Pairings set for holiday tournaments
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Pairings have been set for the upcoming T.R. Miller Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament.
The tournament gets underway December 30 with four first-round games. Game one tips off at 3 p.m. and will pit Greenville against Mary Montgomery. Game two is slated for 4:30 p.m. and will feature W.S. Neal against West Florida.
In the final two games of the opening day, Flomaton will hook up with Pace at 6 p.m., while the host Tigers will battle Northview (Fla.) at 7:30 p.m.
The semifinals of the consolation and championship brackets will be played January 2. The first consolation semifinal will start at 3 p.m. and will pit the Mary Montgomery-Greenville loser against the Flomaton-Pace loser.
The second consolation semifinal will be at 4:30 p.m. and will contain the W.S. Neal-West Florida and the Northview-T.R. Miller losers.
The championship semifinals get underway at 6 p.m. The first semifinal will be the Greenville-Mary Montgomery and Flomaton-Pace winners.
The second chamionship semifinal game is set for 7:30 p.m. between the West Florida-W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller-Northview winners.
The tournament will conclude January 3. Play starts with the consolation third place game at 3 p.m. followed by the consolation championship at 4:30 p.m. The final two games will be the third place game at 6 p.m. and the championship game at 8 p.m.
Prior to the T.R. Miller Holiday Tournament, the Tigers will participate in the Red Level Tournament December 26-December 29.
T.R. Miller will play Samson in the first game of the tournament on December 26 at 10:30 a.m.
The other first-round games will also be played that day. Florala and Straughn hook up at 1:30 p.m. Kinston and Luverne will battle at 4:30 p.m. Red Level takes on New Brockton in the finale at 7:30 p.m.
If T.R. Miller wins its opening game, it will take on the Florala-Straughn survivor on December 27 at 4:30 p.m. A loss would send the Tigers into the consolation bracket where they would play the Florala-Straughn loser on December 27 at 10:30 a.m.
The tournament concludes December 29 with the consolation third place game at 10:30 a.m., the consolation championship at 1:30 p.m., the third place game at 4:30 p.m. and the championship game at 7:30 p.m.
The T.R. Miller Lady Tigers will also be in action during the holiday break at the Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic Tournament.
T.R. Miller was originally supposed to compete at the Spring Hill Tournament at Mobile, but a strange turn of events led to the switch in tournaments.
"We thought we had a place at Spring Hill, but then they told us they didn't have a spot
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for us. Then after we got into the Pensacola Catholic Tournament, Spring Hill contacted us again and said this time they had a spot for us. We decided to stay at Pensacola Catholic. We'll see some good competition there," T.R. Miller coach Ron Jackson said.
The Lady Tigers will open the tournament December 27 at 2:30 p.m. against Gulf Breeze (Fla.). The other first-round games will pit Pine Forest against Milton at 4 p.m., Tate against Pace at 5:30 p.m. and Escambia against Pensacola Catholic at 7 p.m.
If the Lady Tigers defeat Gulf Breeze, they advance to the December 29 semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. against the Pine Forest-Milton winner.
If T.R. Miller drops its opener, it will play the Pine Forest-Milton loser in the consolation bracket semifinals on December 29 at 2:30 p.m.
The tournament concludes December 30 with the seventh place game at 2:30 p.m., the consolation championship at 4 p.m., the third place game at 5:30 p.m. and the championship at 7 p.m.
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The W.S. Neal Blue Eagles football team is now looking for two non-region opponents to fill next season's schedule.
In a surprising move, Escambia County announced it had picked up Bay Minette to replace W.S. Neal on its schedule.
"The schools used to play for a long time. Then they didn't play for a long time. We were able to get the series going again two seasons ago. It's disappointing to see them drop us because it's close and it's a county game," W.S. Neal coach/athletic director Shane Smothers said.
Prior to Escambia County's decision to drop W.S. Neal from its schedule, Geneva also opted not to renew its non-region series with the Blue Eagles. Instead Geneva will start a series with Straughn next season.
Hillcrest is the only carryover on W.S. Neal's non-region schedule.
Smothers said Escambia County's decision to drop W.S. Neal has left the school scrambling to find somebody to play.
"It's tough to find one non-region opponent to play. Now we need to find two. There just aren't a lot of schools close to our size in this part of the state. We could have to travel a long way in order to find somebody to play," Smothers said.