Senior Quincy January has been leading Riverdale in points and rebounds heading into today’s game against Campbell High in the Chuck Miller Holiday Classic in Henry County. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
MCDONOUGH — Winning and gaining much needed experience are the two elements coaches say they want to get from the Chuck Miller Holiday Classic, which will be hosted by Henry County High.
The tournament, which started Thursday evening, features several teams from the Southern Crescent. This evening, Henry County plays Mount Zion, at 8:30 p.m., after Riverdale takes on Campbell to kick things off at 5:30 p.m.
On the girls’ side, Luella takes on Campbell at 4 p.m. with Henry County hosting Greenforest at 7.
Riverdale enters the game on the heels of dropping a 55-53 overtime loss to defending Class AAAA champion Eagle’s Landing on Tuesday. Raiders coach Tony Brinson said his team is ready to get back on the court after a week of final exams.
“Our season has been going pretty well,” Brinson said. “We are getting the younger kids acclimated to the season. We have been playing better.”
Senior forward Rashad Canty agreed.
“If we play to our potential, we are one of the best teams in the region,” he said. “It was tough losing that game to Eagle’s Landing. We had our chance to win.”
The four-day tournament runs through Monday, which will feature the championship game at 7 p.m. for the girls with the boys finals to follow.
“We look at it, not as a time to really relax, but to work on certain things that can get us ready for the region schedule,” Henry County coach Vincent Rosser said. “It gives teams a chance to see different kinds of line ups and showcase different types of talents.”
Rosser said that local fans will get to see their teams plus teams from other metro areas and around the state.
“Most definitely, this tournament is good for pairing up some local rivalries for fans, plus it gives them a chance to see teams they don’t normally see,” he said. “Teams from Cobb County, Campbell, Westside-Macon teams that are playoff contenders. It’s like going to a buffet where you can just sit back and relax.”
Mount Zion coach Maurice Triche said his team will also use the tournament to prepare for the second half of the season. The Bulldogs are 3-5 entering tonight’s game against Henry County. He said with only three seniors and an almost new lineup, the team has used the early part of the season to gain experience.
“We will continue to grow and learn,” Triche said. “To gain some experience, we have scheduled some tough opponents and competitive tournaments. We have to mature if we want to be a competitive team in our region. Our goal is to get back to the state tournament.”
The tournament’s namesake spent several years as coach and athletic director at Henry County High. He was recently inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.