This is league tournament week for basketball.

The West Catholic Athletic League, Blossom Valley Athletic League and Peninsula Athletic League all have league tournaments for their boys and girls teams before the Central Coast Section playoffs begin next week.

For some teams, it's an opportunity to launch a Cinderella-type run from nowhere to the postseason.

The PAL Tournament has a unique setup and history. All public high schools in San Mateo County, except for a few extremely small rural and charter schools, are in the PAL.

When the tournament was first initiated in 2000, commissioner Terry Stogner said: "We're going to call this the San Mateo County public schools championships. After all, the private schools already have their championship. It's called CCS."

But a couple of years later, Menlo School joined the PAL in basketball, so the tournament had to be referred to by its formal name, the PAL Tournament, since it was no longer an all-public schools affair.

Even then, fans and coaches would at times still call it (inaccurately) the county championships, somehow forgetting about Menlo, never mind Serra and its powerhouse WCAL squads.

But after four years in the PAL, Menlo moved into the reconfigured West Bay Athletic League, and the PAL Tournament could once again be billed, by those so inclined, as the San Mateo County public schools championships.

This year's tournament begins Thursday, with the top four teams from the PAL South and PAL North taking part.


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On Thursday, the top two teams from each division host the Nos. 3 and 4 teams from the opposite division. On Friday and Saturday, the semifinals and finals take place at Sequoia.

The BVAL finals are Friday at Independence, the WCAL finals Saturday at Foothill College.

  • Long tenured boys basketball coaches Nick Paras of Jefferson and Dave Low of Carlmont have both announced they will not return to coach next season.

  • Archbishop Mitty's hope of repeating as state Division II girls champions was dealt a blow when Kalyn Simon (patellar tendinitis) and D'andree Galipeau (broken foot) both went down in January with season-ending injuries.

    Simon, a versatile wing player, has signed to play at USF. Gallipeau, a post player, has committed to Academy of the Arts.

    Without those two, the Monarchs lost twice to Sacred Heart Cathedral and finished second in the WCAL regular-season standings.

    Follow Glenn Reeves on Twitter at twitter.com/GReeves23.