#DecemberMadness was in town December 13-15th as the inaugural Fortegra High School 9:12 Invitational Presented by The CSI Companies was hosted at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Eight First Coast teams, including the Bishop Kenny Crusaders, Bolles Bulldogs, Episcopal Eagles, First Coast Buccaneers, Orange Park Raiders, Ponte Vedra Sharks, Providence Stallions, and Ribault Trojans, competed in a three-day tournament to crown the first Invitational champions. All twelve games exhibited some of the best talent Jacksonville high school basketball has to offer. This high level of competition on the court led to heated matchups between longtime rivals, including First Coast taking on Ribault and Episcopal defending their home court against Bolles. In the end, the Providence Stallions, under revered head coach Jim Martin, took home the first-place trophy as they defeated Bishop Kenny 66-27 in the championship game.
The Stallions weren’t the only winners of the Fortegra High School 9:12 Invitational Presented by The CSI Companies, high school basketball fans were also winners as they got a front row seat to a tournament that is the first of its kind in the area. Coach Jim Martin summed it up best at High School Basketball Media Day Presented by The CSI Companies by saying, “We finally have something in Jacksonville that the whole community can rally around.” And rally they did. Fans showed up in swarms to cheer on their favorite teams and enjoy the high energy, enthusiastic atmosphere, that one would expect out of an NCAA March Madness tournament. Not only could they watch the game from the bleachers, but courtside-seats and a VIP hospitality room were offered to give spectators the best gameday experience. All in all, it’s safe to say that from the standpoint of everyone from fans to players and coaches, this tournament was unlike anything Jacksonville has had to offer.
For final scores and standings, click here.
For full game videos, visit Airstream Venture’s YouTube channel via this link.
For photo albums of all three days, log on to Airstream Venture’s Facebook page here.