Revamped Centennial-Continental Challenge — now C3 — opens Tuesday at Heritage & Rock Canyon

Eaglecrest's Colbey Ross is on the Team East roster for the A-Town All-Stars Game on March 26 at Aurora Central High School. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)
Eaglecrest senior-to-be Colbey Ross, the 2015-16 Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year, is part of a large contingent of returning players from the 5A state runner-up Raptors set to play in the C3 Challenge — scheduled for June 14-16 at Heritage and Rock Canyon high schools — according to coach John Olander. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

With a significant makeover, the C3 Challenge — formerly the Centennial-Continental Challenge — boys basketball tournament gets underway June 14 and runs through June 16.

Formatted the past two years to pit the full compliment of teams from the Centennial and Continental leagues against each other in summer play, the new-look tournament now includes a variety of quality teams from around the metro area plus visitors from Fort Collins (Fort Collins), Colorado Springs (Doherty and Rampart) and Grand Junction (Grand Junction Central).

Smoky Hill's Kenny Foster is on the Team East roster for the A-Town All-Stars Game on March 26 at Aurora Central High School. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)
Smoky Hill sophomore-to-be Kenny Foster will be one of the top boys basketball talents on display at the 2016 C3 Challenge tournament June 14-16, 2016, at Heritage & Rock Canyon high schools. The Buffaloes will be missing a few regular players, but coach Anthony Hardin expects them to be competitive in the 24-team tournament. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Heritage coach Jentry Byleveld, the originator of the tournament, added the other teams to increase the already quality level of the tournament, which features the two Aurora teams who met for last season’s Class 5A state championship — Overland and Eaglecrest — and a slew of other talented teams. Byleveld plans to rotate invitations to other teams based on how strong they are expected to be in the season ahead.

“This allows the tournament to have different Colorado teams each year and makes the tournament the most competitive in the state,” Byleveld said.

The 24-team tournament has a new format — two days of pool play, followed by a 1-day tournament on June 16 based on the results — and has added a new venue, as Rock Canyon High School will play host to eight games per day, while the majority of the tournament will still take place at Heritage. Every team will play two games per day.

Aurora teams in the field include the Trailblazers and Raptors (the only city team that will play at Rock Canyon), plus Cherokee Trail, Grandview, Regis Jesuit and Smoky Hill.

Some won’t have the full compliment of players or coaches they’ll have in the upcoming winter season, but plenty of talent should be on display, including 2015-16 Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year Colbey Ross and Smoky Hill sophomore star Kenny Foster among others.

The other newcomers to the tournament are Chatfield, Monarch (now led by former Vista PEAK coach Josh Brenning) and Valor Christian.

A 10-player all-tournament team will be selected when play is completed.

Admission is $5 for a three-day pass or $2 per day, while kids under 6 years old are free.


June 14-16 at Heritage & Rock Canyon high schools

GROUP A: Chaparral, Fort Collins, Heritage, Lakewood, Mountain Vista, Mullen, OVERLAND, ThunderRidge; GROUP B: Arapahoe, Chatfied, CHEROKEE TRAIL, GRANDVIEW, Legend, Monarch, REGIS JESUIT, SMOKY HILL; GROUP C: Castle View, Cherry Creek, Doherty, EAGLECREST, Grand Junction Central, Rampart, Valor Christian

At Heritage High School

DAY 1 (June 14)

8-9 a.m.: Mullen vs. ThunderRidge (Main Gym), Heritage vs. OVERLAND (Aux. Gym); 9-10 a.m.: Heritage vs. Mullen (Main Gym); ThunderRidge vs. OVERLAND (Aux. Gym); 10-11 a.m.: Chaparral vs. Lakewood (Main Gym); Mountain Vista vs. Fort Collins (Aux. Gym); 11 a.m.-noon: Mountain Vista vs. Lakewood (Main Gym); Chaparral vs. Fort Collins (Aux. Gym); Noon-1 p.m.: Chatfield vs. Arapahoe (Main Gym); Monarch vs. GRANDVIEW (Aux. Gym); 1-2 p.m.: Chatfield vs. GRANDVIEW (Main Gym); Arapahoe vs. Monarch (Aux. Gym); 2-3 p.m.: REGIS JESUIT vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Main Gym); Legend vs. Smoky Hill (Aux. Gym); 3-4 p.m.: Legend vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Main Gym); REGIS JESUIT vs. SMOKY HILL (Aux. Gym)

DAY 2 (June 15)

8-9 a.m.: ThunderRidge vs. Fort Collins (Main Gym); Heritage vs. Lakewood (Aux. Gym); 9-10 a.m.: Heritage vs. Fort Collins (Main Gym); ThunderRidge vs. Lakewood (Aux. Gym); 10-11 a.m.: Chaparral vs. OVERLAND (Main Gym); Mountain Vista vs. Mullen (Aux. Gym); 11 a.m.-noon: Mountain Vista vs. OVERLAND (Main Gym); Chaparral vs. Mullen (Aux. Gym); Noon-1 p.m.: Monarch vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Main Gym); Chatfield vs. SMOKY HILL (Aux. Gym); 1-2 p.m.: Monarch vs. SMOKY HILL (Main Gym); Chatfield vs. CHEROKEE TRAIL (Aux. Gym); 2-3 p.m.: Legend vs. Arapahoe (Main Gym); REGIS JESUIT vs. GRANDVIEW (Aux. Gym); 3-4 p.m.: GRANDVIEW vs. Legend (Main Gym); REGIS JESUIT vs. Arapahoe (Aux. Gym)

DAY 3 (June 16)

Schedule depends on results of pool play

At Rock Canyon High School

DAY 1 (June 14)

10-11 a.m.: Rock Canyon vs. G.J. Central (Main Gym); Rampart vs. Castle View (Aux. Gym);  11 a.m.-noon: Castle View vs. G.J. Central (Main Gym); Rock Canyon vs. Rampart (Aux. Gym); Noon-1 p.m.: Doherty vs. EAGLECREST (Main Gym); Valor Christian vs. Cherry Creek (Aux. Gym);  1-2 p.m.: Valor Christian vs. EAGLECREST (Main Gym); Doherty vs. Cherry Creek (Aux. Gym)

DAY 2 (June 15)

10-11 a.m.: Rampart vs. Cherry Creek (Main Gym); EAGLECREST vs. G.J. Central (Aux. Gym); 11 a.m.-noon: G.J. Central vs. Cherry Creek (Main Gym); Rampart vs. EAGLECREST (Aux. Gym); Noon-1 p.m.: Rock Canyon vs. Doherty (Main Gym); Castle View vs. Valor Christian (Aux. Gym); 1-2 p.m.: Doherty vs. Castle View (Main Gym); Rock Canyon vs. Valor Christian (Aux. Gym)

DAY 3 (June 16)

Schedule depends on results of pool play

— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes