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Hardee’s Basketball Classic readying tipoff at Crockett

It’s time to leave the gridiron for the hardwood, the end of high school football is ready to usher in the beginning of basketball season.
As has been the case the last 21 years, basketball in Washington County explodes with the tipoff of the Hardee’s Basketball Classic. The tournament is an annual event in which David Crockett High School plays host to other local teams. According to Crockett head coach Richard Tarlton, “the classic is the primary fundraiser for the David Crockett basketball program. This is the 21st year of the event and is really all about the local flavor. It always proves to be a very competitive tournament and every participant has a chance to win it.”
The tournament will tip off on Nov. 23, with an opening game of Unicoi against University High at 4 p.m. Sullivan East will face Unaka after the conclusion of game one. David Crockett and Daniel Boone will wrap up the opening round of the eight-team tournament. The hosting Pioneers are slated for a 7 p.m. start against Elizabethton. Boone and Cherokee will play the final game of the night at 8:30 p.m.
Following the first round, the tournament will pick back up a day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 26, with a four-game slate. This will highlight both sides of the bracket with the losers of round one beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing to the final game of the winner’s bracket at 8:30 p.m.
On Nov. 27, the championship game will commence at approximately 8:30 p.m. In addition, the third-, fifth- and seventh-place games will be played earlier in the afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m.
Coach Tarlton acknowledged that hosting the tournament is quite different from just competing in it.
“We have a lot of pressure on us to win. This is our home court and we don’t want to disappoint our fans.”
When asked how he liked the Pioneers’ chances in the tournament, Tarlton reiterated why the tournament is such a good event to watch. “I think our chances are as good as anybody’s, that’s what makes this a fun tournament for spectators.
“It is highly competitive. The team that plays well for three nights will win, it’s all about consistency in a tournament like this,” Tarlton said.
One aspect Tarlton likes of his team is experience. “We have three seniors and more juniors; this is a very experienced team.
“What does that translate into? I don’t know. We play in a tough conference, and there’s not an easy game on the schedule.”
For tickets or information concerning the 2010 Hardee’s Basketball Classic, contact David Crockett high school.