North Pontotoc coach Shane Montgomery, who had the task of putting together the eight-game showcase of Northeast Mississippi girls hoops, would like to have seen some rematches.
“Pontotoc and Belmont would have been a good one, but they’ve already played and didn’t want a rematch,” he said. “That was the hard part, trying to come up with teams who haven’t played each other.”
Belmont, which lost its Dec. 3 game to Pontotoc, 57-55, will play defending 4A state champion New Albany and Daily Journal 2011 Player of the Year Jazmine Spears at 3:20 p.m.
“Belmont wanted to play New Albany because of Spears,” Montgomery said.
Pontotoc, which could be 20-0 coming in, will play Lafayette at 4:40. The Lady Warriors’ lineup features Ole Miss signee Quinndella Ford.
Ripley, the defending 3A state champion, plays Tupelo at 6, followed by North Pontotoc, a 17-win team, against Bruce.
The tournament tips off at 10 a.m. with Amory playing Calhoun City. Tickets are $5.
“We’ve got good girls basketball in Northeast Mississippi,” Montgomery said. “This is a good opportunity for fans to come out and see it.”
HOTBED LINEUP SOLID
Two of the most interesting matchups in Saturday’s annual Kiwanis Hotbed Classic in New Albany feature Baldwyn against defending 2A state champion Piney Woods and defending 3A state champion Booneville playing 5A newcomer Starkville.
Baldwyn plays at 3:30 while the Booneville contest is the nightcap at 8.
Play in the eight-game, all-boys format begins at 10 a.m. with West Union playing Tupelo Christian Prep.
“Tickets are $6, so it’s still a bargain,” Hotbed director Mike Nobles said. “Every dollar we raise goes back to the community.”
The tournament lineup for Jan. 28 features the annual Robertson’s Challenge, an all-girls format, in Pontotoc, and the annual Prentiss-Union Shootout, an all-boys event, in Booneville.