By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
With the holiday season also comes holiday tournaments and the Corbin Lady Redhounds are sandwiching their annual tournament between Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of the usual dates, which were the weekend after Christmas.
The Lady Redhound edition of the Cumberland Falls Invitational Tournament will tip-off tonight with a pair of games and, despite change from the typical Christmas tournament, Corbin head coach Jennifer Parsons said she expects fans to see the same quality of basketball they have grown familiar with while watching the tournament.
“We really love having our tournament because it gives us the opportunity to showcase our facilities and our community,” Parsons said. “We've moved it to make it more of a tip-off tournament and because of the change, we have fewer teams this year, but we hope to get it back to the eight-team format and eventually make it one of the better tournaments around.
“Despite the fact we have fewer teams, I do feel like the competition is going to be really good,” she added. “We have three teams from our region and then you have Perry County Central, which is the top team in their region coming into the season.”
Given the fact there is some stiff competition in the tournament, Parsons said she knows her team will have to play well if they expect to keep the championship trophy at home.
“I wanted this to be a tough tournament because you want to be able to play good teams from the start,” she said. “As a coach, you know that by playing good teams, it's going to make your weaknesses more obvious and I'd rather see what needs to be worked on now instead of later in the season.
“Any time you talk about an invitational tournament, you can expect to play good teams because usually they're brought in for a reason,” she added.
Things will run a little different than years past though as far as the tournament format. Instead of a typical bracket like in the past, this year the tournament will be a four-team round-robin format.
Getting things started tonight will be Middlesboro and Perry County Central at 6:30 p.m. with Corbin vs. Bell County to follow.
Friday, Perry County Central and Bell County will square off in the opening game of the night at 6:30 p.m., with the host Lady Redhounds set to face Middlesboro afterward.
The final day of play is Saturday when Middlesboro and Bell County face-off at 6:30, followed by Corbin vs. Perry County Central in the nightcap.
As for the teams involved, Middlesboro is sitting at 0-1 on the season after a 70-48 loss to South Laurel on Monday. Corbin is at 1-0 after a 58-37 win victory over Monticello to open the season on Monday.
Perry County Central and Bell County are both yet to see action this season as the tournament will make for their season openers.
In addition to the basketball action, Parsons said the tournament is also a chance for people coming into town solely for the games to see the community and visit local businesses either before, after or between games.
“We send out a tournament packet that lists a lot of the local businesses and the people who sponsor our team and the tournament, so hopefully we can give something back by having some of the people shop or just visit,” she added. “Like I said, it's a great way to showcase our basketball team as well as our community and I think we have a lot to be proud of here.”