By Chris Parsons / Staff writer
Despite several rumors circulating about the possible cancellation of the 2012 Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament, the tournament’s director, Benny Hinkle, said the show will go on.
“As of today, we’re going to have the tournament with the first game starting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 26 between Jackson County and Barbourville,” Hinkle said. “The second game that day will start at 8 p.m. between Corbin and Farragut, Tenn.”
The structure of the tournament is a little different than it has been in the past. With only six teams in the field for 2012, the teams will compete in two pools with the winners of each pool facing off for the tournament championship.
The field consists of three local teams, Corbin, Barbourville and Jackson County, while three out-of-state teams, Union County and Easley High Schools, both of which are from South Carolina, and Farragut, Tenn., will pay Corbin a visit during play.
Pool A will consist of Corbin, Farragut, Tenn., and Union County, S.C., while Pool B will have Barbourville, Jackson County and Easley, S.C.
As for the level of competition in this year’s tournament, Hinkle said he feels like the field is a solid one, but admitted its not to the level he would like it to be.
“Easley County is by far the best team that I saw on paper,” Hinkle said. “They lost to Gaffney, S.C., in the state tournament last year by three points and Gaffney went on to win the state tournament. Easley played them closer than any other team in the state did.
“It’s really not as good as I’d like the field to be, but I didn’t recruit any of these teams myself,” he added. “These teams were already recruited before I took the tournament over.”
In addition to the regularly scheduled games, there will be a three-point shooting contest on Thursday, Dec. 27, between the first and second game, as well as a slam-dunk competition on Friday, Dec. 28.
The championship game, as well as the second and third place games, will be played on Saturday, Dec. 29, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Hinkle also wanted to point put that ticket prices have been lowered in an attempt to boost attendance.
“We want the gym to be full, so we decided to lower ticket prices,” Hinkle said. “We’ve dropped regular prices to $5 each and student ticket prices are $3 each.
“You can also purchase a tournament pass that will allow you to get into every game for $20,” he added. “When you buy that pass, it will save you $5 compared to buying tickets each night. Hopefully this will allow fans to get in there and watch the game at an affordable price.”
The schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, Dec. 26
6 p.m. – Barbourville vs. Jackson Co.
8 p.m. – Corbin vs. Farragut, Tenn.
Thursday, Dec. 27
6 p.m. – Farragut, Tenn. vs. Union County, S.C.
8 p.m. – Barbourville vs. Easley, S.C.
Friday, Dec. 28
6 p.m. – Jackson Co. vs. Easley, S.C.
Slam Dunk Contest
8 p.m. – Corbin vs. Union Co., S.C.
Saturday, Dec. 29
5:30 p.m. – 3A vs. 3B
7:15 p.m. – 2A vs. 2B
8:45 p.m. – 1A vs. 1B
Pool A – Corbin, Farragut and Union County
Pool B – Barbourville, Jackson County and Easley, S.C.
By Chris Parsons / Staff writer
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