CONYERS - Tis the season for prep basketball tournaments.
At least that is the case for all three Rockdale County programs and the Eastside girls this weekend as they hit the road for holiday hoops on the hardwood.
In the Henry County Classic showcasing eight teams, Heritage (5-4) tips off against Dutchtown at 5:30 p.m today in McDonough.
The winner faces either Morgan County or Eagle's Landing at 5:30 p.m. Monday, while the loser plays at 11:30 a.m. Monday.
Salem (3-7) battles host Henry County in the opening round of the tournament at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
"The main thing I am looking for is consistency," Salem coach Darren Wilkins said. "We've been up and down within games where we have played well, then have stretches where we don't get much done.
"I'm sure our first-round game will be a tough one. (Henry County) is a very fast team, so it should be a fun game."
The winner plays either Forest Park or Jackson at 8:30 p.m. Monday, while the loser competes at 2:30 p.m. Monday.
"I would like to see more quality play from our bench," Wilkins said. "We need several people to step forward and contribute quality minutes."
Rockdale (7-2) tips off at 6:30 p.m. today in the Dacula Round Robin Tournament.
The Bulldogs are coming off just their second loss of the year, a 64-58 setback to Cedar Shoals on Tuesday.
The Lady Seminoles (9-1) face Miller Grove at 4 p.m. Saturday during the opening round of the Henry County Classic.
"This tournament is a local tournament that has been around for a long time," Salem coach Bill Roberts said. "It's great to get to play some of the other surrounding schools that we don't normally have on our schedule.
"Again, I feel like we are matched up against one of the strongest teams in the tournament. It will be a great test for us."
The winner meets either Morrow or Jackson at 4 p.m. Monday, while the loser competes at 10 a.m. Monday.
Other teams include Forest Park, Eagle's Landing, Morgan County and Henry County.
The Lady Seminoles will play without their starting shooting guard, Kentrell White, who suffered a strained knee against Columbus in the first half on Saturday. She will be sidelined until January.
"It will be great to see how we respond as a team," Roberts said. "We will be in a bit of a transition period for this tournament. Hopefully, we will respond well."
Meanwhile, the Lady Patriots (4-5) meet Druid Hills at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Cross Keys High in the third annual DeKalb County Holiday Tournament.
The winner faces either North Cobb Christian or Tucker at 3 p.m. Monday at Southwest DeKalb High, while the loser plays at noon Monday at Cross Keys.
Rounding out the tournament field are Cedar Grove, Lithonia, Towers and Whitefield Academy.
In the Dacula Tournament, the Rockdale Lady Bulldogs (1-7) face Berkmar at 5 p.m. today.
According to Rockdale coach Leonard Buckner, now is the time for his team to make improvements and execute on both ends of the floor.
"We need to make vast upgrades if we are to compete in our subregion," he said. (Berkmar) is a senior-dominated team and are very experienced and athletic. Those are good characteristics to have; that is why execution is so important," he said. "Once our team as a whole totally focuses on what is happening on the court, we will be very competitive."
At Macon on Saturday, Eastside (2-3) squares off with Dougherty at 3 p.m. in the opening round of the Great Southern Shootout at Westside High School.
The tournament resumes Monday and concludes Tuesday.
Jason Murdock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.