“We wanted to reward our fans and kids, an exposure type deal for the area,” said Biggersville boys coach Cliff Little.
Some targeted teams already had obligations, but the eight-game lineup features a pair of Dandy Dozen players in Olive Branch’s Sam Craft and Booneville’s Kenny Paul Geno, as well as contenders in five of the six classes.
A pair of girls matchups open the tournament at 9:30 a.m., with Biggersville taking on Marshall Academy and East Webster facing Booneville. The state’s top-ranked Academy AA team Marshall boys will then face Alcorn Central.
Geno and Booneville will play H.W. Byers and AJ Mabon, who is averaging 25 points per game. Shannon will face Olive Branch. Lakee Westbrook leads the Red Raiders with 20 points a game. OB’s Craft is a Memphis basketball and football commit scoring 24.1 an outing.
Unbeaten Baldwyn is set to play Calhoun City at 5 p.m. Class 6A contender DeSoto Central plays Corinth at 6:30. Corinth has four players averaging more than 10 points a game, led by Desmin Harris’ 11.6. Host Biggersville will face New Albany in the 8 p.m. nightcap. The Lions have four juniors averaging double figures, led by Daniel Simmons’ 20.8.
Several of the losses for the tournament teams have come against other teams on the schedule. Three of Biggersville’s four losses came against participating teams.
“We’re excited. We support basketball and love basketball and keep a full house no matter who we’re playing,” Little said. “I feel like we’ll have a lot people here to watch all the games.”
The Ripley Event Center hosts four solid matchups on Saturday. The Walnut and Itawamba boys play at 2 p.m. Class 3A contender Mooreville will then play once-beaten North Pontotoc in a second boys game. The 8-2 Troopers are getting 18.1 points per game from transfer point guard Brandon Moore.
Ripley will face Tupelo to close the night with girls and boys games.