While most people are taking a break during the holidays, Model boys’ basketball coach Jacob Travis found a way to make sure his team doesn’t get too relaxed.
For the third straight season, Model will host the Big Blue Classic — a three-day tournament featuring teams from Floyd County and the surrounding area.
“For a couple of years we didn’t play many games after Christmas and it felt out of sorts, so this gives us a chance to get better, and really get some game experience without the region record being at stake,” Travis said.
The tournament tips off Friday with Darlington against Harrison at 3 p.m., then a 4:30 p.m. contest between Model and Douglass, followed by Coosa against Central-Carroll at 6 p.m.
“It gets some games in right after Christmas,” Travis said. “Instead of bracket play, you know who you’re going up against, and it’s unfamiliar opponents, so it gives us a challenge. We’ve got some local blend, but with the out-of-town teams there’s a chance to play someone a little different. It’s just a chance to matchup against teams you’re not familiar with.”
The Blue Devils had won three straight games before falling to Coosa 50-48 in the championship game of the 66th annual Seven Hills Rotary/Rome News-Tribune Christmas Tournament last week at Berry College. Model went 2-1 in the tournament earning wins against Cartersville and Woodland.
“We had a really good week last week,” Travis said. “Our growth is good. You’ve got to be playing your best basketball when it matters most.”
Saturday’s action will consist of Harrison going up against Coosa at 3 p.m., Pepperell taking on Central-Carroll at 4:30 p.m., and Model facing Darlington at 6 p.m.
The tournament will conclude Monday with a 3 p.m. game between Coosa and Douglass, a 4:30 p.m. matchup between North Paulding and Darlington, and a 6 p.m. tilt between Harrison and Model.
Coosa comes into tournament play on a four-game winning streak, going 3-0 in the Christmas Tournament, while Pepperell carries a shift of momentum into play. The Dragons dropped the first five games of the season, but have since won four of their last five contests.
Darlington comes in on a two-game skid under first-year coach Nathan West.
Model will begin the new year with a pair of Region 7-AA matchups as the Blue Devils will host Chattooga on Jan. 3 and then travel to face Armuchee on Jan. 7.