Winterfest Shootout starts today
Bears and Bearettes welcome teams from other cities, states
Dec. 20, 2012 @ 11:09 AM
For the second year in a row, Sevierville and Sevier County High School will welcome teams from around the region and surrounding states for the Winterfest Shootout.
The event, which was started last season by Sevier County High School coaches Ken Wright and Stacy Marine, features three days of tournament basketball in Sevierville with games culminating in a championship round Saturday night.
Wright said the basketball to be played is almost a much-watch.
“This is going to be just a quality tournament,” he said Monday. “There’s going to be no easy games in there for anybody.
“It’s going to be great matchups. If you like basketball, this is the tournament to come see because of the quality of teams we have in this thing.”
Coach Marine agreed.
“It’s a good bracket to see some good girls teams,” he said. “It should be good basketball — competitive.”
The tournament will feature eight-team boys and girls brackets with games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Making it all the way through to Saturday without a loss will be a huge accomplishment for any team. “Whoever wins this championship is going to have to earn it,” Wright said. “If you roll through the bracket undefeated in this tournament, you’re a good basketball team. Last year’s winner went on back to Georgia and they ended up being in the Elite 8 down in Georgia, and I think it’s going to be the same way this year.”
Wright said seeing teams from outside the area is what makes hosting a holiday tournament special.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I love to see the competition and the out-of-state teams coming in here. The kids get to play teams they don’t generally see, and that’s the fun thing — playing teams you don’t meet during the regular-season.
You just have to kind of shoot from the hip on it, you can look up a little info on them, but it’s one of those things where you just make adjustments on the fly. “
Getting those quality out-of-state teams into Sevier County isn’t too much of a challenge.
“(Sevier County) is a good place,” Marine said. “A lot of teams are staying at the Wilderness (at the Smokies resort). They like that atmosphere there, where they get the indoor waterpark when they’re not playing.
“We got feedback last year that they really enjoyed it,” he continued. “We’re excited about having everybody, and we hope this continues to grow. We might eventually go to more teams, if we can get enough gyms to use. It’s just its second year, and we’ve got quite a few teams returning from last year.”
The area also benefits from having the influx of 13 visiting teams.
“The city benefits from this with all these teams coming in staying at hotels and eating meals here over the holidays,” Wright said. “And you know they’re going to spend money at the malls while they’re here shopping for Christmas.
“Being the county high school here we want to support the Winterfest and the area as a whole. It’s just such a beautiful area.” Thursday’s opening-round of games will feature several contests at Sevierville Middle School (see brackets on this page). Games after round 1 will move exclusively to the high school.
Sevier County Bearettes
Summary: The Bearettes have been hit and miss so far this year. The team seemed to be hitting its stride early in the month with back-to-back, double-digit wins over South-Doyle and Morristown East. But that was before sophomore Brittany Tarr, the squads’ leading scorer and rebounder, was hurt against Morristown West. The Bearettes have lost two since then.
Ooltewah Lady Owls
Summary: Ooltewah, despite wins over East Ridge and Murray County (Ga.), has suffered a 23-point average margin of defeat in their nine losses.
Heritage Lady Mountaineers
Summary: Heritage’s only losses have come to district rivals Bearden and Lenoir City. The team began the year with eight wins in a row, including a 51-50 win over Seymour.
White County Warriorettes
Summary: White County — the alma mater of former Lady Vol Kelly Jolly — started the season 5-0, before suffering their only loss thus far against powerful Bradley Central. They are currently on three-game winning streak.
Campbell County Lady Cougars
Summary: Through traditionally a strong team, Campbell County is suffering through some struggles this season. They’ve had a pair of three-game losing streaks, and already lost to two tournament teams (Sevier, Heritage) this season. The Bearettes won by 16 when the teams met in Jacksboro.
Cullman Lady Bearcats
Summary: The Lady Bearcats have won three of their last four games, including a victory over county-rival West Point last Friday.
Alcoa Lady Tornadoes
Summary: The Lady Tornadoes are better than their record indicates. All of their losses this year have come against good opponents, and one of their victories came over 10-1 McMinn Central.
Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks
The Lady Red Hawks have been most-impressive this year, with their only loss coming to an unbeaten Summertown team. Only four of Creek Wood’s 10 wins have been close.
Sevier County Smoky Bears
Summary: The Bears have looked good so far this season, including a wins over a good Walker Valley squad and four-straight District 2-AAA teams. SCHS’s unbeaten record will definitely be challenged at the Shootout.
Montgomery Catholic Knights
Summary: Two-time state champions in their classification in Alabama (1999, 2000) the Knights have two players, Anthony Thomas (18.9) and Michael Dallas (22.1), averaging over 18 points per game.
Knox Central Panthers
Summary: Just one year removed from a 24-win season, the Panthers are off to a hot start this year that includes an upset win over Clay County and a sweep of Cumberland Gap (Tenn.).
Summary: The Bearcats haven’t had the best start to 2012, but the team does have a balanced offensive attack and is coming off of a successful 17-win season in 2011.
Pigeon Forge Tigers
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Summary: The Tigers, having several key players from last year’s 19-13 squad, are virtually unrecognizable from that team. The Tigers’ wide-open game plan and streaky shooting can make for an exciting game for the fans of either the TIgers or the team they’re facing.
Douglas County Tigers
Summary: Representing the largest school in the tournament field, the Tigers have started the season just 3-3. But that’s misleading. A likely favorite, the Tigers feature six players 6-foot-3 or taller, and they’re averaging a remarkable 87 points per game. Teammates Jalen Thornton (26.0) and Justin Bridges (23.2) average over 20 a game.
Summary: Coached by Mike Wright — the son of SCHS’s Ken Wright — Oakland has had two three-game win streaks this season. In those wins they’ve outscored their opponents by an average of 23 points. Their two losses have come by five points combined.
Glenwood School Gators
Phenix City, Ala.
Summary: A private, Pre-K-12 school in Phenix City, Ala., Glenwood made Alabama’s Elite 8 in 2011 while winning 24 games. Unbeaten this year, the Gators feature 6-5 senior Trotter Barringer and 6-8 junior Tanner Thomason.