to get that chemistry. We are still up and down right now.”
Stockton isn’t the only coach who will be looking for his team to start jelling.
East St. John, which won the tournament for the first time last season, is looking for consistency as well.
East St. John has a win over St. Augustine and losses to East Ascension and McDonogh 35.
Javon Antonio, Arlandrian Martin and Troy Green are all starters for East St. John from last year’s team that won the tournament.
“Our first three games have been sort of an experiment for us and just trying to see what works for us,” East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine said. “It gave us a chance to see where we are. I’m feeling pretty confident about the tournament.”
The other schools in the tournament are: Ben Franklin, Brother Martin, De La Salle, Hahnville, Holy Cross, Jesuit, John Curtis, Lake Area, Newman, Rummel, St. Augustine, St. Paul’s, St. Thomas Aquinas and Shaw.
The semifinals will be played at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jesuit. The final will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Jesuit.