Jeff Cali Sports Editor email@example.com
The Roff Tigers and Asher Lady Indians were voted the top seeds of the 2013 Pontotoc Conference tournament after a vote by conference coaches at a meeting last Wednesday at Polo’s Mexican Restaurant.
The tournament will run Dec. 2-7 at Calvin High School.
In the boys bracket, Roff will play No. 8 and host Calvin in a first-round matchup Dec. 3 at 8:30 p.m. Second-seed Asher will play No. 7 Wanette Dec. 2 at 8:30 p.m. Other first-round matchups include No. 3 Stonewall vs. No. 6 Tupelo at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and No. 4 Allen vs. No. 5 Vanoss at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3.
The boys semifinal games will be played Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with the championship game set for Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.
In the girls bracket, Asher meets No. 8 Wanette at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and No. 2 seed Vanoss will play No. 7 Calvin at 7 p.m. Dec. 3. The other two first-round games have No. 3 Roff meeting No. 6 Tupelo at 4 p.m. Dec. 2 and No. 4 Stonewall taking on No. 5 Alen at 4 p.m. Dec. 3.
The girls semifinals will be played Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the championship game set for Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
The Lady Indians are off to a 4-1 start, thanks to what has been a deadly duo of sophomore post player Shelby Fleming and freshman sensation Tarin Dubler.
“We’re just looking at it as a good opportunity early in the season to see where we’re at,” said head coach Tari Dubler. “Shelby and Tarin have always played well together, even in junior high.”
Coach Dubler said it won’t be easy to wrestle away the tournament title from the other teams involved.
“I think it’s going to be a good tournament. The teams are equal in a lot of ways,” she said. “We just have to be consistent day in and day out and do the little things right. We have to limit our turnovers and get after it.”
Dubler said her team needs to continue to have a balanced offensive attack as the season marches on.
“Our success has to do with our balanced scoring, and that will continue to be a big key for us,” she said.
Roff returned its entire lineup from a team that made a nice playoff run in 2012-13, and that experience is what head coach Bo Thomason believes earned the Tigers the top seed.
“We brought a lot back from last year and have played fairly well early, other than one game (this year),” said Thomason, who has guided Roff to a 4-2 start to the season. “I don’t know if it’s deserved or not. It’s probably more on potential that anything. I was excited. The kids have put in a lot of work over the last two years.”
Thomason said he believes this year’s conference tournament is full of potential pitfalls and title contenders.
“I think anybody can beat anybody this year. That’s the scary part about it,” he said. “You’ve got a chance to get beat on any night.”
According to their coach, the Tigers need to take care of the basketball and take good shots to be successful in the tournament and beyond.
“Turnovers and shooting (are the keys)," he said. "Defensively, we’re solid. If we take care of the ball and shoot it well, we have a chance to beat anybody and if we don’t, we’re going to be in some tough games with just about anybody.”