Tournament: Beef-up Time

Jon Ginn has had enough of early playoff exits. So he’s beefed up his team’s schedule.

The Pontotoc boys coach will face stiff competition in his own tournament this week. The Warriors (2-2) open Thursday with Houlka, a Class 1A team they lost to earlier this season. The big dog in this tourney is Blount, Ala., which boasts a couple of big-time players: point guard Jamel Brazeal and 6-10 center Brenton Butler, both of whom played in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game this summer.

Blount, which will play South Pontotoc (6-1), is considered a favorite to win Alabama’s 6A championship. Pontotoc and Blount could meet in the second round Friday, and that could be good for Pontotoc in the long run.

“We want to be able to be competitive in postseason play,” Ginn said. “We have the last few years made it into the playoffs and faced Lanier or Provine the first round, and that’s our season.”

Ginn also has his team playing in the Baldwyn Classic in December and the Oxford Round Robin in January, and its non-region schedule includes games against Tupelo, South Pontotoc, Corinth and Ripley.

Following is the schedule for the Pontotoc Invitational, as well as some other area tournaments this weekend.

Pontotoc Invitational

Thursday, Nov. 29

6 p.m. – South Pontotoc-Houlka girls

7:30 – Pontotoc-Houlka boys

Friday, Nov. 30

6 p.m. – Blount (Ala.)-South Pontotoc boys

7:30 – Pontotoc-Tupelo girls

Saturday, Dec. 1

4 p.m. – Girls losers bracket

5:30 – Boys losers bracket

7 – Girls winners bracket

8:30 – Boys winners bracket

Shannon Invitational

Thursday, Nov. 29

4 p.m. – Olive Branch-Okolona girls; 5:30 – Olive Branch-Okolona boys

7 p.m. – Calhoun City-Shannon girls; 8:30 – Calhoun City-Shannon boys

Friday, Nov. 30

6 p.m. – Okolona-Shannon girls; 7:30 – Okolona-Shannon boys

Saturday, Dec. 1

4 p.m. – Okolona-Calhoun City girls; 5:30 – Okolona-Calhoun City boys

7 p.m. – Olive Branch-Shannon girls; 8:30 – Olive Branch-Shannon boys

“O” Town Showdown (at Oxford)

Friday, Nov. 30

4 p.m. – Madison Central-Germantown (Tenn.) girls

5:30 – Madison Central-Germantown boys

7 – Oxford-Craigmont (Tenn.) girls

8:30 – Oxford-Craigmont boys

Saturday, Dec. 1

3 p.m. – Craigmont-Madison Central girls

4:30 – Craigmont-Madison Central boys

6 – Germantown-Oxford girls

7:30 – Germantown-Oxford boys

Hatley Invitational

Thursday, Nov. 29

4 p.m. – Tremont-Amory girls

5:30 – Hatley-Tremont boys

7 – Smithville-Vardaman girls

8:30 – Vardaman-Amory boys

Friday, Nov. 30

4 p.m. – Hatley girls vs. Smithville-Vardaman winner

5:30 – North Pontotoc boys vs. Vardaman-Amory winner

7 – North Pontotoc girls vs. Tremont-Amory winner

8:30 – Smithville boys vs. Hatley-Tremont winner

Saturday, Dec. 1

6 p.m. – Girls championship

7:30 – Boys championship

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