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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Seedings released for 16-team Twin Rivers varsity girls basketball tournament

Friday, December 7, 2012

Note: A bracket for the tournament is available at this link: Lady Royals Classic Bracket

The seedings were released for the 16-team Lady Royals Classic following the seed meeting Friday.

The varsity girls basketball tournament will be played Dec. 15-22 at the Twin Rivers High School Gymnasium in Broseley, Mo.

Defending champion Dexter has received the No. 1 seed in the double-elimination tournament. Dexter defeated Kennett 69-45 in the 2011 championship game.

Dexter entered Friday's seed meeting with a record of 3-1. Its only loss this season is to Miller Career Academy in the championship of the Farmington Tournament.

Three Dunklin County schools - Kennett, Senath-Hornersville and Malden - will compete in the tournament. Kennett (4-1) received the No. 7 seed, Senath-Hornersville (4-2) was seeded No. 10 and Malden (1-3) was seeded No. 16.

"I'm very happy with the No. 7 seed," Kennett first-year coach Rod Baxter said. "I think sometimes it's feast or famine at a seed meeting, especially since I was the new guy in the room. You don't get much credit if they don't know what you do or don't do. Many times it can hurt your team because they don't know what the new guy does or is going to do with what he has. I think that can go against you in a seed meeting.

"But I think people are starting to pay attention to how we are playing right now," Baxter continued. "We are almost healthy and I feel like when we are healthy we will be a completely different team than we were the first week of the season. Our goal is always to get better and better throughout the season and peak at the end of the year. We will have a couple kids healthy in the next seven to 10 days and I think we might be at our peak before Christmas. We might be playing our best basketball in mid-December going into that tournament."

Kennett will play traditional rival Senath-Hornersville in its first-round game at the tournament Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. Kennett beat Senath-Hornersville 44-38 in the first round of the Lady Bulldogs Classic on Nov. 26 and will host Senath-Hornersville Dec. 13 in a Bootheel Conference regular-season contest.

"I don't know if it is ever good to play any team twice in a row," Baxter said, when asked about the significant of playing Senath-Hornersville twice in 72 hours next week. "I've done this in my career and it happens when teams are in the same conference and tournaments together. We will just have to keep our focus on our game plan regardless of our opponent. It is a rival game, but we've also got to realize it is a basketball game and just do what Kennett does well."

Senath-Hornersville coach Jamie Johnson added: "I'm looking forward to the tournament and the opportunity to play great competition. It's always a top-notch tournament and Twin Rivers does a great job with it. It should be fun."

Other first-round games on Dec. 15 are No. 1 seeded Dexter vs. No. 16 seeded Malden at 9 a.m., No. 8 Doniphan vs. No. 9 Charleston at 10:30 a.m., No. 2 New Madrid County Central vs. No. 15 East Carter County at noon, No. 4 Clearwater vs. No. 13 Kelly at 1:30 p.m., No. 5 Twin Rivers vs. No. 12 Greenville at 3 p.m., No. 6 Naylor vs. No. 11 Chaffee at 4:30 p.m., and No. 3 Neelyville vs. No. 14 Portageville at 7:30 p.m.

The championship is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Because the tournament spans out over eight days most teams will have a practice day between their first, second and third round games.

"I like a situation like that because I like to prepare kids for what I think the other team is going to do," Baxter said of the schedule for the tournament. "I think we get a pretty good feel for what teams are going to do and not going to do. I like to get the kids focussed in a practice and teach the kids to react to what the opponent is doing."

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