Defending Class 4A boys state champion Bossier is among the teams in a new high school basketball tournament.
The first Battle on the Hardwood Classic, featuring some of the top boys and girls teams in the state, will be held Nov. 17-19. There will be more than 50 games at Fair Park, Captain Shreve, Huntington and the Centenary Gold Dome.
The teams will play a round-robin format over the thee days with some teams playing three games and some two depending on their preference, according to a press release.
The event is sponsored by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.
Teams from Texas, Arkansas and Chicago will also be competing.
The Plain Dealing Lady Lions and Bossier Lady Kats are among 20 girls teams competing. They are the only other team from Bossier Parish participating.
There will be 15 boys teams competing, including 2015 Class 4A runner-up Washington-Marion. Bossier defeated Washington-Marion 42-39 in the title game in March.
Other local boys teams are Fair Park, Booker T. Washington, Huntington, Captain Shreve, Green Oaks and Woodlawn.
Five Texas schools are in the field — Tyler John Tyler, Houston Pro-Vision Academy, Longview, Marshall and Tyler Robert E. Lee. Also competing is Monroe Wossman.
The girls’ division includes three-time defending Class 2A state champion North Caddo, 2015 Class 5A semifinalist Natchitoches Central and defending Class 1A state champion Arcadia and 2015 Class 3A runner-up Parkview Baptist.
Also playing is Dallas Lincoln, which reached the Texas Class 4A Region 2 championship game lasts season.
Other area teams are Fair Park, Mansfield, Natchitoches Central, Red River and Captain Shreve.
Destrehan, Wossman, West Monroe, Rayville and New Orleans Helen Cox are the other Louisiana teams in the field.
Out-of-state schools competing are El Dorado (Arkansas), John Tyler (Texas) and Proviso West (Chicago).
The tournament will serve as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation in its efforts to find a cure for breast cancer. Proceeds from sae of T-shirts and $1 from every program will be donated to the Komen Foundation.
The tournament replaces the Fair Park Invitational and was the brainchild of Fair Park girls coach Cherise Sims.
“I’m super excited about the potential of this in giving people the chance to see some of the best basketball talent we have to offer,” Sims said in the press release. “I first approached the Sports Commission in 2014 about this, then we talked more last year. Now, we’ll be bringing championship caliber teams to Shreveport.”
Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission chairman Billy Montgomery is also excited about the tournament. Montgomery is a former state champion coach at Haughton.
“This event is a great partnership between area high school coaches, the sports commission, and one of our local colleges. This event will provide great basketball but will also bring in teams from all over the region along with their friends and family that will have a great economic impact on the Shreveport-Bossier community.”
The tournament plans to have to top matchups at the Gold Dome on the final day of the event, a Saturday.
“Centenary is proud to host the premiere matchups on Saturday showcasing in the Gold Dome,” Coach Adam Walsh said. “Having the top high school athletes on our campus will showcase our college program.”
Tickets will be $10 per day or $20 for a three-day pass.
Businesses or individuals who would like to sponsor a team or assist with the event should contact Jessica Busada with the Sports Commission at (318) 429-0649 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Battle on the Hardwood Classic contact Cherise Sims at (318) 458-7579 or Que’brelyn Hill at (318) 429-0654 or email@example.com.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org