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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. >> The Sierra Canyon boys basketball team is getting accustom to cold weather. As the team touched down into Boston’s Logan International Airport early Friday morning they were welcomed by 17-degree weather, which makes a brisk Chatsworth night in the low 50s feel like t-shirt weather.
The Trailblazers have already made trips to cold-weather cities this season, including Columbus, Ohio and Minneapolis, Minn. This weekend marks the seventh time the team has made an out-of-state trip with one more journey to New Jersey still left on the schedule.
Sierra Canyon (17-2) is playing two games in the Spalding HoopHall Classic at Springfield College, facing Dominican High School of Wisconsin on Saturday night at 8 p.m. (ET) on ESPN3 before Monday’s showdown with Paul VI Catholic at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.
It’s the program’s second straight year in the HoopHall Classic and third all-time. The Trailblazers came to play La Lumiere (Indiana) in 2017 when Marvin Bagley III was on the team.
The event already announced via social media that tickets for Saturday and Monday’s sessions are already sold out.
No team should be taken lightly at the HoopHall Classic, but Sierra Canyon’s two games will pose much different threats.
Paul VI Catholic (12-3) is much more talented on paper than Dominican, boasting 5-star Duke commit Jeremy Roach, sophomore point guard Pug McDaniel (4-star) and junior shooting guard Trevor Keels (4-star).
This mix of heavy guards should make for a great matchup with Sierra Canyon’s trio of BJ Boston (5-star Kentucky commit), Ziaire Williams (5-star) and Amari Bailey (5-star sophomore).
The Panthers, like Sierra Canyon, have traveled to multiple states seeking out top competition, which is why ESPN has Paul VI ranked No. 13 in the country. Sierra Canyon is No. 14.
Dominican (10-0) is led by Alex Antetokounmpo, younger brother of reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Alex resembles his older brother, but at 6-foot-7, opposed to Giannis’ 6-foot-10 frame. Dominican is unbeaten this season, but has not competed out of the state of Wisconsin yet, which gives Sierra Canyon a huge advantage.
Also, the 8 p.m. primetime slate sets the stage for the team from Los Angeles to put on an electric show.
Rancho Christian (17-3) and Mater Dei (16-3) have also made the trek to Western Massachusetts for the HoopHall Classic.
Rancho Christian and the nation’s No. 1 recruit Evan Mobley will play Saturday against Camden High School of New Jersey at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN3 and Monday at 11 a.m. against DeMatha Catholic of Maryland on ESPNU.
Kentucky commit Devin Askew will lead Mater Dei against Virginia’s Bishop O’Connell High at 9 a.m. The game will be streamed live on FloHoops.