Matchups were set throughout last week for both the Pink and White and the Blue and Gold Tournaments, each set to begin the day after Christmas. Brackets for each division include 16 teams, with each seeded up for eight schools.
Hosted at Drury University’s Weiser Gym and the O’Reilly Family Event Center, first-round matchups for the Pink and White Lady Classic start on Thursday, Dec. 26. Quarterfinal games continue on Friday, followed by semifinals on Dec. 28 and finally the championships on Sunday, Dec. 30.
In the White Division, No. 7 Skyline, featuring talented sophomore Lilly Whitten (11.7 ppg as a freshman), will host Logan-Rogersville to begin action at 9:30 a.m. Marshfield takes the floor immediately afterward in a matchup with Ozark scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. The Tigers, a No. 2 seed in the White, are 6-1 to open the year. Tigers head coach David Brewer told Ozarks Sports Zone, “I think all coaches would agree that with the competition here and the environment, that it’s almost like a district tournament.”
Following the Republic-Spokane game, Strafford, the No. 3 seed and last year’s champion, faces Parkview. The two teams met in the tournament last year, resulting in a 61-39 Lady Indians win.
Identical results by Marshfield and L-R would pair the two up for a meeting on Friday. The two schools will play at 4:30 p.m. no matter the result.
Classen School of Advanced Studies (Oklahoma) is the No. 1 seed in the White Division, while Melbourne (Arkansas), Branson and Thayer are all also seeded in the other half of the division. All games in the opening round and in the winner’s bracket of the White Division will be played at O’Reilly, while Weiser will host all consolation matchups.
The three schools are divided into different sides of the Blue and Gold Tournament. In the Gold Division, whose teams will play the opening round and winners bracket games at JQH Arena, No. 7 Strafford faces off Thursday with Spokane at 6 p.m. The Owls are 6-1 to start the season, handing Buffalo its first defeat and having only lost to undefeated Miller.
The Indians’ half of the bracket includes seeded teams such as Ozark, a potential second-round opponent, and Greenwood, the top-ranked team and defending champions in Class 2. Kickapoo, led by talented junior point guard Anton Brookshire, is the Division’s No. 1 seed.
In the Blue Division, by contrast, opening-round games and consolation games will be held at the Hammons Student Center, and winners bracket games will emanate from JQH.
Hartville, undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the latest Class 2 poll, matches up with Marshfield at 2 p.m. on Thursday in a first-round affair. The Blue Jays, led by Drew Cromer (14.3 ppg after four games), will play no matter what at 11 a.m. the next day, facing either No. 5 Lebanon or Branson.
The top half of the bracket includes three of the five schools (Lebanon, Hillcrest, Clever) that the Jays have already taken on this year.
A tourney winner in 2018, the Wildcats drew either No. 3 Bolivar or Springfield Catholic –– both scheduled opponents for later in the season –– as potential quarterfinal opposition. Nixa or Crane could loom in the semifinals if L-R makes it there as they did last season.
Jays host Winter Showcase
Fans looking for an opportunity to catch multiple Marshfield programs at once can head to the high school Thursday evening.
Freshman boys basketball tips off action at 5 p.m. with a game against Reeds Spring. The JV and varsity Lady Jays will follow them on in contests with East Newton.
Simultaneously in the auxiliary gym, Marshfield wrestling will be in action beginning at 5:30 p.m. against Branson. The Jays captured the Union Tournament over the weekend, finishing atop 24 teams involved, while the Lady Jays took third out of 21 schools participating.