Bulldogs set to open 19th McLouth Invitational
Jefferson County North will pursue another basketball tournament title when the 19th annual McLouth Invitational Tournament begins Monday.
The Chargers won the preseason Delaware Valley League Tournament early last month. JCN's run in the league tournament included a victory against McLouth in a game that MHS led at halftime.
This year's field again features four DVL teams and four additional schools. Valley Falls and Oskaloosa join McLouth and JCN as Delaware Valley schools, while Maranatha (Shawnee), Bishop Ward, Perry-Lecompton and Atchison County are the remaining four schools.
Teams will be seeded in two sets of four teams -- Delaware Valley squads in one set and non-league schools in the other.
The teams will be cross-matched so that the No. 1 Delaware Valley seed will play the No. 4 non-league seed and vice versa. As for the No. 2 league seed, it will face the No. 3 non-league school and vice versa.
"Hopefully it's going to be a good competitive tournament," said Tom Pierce, McLouth athletics director.
Jeff County North, by far, has the top record in this year's tournament. The Chargers, as of Tuesday, were 7-1, while Bishop Ward was 4-3 heading into its game Tuesday against Mill Valley. The rest of the field is positioned under .500. Before Tuesday's games, Oskaloosa and Valley Falls both were 3-4, while McLouth was 2-4 and Maranatha 2-5. Perry-Lecompton and Atchison County both were 1-5 before Tuesday's games.
Of the teams in this year's tournament, Maranatha could have the most deceptive record. Of the Eagles' five losses, four were to either 5A or 6A schools. Maranatha, which is a 3A school, also lost to McLouth earlier this year. The Eagles were scheduled to play Valley Falls on Tuesday.
The McLouth Invitational will tip off at 6 p.m. next Tuesday with four first-round games being played in two gyms. Games will begin at 6 p.m. and then roughly 7:30 p.m. in McLouth's Gold and Purple gyms.
The tournament will resume with games in both gyms Jan. 20 at the same times.
On Jan. 21, the seventh-place game will be played at 4 p.m. in the Purple gym, while the fifth-place game will be played at the same time in the Gold gym. About 5:30 the third-place game will start in the Gold gym, with the championship game slated for roughly 7 p.m. in the Gold gym.