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Local hoops squads eye tournaments

CONYERS - All six area high schools will be in action in various basketball tournaments during the holiday break.

Salem's basketball squads will have the longest journey, traveling to Savannah to take part in the Savannah Holiday Classic.

The Salem boys will hit the court at 5:30 p.m. today against Jenkins, while the Salem girls play at 7 p.m. against Beach.

Salem girls coach Bill Roberts said he is expecting to face some quality competition in his bracket.

"(Beach is) a very strong AAAAA program who makes a strong showing at state every year," Roberts said. "They were an Elite Eight team last year with all starters returning this year. Also in our bracket will be Lower Richland (South Carolina AAAA state champion last year), North Augusta (South Carolina AAAA state runner-up last year), Northside-Warner Robins (Georgia AAAA Final Four last year), Jonesboro, Savannah and Leesburg."

Rockdale will take part in the Sweet South Classic in Madison. The Rockdale boys hit the court for the first time at 7 p.m. Dec. 27. The girls play Carver (Ala.) in their tournament opener.

Rockdale boys coach Mitchell Harris said he's looking for his team to work hard in this tournament.

"I expect them to do the things that we do in practice," he said. "It's time for them to make a name for themselves."

Heritage will participate in two tourneys. The Heritage boys hit the court at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Henry County Classic against Eagles' Landing.

Meanwhile, the Heritage girls are taking part in the Peach State Holiday Basketball Classic. The Lady Patriots hit the court at 3:40 p.m. Dec. 27 against Parkway (Fla.) at Morehouse College.

Alcovy also will participate in both tournaments, but with reversed roles. The boys will play in the Peach State Holiday Classic, while the Alcovy girls are set to compete in the Henry County Classic.

The Tigers will hit the court at 3:40 p.m. Dec. 27 at Morehouse College, while the Lady Tigers play at 4 p.m. Friday against Dutchtown at Henry County High School in McDonough.

Newton also will be split up in its holiday tournaments. The Newton boys will try to claim their third straight Century Bank Holiday Hoopfest title when they hit the court at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 26 against Duluth in Cartersville.

Meanwhile, the Lady Rams will be competing in the Campbell Holiday Classic in Smyrna. The Newton girls hit the court at 1 p.m. Dec. 27 against Pope.

Eastside's teams will take part in the Charger Hooptacular, a tournament at Eagle's Landing Christian Academy in McDonough.

Both squads will tip off the tournament with games against Forest Park. The Eastside girls hit the court at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 26, while the Eastside boys play at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 27.

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.