Christmas comes a few days early for area prep basketball fans with several pre-holiday tournaments being played this weekend.
The Chatt-Town Classic, a two-day tourney featuring an all Chattanooga-area lineup of boys' and girls' games, will be played Friday and Saturday at Chattanooga State, and the Henry Bowles Classic will have local boys' teams taking on out-of-area competition beginning Thursday at Howard.
"This is a good group of teams, most of which couldn't fit a three-game tournament into their schedule but wanted to be a part of a local tournament," said Jay Price, tournament director for the Chatt-Town Classic. "It's a chance to showcase their teams, and it'll be two exciting days for the fans to see some really good talent from both the girls' and boys' teams."
The Chatt-Town Classic opens Friday with four girls' games beginning at 10 a.m. with Red Bank playing Heritage, Tyner against South Pittsburg, Arts & Sciences against Soddy-Daisy, and Walker Valley against Meigs County. The four boys' games begin at 4 p.m. with Central taking on Soddy-Daisy, Arts & Sciences vs. Meigs, Cleveland vs. Sonoraville and Walker Valley vs. Red Bank in the nightcap.
Saturday's lineup also tips off at 10 a.m. with four girls' games, beginning with Soddy-Daisy vs. Tyner, followed by Arts & Sciences vs. South Pittsburg, Walker Valley vs. Heritage and Red Bank vs. Meigs. The boys' games begin at 4 with Meigs vs. Soddy-Daisy, followed by Walker Valley vs. Sonoraville, Arts & Sciences vs. Central, and Red Bank vs. Cleveland at 8:30.
The Henry Bowles Classic tips off Thursday with Brainerd facing University School of Nashville at 6, followed by Tyner vs. Huntsville-Columbia. On Friday, Tyner plays Maplewood at 7:30 followed by Howard vs. Nashville Overton. Saturday's lineup begins with Brainerd vs. Maplewood at 6, followed by Tyner vs. Pearl-Cohn and Howard vs. Huntsville-Columbia.
"We have some top-notch teams coming in and three local schools, so there should be some good games to watch," said Dank Hawkins, who has helped organize the Bowles Classic. "The whole concept is to set up a scholarship fund in Coach Bowles' name. It's something we want to provide and to honor a student at Howard High with a scholarship and allow the local fans a chance to see some really good basketball. Depending on how it grows, we'll see what we can do in the future."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.