Loaded field set for Walnut Grove

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pierce City, Verona hope to bring home top awards

Ready or not, the holiday basketball tournament season is upon sports fans and area teams.

On Friday, the Pierce City and Verona girls basketball teams open play in the annual Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament.

This year’s field includes 16 teams and plays out over seven days. The Walnut Grove tournament has earned the reputation of being the best small-school holiday tournament in the state.

In the last seven years, four state champions and 10 state final four teams have played in the field.

Tournament play opens Friday at 9 a.m., with games slated to begin every 90 minutes until the final tipoff at 7:30 p.m.

The Lady Wildcats earned the No. 10 seed and play No. 7 seed Omaha (Ark.) at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The Lady Eagles enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed and play No. 15 seed Morrisville at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The opening day slate is as follows:

• No. 1 Walnut Grove vs. No. 16 Hurley

• No. 8 Miller vs. No. 9 Ava

• No. 4 Crane vs. No. 13 Ash Grove

• No. 5 Hartville vs. No. 12 Pleasant Hope

• No. 2 Pierce City vs. No. 15 Morrisville

• No. 7 Omaha vs. No. 10 Verona

• No. 3 Fordland vs. No. 14 Niangua

• No. 6 Hermitage vs. No. 11 Willard JV

The second round games are set for Tuesday.

The championship round is set for Dec. 30, with the third-place game slated for 3 p.m. and the championship at 6 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Tournament passes good for every slated game are also on sale for $25.

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