The Kodiak Klassic at Port Moody's Heritage Woods Secondary School is the traditional launch tournament of the senior boys' high school basketball season in the Tri-Cities.
It's also an early litmus test for who might have the right stuff to reach the provincials in Langley, as winners of the Klassic have a history of doing well come March.
But last year's event was cancelled by COVID-19 public health restrictions, as was the entire season that was to follow.
So when 16 of the top teams in the province stepped on the hardwood court Thursday for their first competitive games since March, 2020, they had some rust to shake off. Several players were making the jump to senior basketball when the last time they'd played they were still freshman.
One team didn't have its new uniforms ready, as the Semiahmoo Thunderbirds changed their nickname from Totems during the hiatus but had yet to receive their updated singlets.
Those Thunderbirds edged one of two local teams in the tournament, defeating the Centennial Centaurs 70-69 in their opening round game, while the host Heritage Woods Kodiaks lost to Fleetwood Park, 63-47.
The tournament continues through Saturday with the championship final set for 8:45 p.m.