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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Area teams prepare for hardwood tournaments

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

(Photo)
Times Photo by Jon Whitlock The Monett Cubs travel to Berryville, Ark., for tournament basketball starting Dec. 27. Kyle Woods and company will face Highland, Ark., to open tourney action.
For high school basketball and wresting fanatics, next week's holiday tournaments offer a small piece of sporting bliss.

Monett, Verona, Pierce City and Purdy High Schools will compete in three different tournaments playing a combined 28 games in a short 96-hour period.

Monett

(Photo)
Times Photo by Jared Lankford Purdy's Courtney White is part of a young Lady Eagles squad that will invade the Neosho Holiday Tournament On Dec. 26. The Lady Eagles open play against Carthage.
The Cubs and Lady Cubs basketball teams are breaking tradition and are participating in two new tournaments the year.

The Cubs travel to Berryville, Ark., for the Berryville Holiday Hoops Tournament.

"Berryville needed another team to get to an eight-team field," said Monett coach Ty Goetz. "We were looking to get out of the Neosho tournament anyhow, so it looked like a good fit."

(Photo)
Times Photo by Jared Lankford The Pierce City Eagles basketball team and senior Cedric O'Hara open play in the Neosho Holiday Tournament against Van Buren, Ark.
The Cubs were ready to face different schools.

"I think this tournament will be good for us because we will see teams that we haven't seen and won't see the rest of the season," said Goetz. "We won't have to play any "loaded" teams like we would in Neosho."

For the coaches, the tournaments give them a chance to get a clear snapshot of their teams.

"Our biggest goal will be to improve in the tournament," added Goetz. "After coming off a great football season, we won't be at full speed until this tournament, due to lack of practice time. I feel that we can compete to win the championship."

Monett opens tourney play on Dec. 27 against Highland, Ark. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

Lady Cubs

The Monett Lady Cubs also changed tournaments, electing to enter the Walnut Grove Holiday Classic.

The Walnut Grove tourney has earned the reputation of being one of the best small school tournaments in the state.

In the last three years, two state champions and three state final four teams have played in the tournament field.

"It's a chance for us to play different opponents," said Monett coach Kelly George. "We used to be in this tournament several years ago. The key for us is to keep focusing on the little things and work hard."

The Lady Cubs open play on Dec. 22. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Verona

The Verona Lady Wildcats are also in the Walnut Grove Holiday Classic.

"This is our fourth year in the tournament," said Verona head coach Ryan Yates. "We got in the Walnut Grove Holiday tournament because it offers a lot of small school competition. We get an opportunity to play or see teams that we could meet later in the state playoffs."

A good showing in this holiday tourney would mean a lot to the Lady Wildcats.

"We are still growing as a team," said Yates. "The girls are still learning their new roles, and we are adjusting to the way people are playing us."

The Lady Wildcats open play on Dec. 22 against Dora. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Verona boys

The Wildcats enter the Walnut Grove Tournament boys division as the fifth seed.

"The boys wanted to get in a holiday tourney that was competitive, and with the girls already in this tourney, it was a perfect fit," said Verona coach Brad Stewart. "We are looking to grow as a team."

For the Wildcats, the keys to success are simple.

"We need to execute better offensively, continue to be aggressive on defense and most important continue to rebound," said Stewart. "We have shown the ability to fight through tough times. Our inside play has improved, and our zone defense is much improved over the last few games."

The Wildcats play Halfway to open tourney play on Dec. 21. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.

Pierce City

Both the Pierce City Lady Eagles and Eagles will participate in the Neosho Holiday Tournament.

"It's a very competitive tournament and we get to see teams that we normally wouldn't see," said Pierce City coach Rob Guerin. "We are looking to improve each game and be competitive with some bigger schools.

"We have some girls that have been hurt and we plan on trying to get them back in the rotation and add a little depth to our roster." added Guerin.

The Lady Eagles open play against Van Buren, Ark., on Dec. 26. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

The Eagles face St. Louis Christian Academy on Dec. 26. Tipoff is 6 p.m.

Purdy

The Purdy Lady Eagles will also represent the area in the Neosho Holiday Tournament.

"This tournament has been a big part of the program the last few years," said Purdy coach Eli Ernst. "It allows us to play some larger schools and teams we don't see a lot of throughout our season.

"It's our goal to play competitive throughout this tournament and be playing better as a team by its conclusion," added Ernst."

The Lady Eagles open play against Carthage on Dec. 26 at 11 a.m

Monett wrestling

The Monett wrestling team will also participate in a holiday break tournament traveling to Springfield to participate in the Kinloch Classic Holiday Tournament.

"The Springfield tournament is a good challenge for us," said Monett wrestling coach Daryl Bradley. "There are 24 teams in the competition from three different states. We are one of the smallest teams in the tournament, and we usually fare pretty well."

With such a large tournament, the wrestling Cubs will see plenty of action.

"We are looking forward to the tournament and getting back on the mat," said Bradley. "We have had a couple of weeks off to work on some technique and to get into better shape.

"We are excited to see some district opponents (Bolivar, Owensville, and Rogersville)," added Bradley. "Our goal this tournament is to go out compete hard and improve every match."

Editor's note: Check www.monett-times.com for holiday tournament brackets, updates and scores throughout next week's games.



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