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Sumter High girls, Scott's Branch to host tournaments this weekend

By J. SCOTT SEWELL
jsott@theitem.com
Posted 11/18/19
Sumter and Summerton are the places to be this weekend if you love high school basketball. Sumter and Scott's Branch are both hosting first-year tournaments this weekend to tip off the 2019-20 high school basketball season in the area. The …

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Sumter High girls, Scott's Branch to host tournaments this weekend

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Sumter and Summerton are the places to be this weekend if you love high school basketball.

Sumter and Scott's Branch are both hosting first-year tournaments this weekend to tip off the 2019-20 high school basketball season in the area.

The Lady Gamecocks are hosting eight girls teams in the inaugural FTC Lady Gamecock Tip-Off Classic, while Scott's Branch will host five boys teams and 10 girls teams in the Zaxby's Tip-Off Classic.

Both tournaments are chock full of top- tier teams. Sumter's tournament includes the Lady Gamecocks, Goose Creek, James Island, Dutch Fork, and Carolina Forest -- that's five of the top 10 teams in 5A girls basketball -- along with North Myrtle Beach, which enters the season ranked No. 5 in 4A. The tournament runs on Friday and Saturday, with the championship and consolation games held on Monday.

"The field is great for the first year of ever having the tournament," said Sumter girls basketball head coach Jeff Schaffer. "I'm excited about it. It's going to give us an opportunity to see some quality teams early in the season. FTC has jumped on board with it as the main title sponsor, and they've done a wonderful job for us. This is a chance to showcase not just the girls basketball talent, but also the city of Sumter. We're very fortunate that the Hyatt (Place) downtown is going to be our host hotel, so the kids will get to experience revitalized downtown Sumter a little bit. Hopefully it's good for the whole community."

The Zaxby's Tip-Off Classic will include Military Magnet, Timmonsville, Darlington, and the defending 1A state champion Lady Eagles from Scott's Branch -- all teams that rank in the top 10 in their respective classes -- along with a pair of perennial SCISA powerhouses in Hammond and Wilson Hall.

On the boys side, Oceanside Academy, Military Magnet, and Edisto all rank in the preseason top 10 in their respective classes as well.

"I just want to say a very special thank you to Zaxby's and their management team for helping us make this happen," said Scott's Branch girls basketball head coach Lucinda Stukes. "Hopefully this tournament grows and it gets bigger every year. I hope that it's one of the premier preseason basketball experiences in the state."

Both host teams enter their tournaments with big expectations this season. The Lady Eagles are the 1A preseason favorites, and the Lady Gamecocks are ranked No. 3 in 5A.

"We don't pay too much attention to the preseason rankings," said Schaffer. "We prefer to be ranked No. 1 at the end of the season. I always keep my expectations pretty high. We can't play a perfect game of basketball, but I expect them to play with perfect effort, and if they play with perfect effort then good things usually happen as a result of that."

"A lot of people think this is a rebuild for us because we lost five seniors, but for us it's not really a rebuild," said Stukes. "We believe we have the foundation, and for us, it's just kinda putting the roof on. We're going to be young, we're going to take some bumps and bruises, but we're just looking to get better and repeat. That's the goal, to get back to state again."

Zaxby's Tip-Off Classic

Scott's Branch High School Gymansium

$20 weekend pass, $10 general admission

Friday, November 22nd

Girls - Hammond vs. Darlington (5:15 p.m.)

Girls - Scott's Branch vs. Military Magnet (6:30 p.m.)

Boys - Scott's Branch vs. Military Magnet (7:45 p.m.)

Saturday, November 23rd

Game 1 - Girls - Wilson Hall vs. C.E. Murray (9:45 a.m.)

Game 2 - Girls - Timmonsville vs. Edisto (11:15 a.m.)

Game 3 - Girls - Hartsville vs. Socastee (12:30 p.m.)

Game 1 - Boys - Timmonsville vs. Edisto (2:15 p.m.)

Game 4 - Girls - Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 3 (3:45 p.m.)

Game 5 - Girls - Scott's Branch vs. Winner of Game 2 (5:30 p.m.)

Game 2 - Boys - Scott's Branch vs. Oceanside Collegiate (6:45 p.m.)

Sunday, November 24th

Consolation Games (12:30 p.m.)

Championship Games (3:15 p.m.)

FTC Lady Gamecock Tip-Off Classic

Sumter High School Gymnasium

Friday, November 22nd

Game 1 - West Florence vs. Dutch Fork (6:00 p.m.)

Game 2 - Sumter vs. Marlboro County (6:00 p.m.)

Game 3 - Goose Creek vs. North Myrtle Beach (8:00 p.m.)

Game 4 - James Island vs. Carolina Forest (8:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 23rd

Game 5 - Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 (1:00 p.m.)

Game 6 - Loser of Game 2 vs. Loser of Game 4 (3:00 p.m.)

Game 7 - Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 3 (5:00 p.m.)

Game 8 - Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 4 (7:00 p.m.)

Monday, November 25th

7th Place Game - Loser of Game 5 vs. Loser of Game 6 (6:00 p.m.)

3rd Place Game - Loser of Game 7 vs. Loser of Game 8 (6:00 p.m.)

5th Place Game - Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6 (8:00 p.m.)

Championship - Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8 (8:00 p.m.)