As Class C teams battled it out on two basketball courts in Lambert during the weekend, Richland County resident Fred Lake smiled. He should, after all, because his dream became a reality.
“I always wanted a tournament in Lambert,” said Lake, a graduate of Lambert High School.
This past weekend the sixth annual Blue Rock Tip-off Tournament took place.
Lake said he began organizating the tournament and then he got a job at Blue Rock Products. He was able to convince Lance Averett to have Blue Rock sponsor the tournament.
The tournament also has received the support of Lambert’s athletic director Kara Triplett throughout the years.
“It has worked out great,” Lake said.
This year, the tournament featured a total of 16 games. Additional fun was that because of a shortage of JV teams, some of R&L’s alumni got a game in.
“Through the years, the quality of competition has been outstanding,” Lake said. “A lot of state contenders have played here.”
He mentioned a boys team from Lake-Froid, strong Terry teams, R&L’s boys and Savage’s girls.
“The talent level has been really good,” Lake noted. “It’s a great time to watch a whole variety of teams.”
Blue Rock has added to the tournament by donating items such a mini fridge or drinks each year. On Friday, Blue Rock provided free popcorn for all the fans.
“It’s always comes down to my imagination,” Lake laughed.
He hopes to have the tournament feature teams from all four of Montana’s Class C divisions at some time. Currently, the tournament includes teams from the Eastern C and Southern C. He has been working on getting Northern C squad Winnett to take part in the two-day tourney.
“I’ve even called White Sulphur Springs because they are the most East team of the Western C,” Lake said.