The Minden boys and girls teams are among the 30 competing in the annual “Doc” Edwards Invitational basketball tournament, which starts Wednesday.
The Crimson Tide (7-9) plays Hornbeck in the first round at 3 p.m. at Airline. The Lady Tiders (6-8) face Winnfield at 3 at Cope Middle School.
The Minden boys haven’t played since a 40-38 loss to Benton on Dec. 20. The Minden girls haven’t played since a 43-31 loss to Neville on Dec. 20.
Games will be played at Airline, Greenacres Middle and Cope Middle Wednesday. All games on the final day Friday will be at Airline.
The Wednesday games at Greenacres were originally scheduled for Benton High, but plumbing issues caused by the freeze caused them to be moved. It hasn’t been determined if Benton will be ready for games Thursday. There will be games at Airline.
Airline is the defending girls champion. The Lady Vikings defeated Benton 47-44 in the championship game last year.
The Lady Vikings and Lady Tigers are in opposite brackets so they could meet in the finals again. Both are having solid seasons.
Airline is 12-4 and Benton is 9-6. The Lady Vikings defeated the Lady Tigers 52-38 in a District 1-5A game Dec. 22.
Haughton (13-4) has also enjoyed success in the first half of the season.
Other teams that could contend for the girls title include Byrd (9-3), 2022 Class C runner-up Gibsland-Coleman (14-3) and 2022 Class C semifinalist Hornbeck (12-4).
Gibsland-Coleman won the Minden Holiday Classic earlier this month, defeating Minden in the championship game.
Some of the players to watch in the girls division include Airline’s Endia Pradier, Benton’s Marissa Schoth, Haughton’s Sara White and Skylar Branch and Gibsland-Coleman-Coleman’s Samora Sampson. Sampson was first-team All-State last season as a freshman.
Captain Shreve (10-3) is back to defend its boys title. The Gators defeated Booker T. Washington 59-45 in the championship game last season. BTW (6-6) is also back.
Bossier (7-5) is in the field for the first time in several years. The Bearkats and Gators have split games this season. Shreve won 48-41 on Nov. 26 and Bossier won 51-45 on Dec. 21.
Perennial Class 4A power Huntington (9-5) could also contend for the title. The Raiders reached the semifinals of the playoffs last season.
Other possible contenders include Lakeview (11-4), Hornbeck (18-1) and Gibsland-Coleman (13-4).
Lakeview was a Class 2A semifinalist last season. Gibsland-Coleman won the Class C championship.
Airline (7-6) and Parkway (8-7) have been up and down so far, but both are capable of making a run at the title.
Some of the players to watch in the boys division include Captain Shreve’s EJ McDonald and Jyrin Sowell, Bossier’s Kerel Woods and Tahj Roots, Airline’s Colby O’Glee, Benton’s Greg Manning and Hornbeck’s Brady Alexander.
Alexander was a second-team All-State selection last season.