North Bay Haven hosts high competition at Beach Bash

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - North Bay Haven's three day "Beach Bash" holiday hoops tournament brought in a high number of teams and high level of competition.

41 teams from six states (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Illinois) called the Panama City area home Thursday through Saturday, playing in boys and girls brackets.

The North Bay Haven boys went 1-3 while the girls went 0-3, but the tournament's value is found beyond wins and losses.

"The gates have been really good," boys coach Jeremy Deal said. "These teams from Georgia have used this as a vacation. Families have come down, so they're staying. They're not huge crowds, but for a tournament this far away it has been really good. It fundraises our athletics, boys and girls basketball benefits from it, and also the local gyms here."

Games were held at North Bay Haven, Bay, and Surfside, with the latter locations operating concessions and keeping the money earned.

Out-of-area teams excelled in both brackets, although there's value in that too.

"We get so used to the basketball we have here in North Florida, it's nice to see these teams coming from Georgia, the one coming from Chicago is really good, just to see a different brand of basketball and for our kids to enjoy," Deal added. "They're very physical. We haven't had a lot of local teams win. They play very good team ball...it's just nice to see what they have to offer."

Deal hopes to expand the tournament in 2020.

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