Jeff Cali Sports Editor email@example.com
The 2013 Pontotoc Conference Tournament is back on again.
Tournament officials have scheduled four semifinal games to be played tonight in Calvin, with six championship round games played on Saturday beginning at noon.
The first three days of the tournament were played last Monday through Wednesday, but the remainder of the tournament was iced out by winter-like weather conditions that have just cleared up this week.
No. 1 girls seed Asher will meet No. 5 Allen at 4 p.m. today in the first semifinal game, followed No. 2 boys seed Asher meeting No. 6 seed Tupelo at 5:30 p.m. In the two late games, the No. 2 seed Vanoss Lady Wolves tangle with No. 3 Roff at 7 p.m., and No. 1 boys seed Roff will meet No. 4 seed Allen in the 8:30 p.m. nightcap.
Saturday’s schedule begins with the girls consolation championship at noon and ends with the boys championship contest, set for 7:30 p.m.
Roff boys coach Bo Thomason has only had his team in the gym twice before ice closed area schools down for two days last week and two more days this week. He and the Tigers are looking forward to returning to action tonight.
“We were happy (the tournament got rescheduled). We hate to lose games,” Thomason said.
Roff (No. 17 in Class A) already had to reschedule a game at Wanette that was supposed to be played Nov. 22 and another doubleheader with Stratford that was frozen out Tuesday night.
“That would have been two more games that we would lose. With my kids, they just need as much time on the floor as they can get. Win or lose, it’s just good for us to get going and get back out there again,” Thomason said.
With only two practices since last Thursday, stamina may be a factor, with Roff set to play tournament games tonight and Saturday and a regular-season game against Calvin at home on Friday.
“It’s scary. It wouldn’t be at all if we had been practicing. A lot of our kids aren’t just natural basketball players. Any time we take a break, it definitely affects us. I would say that we’ll be better Saturday than we will be (tonight),” Thomason said. “Every time we get on the floor, we have a little chance to get better. These kids just don’t play as much as some of the other ones do.”
Rookie Vanoss girls coach Dillon Snow said he thinks all the tournament teams are in the same boat. The Lady Wolves play in Calvin today and Saturday and will host local rival Stratford on Friday.
Snow said his players are looking forward to tonight’s semifinal matchup with Roff.
“It’s good for our kids because they really look forward to this tournament. It’s going to put us playing three games in four days after a week off, so I look at it as the ‘Out of Shape Bowl,’” he said
Thomason was impressed after scouting Allen’s 43-37 first-round win over Vanoss last week.
“They have a scorer in the (Joseph) Hopper kid. He’s a good athlete. They have a big post kid and a couple of young guards. I’ve went through that, and I know you’re going to have some good things and some bad things when you’re playing younger kids, but they’re playing hard,” he said. “For an early-season game, they looked really good. Last year, they shot it a little better. This year they’re more of a penetrating type team, which is always scary.”
When teams from Allen and Roff butt heads, they typically produce exciting contests. Thomason said tonight should be no different.
“Our kids kind of look at it as a rivalry game. Any time we play Allen, they seem to be up a little more than in some of the other games. I expect it to be an extremely close game. I hope a little bit of experience plays in our favor for once,” Thomason said. “They’re going to be ready to go, and we’re going to be ready to go. Basically who makes shots is probably going to be who’s going to win it."