If the seedings for next month’s Pontotoc Conference Tournament are any indication, the conference coaches appreciate a little mystery.
Host Allen — which, as the only football school in the conference, won’t open its season until Nov. 30 — was voted the top seed in both the boys and girls bracket at a meeting of conference officials last Wednesday, marking the first time Allen has been seeded atop either bracket heading into the tournament.
“It’s interesting that we’re seeded No. 1,” Allen boys coach Greg Mills said. “We lost our leading scorer and rebounder (Taylor Ross) and one of our starting guards (Dylan Jackson).
“I think almost every team in there has a chance to win it on the boys side,” he said. “Roff (the boys champion the past three years) has been pretty good the last few years, but it’s wide open this year. It should be a dogfight. We haven’t been in the gym a week yet, but I think we could be pretty good.”
Vanoss, the boys No. 2 seed, proved Mills’ parity theory Friday night, dropping a 54-51 decision to fourth-seeded Stonewall. And while third seed Roff — which lost six of the top seven players off last year’s Class B state championship squad to graduation — has opened the season 2-4 and suffered a one-point loss at Vanoss in the season opener, No. 5 seed Asher is 4-1 while No. 7 seed Tupelo has started 4-2 but has lost to both Asher and sixth-seeded Wanette.
“It looks like it’s going to be a really good tournament,” Mills predicted. “I don’t know as much about the girls, but the bracket looks a lot like the boys — almost anybody can win it.”
Allen’s girls earned the No. 1 seed over Class A No. 19 Stonewall (6-0 and the only ranked team in either bracket) and 6-0 Tupelo by virtue of their impressive run to the tournament title last year and a strong returning nucleus.
Vanoss, which was beaten by Stonewall, 41-24, Friday night, is the fourth seed, followed by Roff, Asher, Wanette and Calvin.
The host Lady Mustangs will kick off the tournament against No. 8 seed Calvin at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6. Tupelo and Asher will meet at 7:40 p.m. in the other girls contest on an opening-night schedule that will also include boys games between Allen and Calvin at 6:20 and Roff and Wanette at 9 p.m.
On Tuesday, Stonewall and Wanette will square off in the 5 p.m. contest, while Tupelo and Asher will meet in the other girls game at 7:40. The Tupelo boys will meet Vanoss at 6:20, then Asher and Stonewall will close out the first round at 9 p.m.
Girls semifinals will be played at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, and boys semifinals will be at the same times the next day. Championship games are scheduled for 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11.