Jacob Travis

Head coach Jacob Travis and the Model boys welcome five other teams to Shannon today for the start of the Big Blue Classic basketball tournament, which runs through Saturday. / Jeremy Stewart

Model head coach Jacob Travis and the Blue Devils are hosting the three-day all-boys tournament for the second consecutive year, with Calhoun and Coosa also part of the event.

“It’s a good chance to get back out on the court and start playing,” Travis said. “We’ve got a good mix of schools and different teams, so hopefully we’ll get people out of their houses to come watch some basketball.”

The tournament comes near the end of the first part of the season when teams are starting to get into the meat of their region schedules.

“You ask any coach — there’s before Christmas, after Christmas and the playoffs,” Travis said. “After this tournament we can shift gears and find out who we are as a team and find out what makes us a good team, and it gets us geared up for that region schedule. Hopefully we’ll end up playing our best when it masters most.”

Games start at 3 p.m. today and Friday, with the final day’s action on Saturday kicking off at 1:30 p.m.

Model comes into the tournament with a 6-4 record but got a boost by going 2-1 in last week’s Christmas Tournament. The Blue Devils pulled out thrilling wins over Pepperell and Darlington before coming up short to Rome 67-63 in the championship game.

“We’re hoping to get some more chemistry and see some different teams that we’re not accustomed to,” Travis said. “We’re a young team, but we’ve played good against some good teams and come away with some wins. The biggest part is just getting better and getting more disciplined.”

Coosa is also coming off of its Christmas Tournament appearance, where the Eagles went 1-1 and closed out play with a 66-62 consolation win against Woodland. Coosa is 5-4, but 4-1 in Region 7-AA action.

Calhoun is also 5-4 coming into the Big Blue Classic and has won three of its last five games coming off a close 76-73 loss to Cartersville last Friday.

The tournament opens today with Pickens facing Calhoun at 3 p.m., North Forsyth and Model going at 4:30 p.m., and Coosa taking on North Oconee at 6 p.m.

Friday’s lineup is Pickens vs. Coosa, Calhoun vs. North Forsyth and Model vs. North Oconee.

Saturday’s action starts at 1:30 p.m. with a contest between North Oconee and Calhoun, followed by North Forsyth vs. Coosa, and then Pickens against Model.