by JASON GORDON
The Rebel Classic is once again filled with some of the very best teams from around the state.
The annual Hays High basketball tournament that runs Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 6-8, will include a total of 32 boys and girls teams, including the Lehman Lady Lobos and both HHS varsity teams.
“Teams don’t mind traveling a long way to get to our tournament,” said Hays boys head coach Dean McMullen. “It seems like every year we get teams from farther away because they hear about the good competition level we have here. That makes it a lot of fun.”
Every team in the tournament is guaranteed four games.
The Hays boys and girls open the tournament with consecutive games in Bales Gym on Thursday.
The Hays boys will take on Wimberley at noon, and the Lady Rebs play Corpus Christi Flour Bluff at 1:30 p.m. The two teams decided to flip-flop their opening games of the tournament to allow Flour Bluff more time to travel to Hays.
Some of the favorites on the boys side will be Wolfforth Frenship and Lucas Lovejoy. Both schools are ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A.
Leander, San Marcos and defending champion McNeil will also present a challenge to anyone who faces them in the tournament.
“Every team coming down here plays a different style of basketball,” McMullen said. “And every one of them are good at what they do. That’s why anyone who comes out to watch will get to see a very exciting tournament.”
The competition should be just as challenging in the girls bracket.
Vista Ridge, the No. 1 ranked team in Class 4A, Steele, No. 7 in Class 5A, and Poth, No. 3 in Class 2A, are among the favorites to take the Rebel Classic title.
“Really, every single team we have in our tournament is dangerous,” said Hays girls basketball head coach Danny Preuss, who has guided his Lady Rebels to an 8-3 record and a five-game winning streak this season.
Preuss said Pflugerville Hendrickson, Incarnate Word, Thorndale, San Antonio Madison, San Antonio Southwest, and Lehman, which has one of their best teams in school history, will all be tough.
“No matter where you fall in the draw, you’re going to get a test in every game you play,” Preuss said. “Whoever goes 4-0 and wins this thing will be playing some very good basketball.”
The Lady Lobos open the Rebel Classic against Incarnate Word Thursday at noon in the Joe Graham Gym.
Lehman head coach Jamie Coy is looking forward to the challenges the tournament will present. Her Lady Lobos are 7-4 this season.
“We are looking forward to playing a lot of different competition,” Coy said. “Every game helps us see, focus and fine-tune things we need to correct before district play.”
The tournament will be played over the course of the three days in the Bales, Red and Graham gyms on the Hays High School campus.
The girls championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m., and the boys title game will follow immediately after at Bales Gym.
For complete tournament brackets, see Page 2B.