By Doug Gorman
It's become as much a holiday tradition as Santa and Christmas trees, and starting today, the Henry County Classic basketball tournament returns to Henry County High School for three days of action.
Eight boys and girls high school teams will take the floor at Henry County High School to via for the tournament title, which will be decided when the finals are played on Monday.
In addition to the host Henry County Warhawks squad, Lovejoy, M.D. Mohammad, Newton County, Rockdale, Jackson, Forest Park and Union Grove are entered in the tournament field.
First-round pairings: The tournament opens with Jackson playing Forest Park (4 p.m. girls, 5:30 boys). Lovejoy plays M.D. Mohammed (7 p.m. girls, 8:30 boys).
First-round games also take place on Friday with Newton County playing Rockdale (4 p.m.girls, 5:30 boys p.m.), and Henry County playing Union Grove (7 p.m. girls and 8:30 boys).
Games will also be played starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Winners bracket games in the girls half of the bracket will be played Saturday at 4 and 7. The boys half of the winners' bracket will be played Saturday at 5:30 and 8:30.
Loser's bracket games begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, but the finals start at 7 with the girls championship, followed by the boys' final at 8:30 p.m.
Lovejoy hangs on for road win against Carver
The Lovejoy Wildcats did something Tuesday night few teams are able to do when they play on the road at Carver Columbus?come home with a victory.
But Tuesday night the ninth-ranked Wildcats came away with a 72-69 victory to avenge their only regular-season loss from a year ago.
Four players scored in double figures for the Wildcats as Derek Brooks tossed in 17, Vernard Hoover, 16, Michael Sloan 13 and Aaron Williams 11.
Carver outscored Lovejoy 25-9 in the third quarter to take a 48-45 lead, but Lovejoy jump started its offense in the final eight minutes to again take control of the game.
Both teams converted several 3-point shots in the final period as the Wildcats outscored Carver 27-23 down the stretch.