Union County basketball 2011 preview

The second half of the 2010-2011 basketball season tips off next Tuesday, and for several teams, it is time to make a push toward potential division titles as well as the state tournament in late February.
New Albany boys and both East Union squads are in action this week, participating in separate tournaments, with the Urchins and Lady Urchins splitting their Monday bill at the Baldwyn Rotary and New Albany earning wins over Jackson Southside and Briarcrest, TN in the Dyersburg Tournament.
After the Urchins early week win versus Tremont, they enter the second half one game under .500 at 6-7, while the Lady Urchins will look to build on positives as the young squad was dealt a close loss in the Baldwyn Rotary.
East Union will open next week with three games, including a homecoming match-up against Thrasher Friday night.
While the Bulldogs are still in action this week, the Lady ‘Dawgs are looking to bounce back after going 1-2 in their holiday tournament earlier this month. New Albany will have to wait until Jan. 11 to see the latest USA Today poll, where they are currently the 18th ranked team in the nation. The focus now is snapping their first two-game losing streak since the 2007-2008 season.
New Albany will be back in action on Jan. 4 hosting Itawamba as well as a Friday home slate with Myrtle.
The Lady Hawks are currently riding a five-game win streak, including impressive wins in their home tournament Christmas week. With Myrtle coming together, staying focused will be essential for both the boys and girls, as they open with a tough slate (Baldwyn, New Albany and Potts Camp) in their first week back.
Ingomar girls have won two straight and hope to carry that momentum into the second half of the season, while the Falcons hope to build on close losses in Myrtle’s Christmas tournament. Ingomar will open 2011 with a tough stretch of three games in three days (Wheeler, North Pontotoc and East Union) next Thursday through Saturday.
Hickory Flat boys split in their appearnce at the Magnolia Heights Tournament this week. Currently at 15-4, two of the Rebels’ four losses have been by one-point, including a setback to Myrtle. Hickory Flat will play against Potts Camp and West Union before hosting Tupelo in their home tournament on Jan. 8.
The Eagles and Lady Eagles will have the Jan. 7 contest against Hickory Flat before jumping back into division play, traveling to H.W. Byers on Jan. 11.
Dates of interest for January include the UC Tournament, Jan. 13-15 at Myrtle, the 2011 Kiwanis Hotbed Classic at New Albany on Jan. 22 and a two-tournament date on Jan. 29 with East Union hosting the Union/Prentiss Clash and Ingomar holding the Renesant Bank Girls Challenge.