Holiday tournament action continues today
by JOE CANNON, Assistant Sports Editor
Dec 26, 2012 | 777 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After four local teams got the holiday hoops tournament action kicked off with 11 games last week, six area squads will hit the hardwood, and one will take the mat, for some post-Christmas events this week.

The Bradley Central Bears (4-5) will get things started this evening in the Maryville Christmas Tournament, tipping off at 7 p.m. against Campbell County (6-7).

Depending on tonight’s result,s coach Kent Smith’s crew will return to the Maryville High School gym Thursday at 2:30 p.m. if they fall to the Cougars, or at 8 p.m. if they win. The tournament continues Friday and Saturday with the Bears playing both days.

Just up the road in Knoxville, the Cleveland Blue Raiders (7-3) will participate in the Bearden Super 16 Thursday through Saturday. Coach Jason McCowan’s squad will open at 7:30 tomorrow evening against Cloudland (9-3). Friday and Saturday’s opponents and times will be determined by each day’s results.

Making the shortest trip for holiday play, the Cleveland Lady Raiders (7-3) will once again play in the annual Best of Preps at the Chattanooga School for Arts & Sciences.

Coach Mindy Kiser’s ladies will begin their quest for a championship against Silverdale Baptist Academy (9-3) at 1 p.m. Friday’s opponent will either be Brainerd or defending Division II state champion Girls Preparatory School at 1 p.m. if they fall Thursday, and 7 if they win. The event will wrap up Saturday.

Making the longest journey by a hoops squad this week will be the unbeaten Bradley Central Bearettes (10-0) as they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., for an extremely tough field in the Upward Classic.

Coach Jason Reuter’s Bearettes will battle defending Georgia state champion Fayette County Thursday afternoon at 2:30, with the second-round opponent being either the host Dorman squad, which was a South Carolina state runner-up or Elizabethton (9-1), a powerhouse team from upper East Tennessee. The victors of those two opening round game will meet at 7 p.m. Friday evening, with the losers playing at 4.

The three-day event, which drew more than 90 college scouts and coaches last year, also includes North Cobb (metro Atlanta), Millbrook, out of Raleigh, N.C., plus South Carolina teams from Spartanburg and Mauldin.

The Polk County hardwood squads will make their annual trek to the northernmost corner of The Peach State for the Battle of the States for the next three days. Both teams will face Union County, Ga., in the opening round, while the Wildkittens will take the court at 4 Thursday afternoon, with the Wildcats to follow at 5:30. The three-day event will once again be played at Towns County High School in Hiawassee.

After playing in tournaments last week, Walker Valley will take a couple of weeks off before returning to hardwood action against local rival Cleveland High Jan. 8 at the Raider Dome.

Coach Bob Williams’ Mustangs won both their games in the Dade County (Ga.) Classic last week, while coach Jessica Stone’s Lady Mustangs won two of three games in the Sun Drop Romp in McMinnville.

The lone local wrestling team in action this week will be the defending state runner-up Cleveland Blue Raiders, who are heading to warmer weather with a trip to the Orlando, Fla., area to participate in the Osceola Tournament Friday and Saturday.

The Bradley Central and Walker Valley mat squads will return to action Jan. 3 when they clash in a big region dual meet at Jim Smiddy Arena. The Bears nipped the Mustangs by just two points when the pair met in the championship meet of the Tullahoma Duals a couple of weeks ago.