Lady Trojans host annual Christmas tournament

Sunday, December 25, 2016
Lady Trojan head coach Joel Ayers goes over a few things during practice as the Dyersburg girls prepare to host their annual Lady Trojan Christmas Tournament, which tips off on Tuesday.

JASON PEEVYHOUSE

jpeevyhouse@stategazette.com

Throughout Northwest Tennessee, the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are ones where high school basketball fans can get one last look at their favorite prep teams before the start of the second half of the season and a bevy of important district action.

The upcoming week is no different than in years past as three of the four local teams will be in action this week.

Area high school girls fans won’t have to drive far to see one local squad as the Lady Trojans will host their annual Lady Trojan Christmas Tournament beginning on Tuesday afternoon.

With the bracket getting underway at 1 p.m. with the University School of Jackson and Haywood tipping things off, the Lady Trojans (8-2) will play in the final game of the first night as Dyersburg will face South Fulton at 5:30 p.m. in the Terry Glover Gymnasium.

“It should be a tough game,” Dyersburg head coach Joel Ayers said. “We played them earlier in the year and we were able to pressure them.

“They will do a lot better job of handling that. We’ll have to come out and play.”

Ayers added the Lady Red Devils are very similar to their opponent during the Charles Cowles Classic as, like Creek Wood last Tuesday, South Fulton shoots a lot of three-pointers.

“You look forward to having that time off and spending time with family,” Ayers said. “But, at the same time, you’ll be out of the gym.”

The Lady Trojan head coach said there will be plenty of quality teams in this year’s bracket as the other game in Dyersburg’s half of the bracket includes Gibson County (8-5, last year’s Class A runner-up) facing Bolton (2-5). On the other side of the tournament and opposite the Lady Bruin/Lady Tomcat opener, defending tournament champion Middleton (7-3) faces Union City (3-8) in opening-round action.

“Look forward to playing some home games,” Ayers said. “And getting in here, working hard and continuing to grow.”

While the Lady Trojans will be staying in Dyersburg this week, the Trojans (8-1) will head south to get some work in as the Dyersburg boys will play a pair of games in the Peggy Bain Holiday Hoops Tournament at Alcorn Central High School in Glen, Miss. which also begins on Tuesday. Games will also be played at Alcorn Central Middle School.

Dyersburg will open the two-day pool tournament at noon when the Trojans face Ashland High School (9-3) at Alcorn Central Middle School.

“It’s an opportunity for our guys to get away,” Trojan head coach Blaine Mahaffey said. “Obviously, it is a time to bond. But, from a basketball side of things, its an opportunity to see different folks that prepare differently.

“They don’t know as much about us and we don’t know as much about them, but, good competition that will help us later.”

Mahaffey adds this experience will create the tournament atmosphere that, hopefully, will lead to good things down the road.

“And, it’s good to get out of Dyersburg and to see different things as well as put them in front of different people,” Mahaffey said.

The following day, the Trojans, depending on the outcome of their matchup with the Blue Devils, will face either Hernando (4-6) or Tishomingo County (5-7) on Wednesday.

After that, the Trojans will head back to Dyersburg before heading back to Mississippi on Friday when the Dyersburg boys take part in the Rumble By the River at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Mississippi.

The Trojans will take the court for that event at 12:30 p.m. when they face Saltillo (5-7).

“It’s going to be a good three days of basketball for us,” Mahaffey said. “Good competition. It’s going to be good for us.”

Mahaffey added the Trojans will likely take some time off around the New Year’s holiday.

“That’ll be their last break,” Mahaffey said. “Then we go right into district. That’s big in allowing them a chance to rest.”

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