By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
Tournament time means all our area high schools will be competing for a little holiday season bragging rights on the basketball court.
It appears most schools are participating in at least two holiday tournaments on the road this season before settling back down into the normal routine of a regular schedule.
These tournaments are an important part of each team's schedule because it gives everybody a chance to play away from their home court, and it perhaps serves as a prelude to what the postseason environments can resemble as area teams battle their way to late February and early March.
The tournament experience has just as much of an impact on teams mentally as it does physically.
It is always an opportunity to learn and it allows for teams to work on fundamentals and conditioning heading into district and region competition.
Some coaches may even go as far as to suggest the basketball season truly begins over the summer and over the holidays because players can focus more on what needs to be done on the court without quite as much daily grind from the school day.
It also gives coaches a chance to review the early part of the season and to see which players are improving, while making adjustments where necessary. The advantages are truly endless.
Win or lose, when you are guaranteed at least three games, and maybe more, it is well worth a team's travel cost and expense to load up and find a good tournament somewhere out there.
My philosophy is that teams who play the toughest competition and learn from that experience will reap the rewards of success later on down the road if they stick together and work together as a unit.
Over the years, I've heard coaches say that maybe certain players will turn a corner over the Christmas break, or maybe the holiday tournaments will bring someone off the bench who can start stepping up and help the starting five.
I've also heard coaches talk about the confidence that can be built while playing in holiday tournaments and how a player can turn his or her season into something much bigger than it has been from the first few games of the year.
Good luck to all the area teams competing in holiday tournaments this season.
By Dan Connell / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Knoxed Out