Lady Longhorn basketball coach Krystal Garvin is convinced that the key to reaching the state tournament final four is to advance to the opening round as a No. 1 or 2 seed. To do so, the Lady Horns must defeat Snowflake in a regional semifinal game at 1 p.m. today in Eagar/Springerville.
Garvin also knows that Snowflake is an excellent team that traditionally brings along a large group of fans, students and parents. Through the years, those vocal supporters have provided the Lobos with as close to a home-court advantage as a team can have when it's playing on the road.
In today's game against Snowflake, Garvin would like her girls to have the same fan support as the Lobos. In fact, she'd actually like more fans than Snowflake.
It's a school day and academics take precedence -- but it would be a huge show of support if students could somehow find a way to be there as a morale booster. Those supporters could be just the boost the Lady Horns need to defeat Snowflake and earn that all-important one or two seed to the state tournament.
I hope fans turn out in droves to support the Lady Horns.
Rim Country Middle School has both a boys and girls team entered in the Copper State Jam Basketball tournament Feb. 14, 15 and 16 in Wilson Dome, PHS gymnasium, RCMS and the Tonto Apache gym.
The boys team, coached by Rory Huff, opens the tournament at 6 p.m. today in the old PHS gym against Kayenta.
Tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 a.m., the team plays Tortolita in PHS gym. At 6:30 p.m. tomorrow the Mavericks take on Desert Arroyo in Wilson Dome.
The clash against Tortolita will be the second meeting between the two teams. In the Arizona State Junior High School tournament in Phoenix last month, Tortolita handily defeated the Mavericks.
The RCMS girls, coached by former Lady Longhorn coach Tim Fruth, make their debut at noon today against Emily Gray. At 9 p.m., RCMS plays Kalbeto. At 8:30 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday), the Lady Mavericks challenge Kayenta. The three games are all scheduled for the Tonto Apache gymnasium. Forty six teams from Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada are scheduled to participate in the tournament.
Admission per day is $3 at each gym. Children under 8-years-of-age are admitted free of charge.
I don't personally know Justin Richardson, the 11-year-old boy who is battling leukemia, but others tell me he is quite a good athlete who loves sports -- especially baseball, hunting, bowling and fishing.
To help Justin's family with the expenses during what could be almost a year in the hospital, several benefits have been scheduled. They include an auction, rummage sale, raffle, bowling event, softball tournament, car wash and a dinner.
If you'd like to get involved in any of the upcoming benefits to help Justin and his family, call 468-6935, 595-1307 or 468-1972. If your contribution is to be a cash donation, a bank account (#642378897) has been set up at Bank One.
Justin's cause is a great one, support it.