The boys’ bracket of the 2018 Rockmart Christmas Tournament did not disappoint. There were plenty of games that came down to the wire, and this week’s 2019 version is sure to contain the same level of quality competition.
All first-round matchups will be played Thursday, followed by the second round on Friday and the third round on Saturday. Each team competing in the tournament is guaranteed one contest each day, regardless of game outcomes.
Last year’s champion, the Cherokee Warriors, will return to Polk County for this year’s tournament. Other competitors include Bremen, Cedartown, Cherokee, East Paulding, Furtah Prep, King’s Academy, North Paulding, and the host, Rockmart.
The Rockmart Yellow Jackets (5-4, 3-1) will face off with King’s Academy (9-4, 3-0) in the first round. Rockmart finished fourth in last year’s Christmas Tourney. The Knights, who will be coming in from Woodstock, are a member of the Georgia Association of Private & Parochial Schools. Rockmart is coming off a pair of losses that ended a five-game streak against Cedartown last Saturday and then Chattooga on Tuesday evening, 62-46 at home.
King’s Academy has knocked off larger GHSA schools such as Woodstock and Lassiter this season, so this opening round matchup against the talented Yellow Jackets should be a great test for both squads. That game will start at 8:30 p.m. at Rockmart High School.
The winner and loser of that pairing will take on their counterpart in the North Paulding-Furtah Prep game. North Paulding (3-7, 0-2) is coming off a 20-win season in 2018, but the Wolfpack are still trying to recover after starting their 2019 campaign off with six consecutive losses. As for the Falcons (6-5, 5-0), they are looking to improve off their second-place finish in the Rockmart Christmas Tournament last season. This clash of traditional powers starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Rockmart Middle School gymnasium.
In the bottom half of the boys’ bracket, Cedartown (4-1) will play Cherokee (9-1, 2-0). The Bulldogs, who claimed sixth place in the 2018 Rockmart Christmas Tournament, will look to continue their red-hot start to the season. This will be no cakewalk for Cedartown, though, as the Warriors sit at No. 10 in the latest GHSA Boys Basketball Class 7A state rankings. Cedartown’s toughest test of the season so far will tip-off at 5:30 in the Rockmart High School gym.
The final matchup of the boys’ bracket will be Bremen (0-8, 0-1) squaring off with East Paulding (4-6, 2-4). The Blue Devils, who wound up last in last year’s tournament, are still searching for their first victory of 2019.
Though East Paulding has played great competition in the first half of the season, this year’s campaign has not gone quite as planned by Coach J.W. Cantrell. Both teams have a chance to earn a statement victory and take a step in the right direction with a win. Bremen-East Paulding will begin at 5:30 p.m. at RMS.