After overstuffing on turkey and pumpkin pie, the local high school hoop teams will work off the extra calories with some court time this weekend.
Four area Thanksgiving tournaments will involve area teams, two of which will be hosted here in Bradley County.
The Raider Dome will see 10 teams gather Friday and Saturday for the annual Murmaid Mattress Classic, including the boys teams from both Bradley Central and Cleveland, plus the host Lady Raiders.
Across town at Jim Smiddy Arena, eight top girls teams from across the state will go head-to-head in the annual Mountain View Inn Thanksgiving Tournament. Hosted by the Bradley Bearettes, the event is a regular tournament format beginning Friday at 2 with the championship game set to tip off late Sunday afternoon.
Walker Valley’s teams will head north to participate in the McMinn County Thanksgiving Tournament Friday and Saturday, while the Polk County squads got a jump on the holiday, opening play south of the border Wednesday with a pair of wins in the Southeast Whitfield (Ga.) Hoopfest.
With five games planned both days, the Murmaid Classic will tip off at 1:30 Friday afternoon with girls teams from Dacula, Ga., and Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett taking the hardwood.
The Dade County, Ga., ladies will tangle with Sequatchie County at 3, followed by the Bradley boys squaring off against Livingston Academy at 4:30.
The host Cleveland squads will take on St. Benedict, out of Memphis, in the feature games with the girls playing at 6 and the boys at 7:30.
On Saturday, Dacula, Ga., will face Sequatchie County in the 1:30 opener, followed by the Dobyns-Bennett and Red Bank ladies at 3.
Coach Kent Smith’s Bears will face St. Benedict at 4:30, while the host Raider squads will once again cap the day’s action with games against Livingston Academy at 6 and 7:30.
The action at the Mountain View Inn event will feature four games each of the three days with second- and third-round opponents determined by previous game results.
“We always have some very strong teams come to town for this tournament and this year’s field is no exception,” Bearette head coach Jason Reuter expressed.
“Wilson Central and Siegel are two of the best teams in middle Tennessee, plus Brentwood Academy beat Shelbyville by 13 in a Hall of Fame game,” he added. “Bearden and Austin-East are coming out of Knoxville, plus Brainerd and East Hamilton from Chattanooga. It’s going to be a tough tournament.”
Already 4-0 on the season, Siegel will take on Austin-East, a TSSAA sub-state participant last season, in the 2 p.m. Friday opener, while Wilson Central will take on Brainerd at 3:45.
After dropping an exciting three-point game to defending state runner-up McMinn Central Tuesday evening, the host Bearettes will face East Hamilton in the opening round at 5:30 Friday, while Brentwood Academy and Bearden will cap the opening day at 7:15.
Action will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday with a pair of consolation bracket games to be followed by the winner’s bracket semifinals at 4:30 and 6:15.
Sunday’s play will open at 11:30 a.m., with games also planned at 1:15 and 3 before the tournament championship tilt at 4:45.
In Athens, Walker Valley will open its season by taking on the host McMinn County squads Friday at 6 and 7:30, then turn around to face Meigs County on Saturday — the Lady Mustangs playing at 3 and the Mustangs at 7:30.
Down in Dalton, the Polk County squads will take to the Southeast Whitfield court for a boys’ game at 4:30 against Rockmart, Ga., while the Wildkittens will face the host team at 6.
On Saturday, the girls and boys from Benton will take on North Murray, Ga., in a doubleheader beginning at 1:30.