The annual “Doc” Edwards Invitational sponsored by Willis Knighton Health System tips off Friday.
The biggest tournament in Northwest Louisiana features 16 girls and 14 boys teams. Airline is the host school.
Games Friday and Saturday will be played at Airline, BPCC and Benton Middle School.
After taking Sunday off, the tournament will resume Monday with all games at Airline. The championship games are scheduled for 6 (girls) and 7 p.m. (boys).
Defending boys champion Red River and girls champion Minden are in the field. Last year’s runners-up, Denham Springs (boys) and North Caddo (girls), are not.
The Red River boys are off to a 10-4 start. The Minden girls, who lost several key players off last season’s Class 4A semifinal team, are 8-5.
The boys field looks wide open with eleven teams having winning records.
Captain Shreve (10-4), which won the Parkway tournament earlier this month, is one of the favorites. But the Gators will have to get past Red River in the first round.
Huntington (10-4) is always a threat. The Raiders take on Lakeview (9-5) in the first round,
Two parish teams, Airline (8-5) and Haughton tournament champ Plain Dealing (4-3), face off in the first round.
Class C Hornbeck brings an impressive 16-4 record into the tournament. The Hornets have a tough first-round opponent in BTW (9-5).
Winnfield (9-3) could also be a contender.
Parkway (6-3) and Haughton (5-6) are also in the field. The Panthers play Many (2-1) and the Bucs take on Woodlawn (7-4) in first-round games.
Ten of the girls teams have winning records led by Huntington (12-0).
Southwood is 11-1 with its lone loss coming against Huntington 41-36 on Dec. 12.
Benton (10-3) is also a threat to win the title. The Lady Tigers face Haynesville (7-2) in a good first-round game.
Three of the area’s top players — Benton’s Qua Chambers and Jada Anderson and Haynesville’s Marissa Tell — will be featured.
Northwood (14-4) is also a team to watch. The Lady Falcons lost to Huntington 40-34 on Dec. 17. Northwood faces another potential contender, Red River (13-4), in the first round.
Airline (10-5), which has lost to 1-5A foes Southwood and Benton by a combined seven points in its last two games, plays Plain Dealing (4-7) in the first round.
Parkway (14-2), another potential contender, takes on Green Oaks (6-7).
Friday’s first-round games
Homer vs. Loyola (girls), 2:30
South Beauregard vs. Minden (girls), 4
Airline vs. Plain Dealing (boys), 5:30
Airline vs. Plain Dealing (girls), 7
BTW vs. Hornbeck (boys), 8:30
At Benton Middle 1
Northwood vs. Red River (girls), 4
Captain Shreve vs. Red River (boys), 5:30
Minden vs. Winnfield (boys), 7
Haughton vs. Woodlawn (boys), 8:30
At Benton Middle 2
Southwood vs. Woodlawn (girls), 4
Parkway vs. Green Oaks (girls), 5:30
Parkway vs. Many (boys), 7
Huntington vs. Waskom, Texas (girls), 2:30
Huntington vs. Lakeview (boys), 4
Benton vs. Haynesville (girls), 5:30