It is tournament time. That time of the year for teams to fill their holiday break with basketball. Some host tournaments in the holiday, some travel.
Two area teams will head to Mountain Home while one goes to Beebe. North Little Rock gets the Furthest Travel award for this season.
The Charging Wildcats have traveled to Forrest City for the Rumble in the Ridge, and have just returned from Milwaukee for the NBT Snow Jam, a tournament that truly lived up to it’s name as coach Johnny Rice and his team traveled the first leg of their trip home in a snow storm.
By the time the tournament season is over, the Charging Wildcats will have racked up over 1,000 miles on the road.
Their first was during Thanksgiving when they returned home from Forrest City with a tournament championship.
Since then, they have played in Jammin’ for Jackets, before flying to Wisconsin last Thursday.
They aren’t sitting at home for the holidays either. They head to Fort Smith this week to play in the Coke Classic.
They are no strangers to the road. Last season, the Charging Wildcats hit the highway for the aforementioned tournament matchups with the only difference being not having to travel near the Canadian border and spending Thanksgiving last season in New Madrid, Mo.
North Little Rock lost but one game against some rigorous competition including Fayetteville in the Jackets tournament last year. They beat the Purple Dogs a second time last season in the 7A state title game.
So far this season, the Charging Wildcats have faced similar competition including conference mates Jonesboro.
Tournaments help prepare teams for conference play and eventually into the postseason. It worked for North Little Rock last year. Who is to say that it won’t work this year. The Charging Wildcats are certainly talented enough, and are racking up experience against good teams in stressful circumstances.