It’s the Christmas season with all the traditions, and one on the sports scene that is now well established is, the Battle at the Brier.
Upcoming along with last-minute shopping is the 11th edition of the First Security Bank Battle at the Brier, one of Arkansas’ premier high school basketball tournaments.
The competition is on three days — Saturday, Monday and Tuesday — at Greenbrier High School’s Panther Pavilion. Battle at the Brier’s corporate sponsors are First Security Bank, the Log Cabin Democrat, Crain Automotive and Kestler Sports.
The tournament again will involve 16 teams — eight boys and eight girls. Joining Faulkner County participants Greenbrier, Vilonia and Conway Christian boys and girls will be several first-timers and repeaters, and some of these Class 7A, 6A and 5A teams.
Mountain Home, Mountain View, Beebe, Cabot and Charleston will be in the girls bracket, joining, Greenbrier, Vilonia and Conway Christian. In boys action, Beebe, Sheridan, Charleston, Cabot and Little Rock Mills will join Greenbrier, Vilonia and Conway Christian.
The first round games on Saturday:
Cabot and Mills boys, 10 a.m.
Cabot and Mountain View girls, 11:30 a.m.
Vilonia and Conway Christian boys, 1 p.m.
Vilonia and Beebe girls, 2:30 p.m.
Sheridan and Charleston boys, 4 p.m.
Mountain Home and Charleston girls, 5:30 p.m.
Greenbrier and Beebe boys, 7 p.m.
Greenbrier and Conway Christian girls, 8:30 p.m.
Monday’s games will include semifinals in the winners bracket and the second round in the losers bracket. Finals and consolation games will be Tuesday.
The lineup, based on performances so far this season, will likely include several teams to be solid contenders a few weeks later in the state playoffs. Defending girls champions of Battle at the Brier are the Conway Christian girls, and some of the players who knocked off a strong Vilonia team in the finals are returning.
Greenbrier’s boys, winners for the past two Battles at the Brier, both times by a single point over archrival Vilonia, will be trying for a three-peat as Brier champs. Only the Vilonia girls in 2006, 2007 and 2008 have won three straight Brier titles.
First Security Bank and the Log Cabin Democrat are planning a variety of halftime contests for fans at the tournament games.