The sixth annual Times Free Press Best of Preps basketball tournament tips off today, with all games played at Arts & Sciences. All 16 teams (8 boys, 8 girls) are from the Chattanooga area and games begin at 10 a.m., running continuously until 8:30 p.m.
Six of the teams played in their respective state tournament last season and there are more than a dozen college prospects competing.
"I think everybody who has been involved in that tournament really likes the fact that it's got all local teams and is a way for us to play and see those teams right here at home," said GPS coach Susan Crownover, whose team has played in all six tournaments, winning the title twice. "I think all teams like having games to keep you tuned up this time of year and we like playing close to home the week before Christmas.
"The kids enjoy staying all day at the gym and watching each other play and I see a lot of coaches of other teams sticking around to just watch, so it's become a really good atmosphere. And the level of competition and the different styles, is something that gets you prepared for the postseason."
The tournament continues with the consolation games and semifinals on Tuesday and the championship games on Wednesday.
Times Free Press Best of Preps Tournament at Arts & Sciences
• GPS vs. Arts & Sciences, 10 a.m.
• Tyner girls vs. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, 11:30 a.m.
• Baylor girls vs. Marion County, 1 p.m.
• Cleveland girls vs. Chattanooga Christian, 2:30 p.m.
• Notre Dame boys vs. Arts & Sciences, 4 p.m.
• Tyner boys vs. Baylor, 5:30 p.m.
• McCallie boys vs. Dade County, 7 p.m.
• Ooltewah boys vs. Red Bank, 8:30 p.m.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...