Tourneys spice first big week

Monday, November 26, 2001

While a handful of area high school basketball teams opened their seasons last week, the majority will tip things off this week, highlighted by several traditional tournaments.

Many of the area squads will be kept busy at the Oran (boys), Woodland (boys) and Farmington (boys and girls) tournaments while Cape Central's girls will take part in the Oakville tourney.

Oran Invitational

Defending champion Twin Rivers, coming off a 22-6 season, is the top seed while Richland -- which went 20-8 and made the Class 1A quarterfinals a year ago -- is seeded second in what figures to be an extremely competitive event.

Bell City (16-11) and host Oran (18-8) both had winning seasons last year and they are seeded third and fourth, respectively, followed by Kelly, Scott County Central, Gideon and North Pemiscot.

Three first-round games will be played today: Twin Rivers vs. North Pemiscot, 5 p.m.; Richland vs. Gideon, 6:30 p.m.; and Bell City vs. Scott Central, 8 p.m. The opening round concludes Tuesday as Oran and Kelly square off at 7:30 p.m.

Semifinals are set for Thursday at 6:30 and 8 p.m., with the championship Friday at 8 p.m.

Last year, Twin Rivers beat Notre Dame -- which is no longer in the field -- for the title while Scott Central knocked off Bell City for third place.

Woodland Invitational

Advance, which went 20-8 last season, is the only team that had a winning record last year. Not surprisingly, the defending champion Hornets were given the No. 1 seed.

But, while not featuring the overall talent of the field at Oran, several squads could challenge the Hornets.

Host Woodland is seeded second, followed by Leopold, Oak Ridge, Delta, Meadow Heights, Bloomfield and Zalma.

Three first-round games will be played today: Advance vs. Zalma, 5 p.m.; Oak Ridge vs. Delta, 6:30 p.m.; and Woodland vs. Bloomfield, 8 p.m. The opening round concludes Tuesday as Leopold and Meadow Heights match up at 6 p.m.

Semifinals will be Thursday at 6:30 and 8 p.m., with the championship Friday at 8 p.m.

A year ago, Advanced knocked off Woodland in the finals and Leopold downed Oak Ridge for third place.

Farmington Invitational

This tournament, featuring boys and girls divisions, has gotten progressively stronger over the years and, with the addition of Notre Dame and Poplar Bluff, is at its zenith.

The girls bracket is particularly loaded with top-seeded Poplar Bluff, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Jackson -- the defending champion -- all expected to be among the top teams in the state.

Poplar Bluff went 23-3 last year but fell to Jackson (22-7) in the district finals as the Lady Indians went on to place third in Class 4A. Notre Dame (27-4) has all five starters back from a group that finished second in Class 2A.

Solid Fredericktown (17-10) is seeded fourth, followed by Farmington, North County, Park Hills Central and Potosi.

Two first-round games will be played both today and Tuesday. Today, it's Poplar Bluff vs. Potosi at 5:30 p.m. and Fredericktown vs. Farmington at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, it's Notre Dame vs. Park Hills Central at 5:30 p.m. and Jackson vs. North County at 8:30 p.m.

Semifinals will be Friday at 4:30 and 6 p.m., with the championship Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

On the boys side, Poplar Bluff (16-11) is the top seed, followed by Park Hills Central, Notre Dame (20-9), Farmington, Jackson, North County, Fredericktown and Potosi.

The first round will run today through Wednesday. Today, it's Poplar Bluff vs. Potosi at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Farmington plays Jackson at 7 p.m. And Wednesday, it's Park Hills Central vs. Fredericktown at 7 p.m. and Notre Dame vs. North County at 8:30 p.m.

Semifinals will be Friday at 7:30 and 9 p.m., with the championship Saturday at 8 p.m.Oakville Tournament

This four-team, round-robin affair features Cape Central, Fox, Francis Howell and Oakville.

Cape Central, second last year, plays Fox today, Oakville Tuesday and Francis Howell Thursday, with all the games at 5:30 p.m.

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