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AHS, NHS face stiff competition at Tip-Off Classic
The Lady Tigers and Lady Rams will compete this week in the Lady Blue Tip-Off Classic hosted by Norcross High School. - photo by Photo Courtesy of Norcross High School

The Alcovy and Newton varsity girls basketball programs will hit the road this week to take part in the Lady Blue Tip-Off Classic hosted by Norcross High School.

The tournament will run over five days from Nov. 19–23.

Newton tips off action tonight on the road against the Blue Devils at 8 p.m. before Alcovy begins tournament play tomorrow night.

The tournament will feature 18 teams, including Wesleyan, Milton, Fayette County, Salem, Lovett, Pike County, South Gwinnett, GAC, North Gwinnett, Tucker, Columbia, Effingham and McEachern, along with the Rams, Tigers and Blue Devils.

Newton begins play on the tournament’s second game in the late contest against Norcross.

Norcross enters the contest with a 1-0 record after defeating Jonesboro last Friday 64-20. The Lady Blue Devils are the defending state champions, defeating North Gwinnett for the Class AAAAAA title 63-42 last season.

Newton coach Tiffani Johnson said the tournament provides her players an early season test against some of the state’s best programs.

"The level of competition is going to be very high," Johnson said. "I don’t want the girls first time playing a top team to be in the region or in the state tournament. Right now, Norcross provides us the tradition and we get to play a big-level team. They have momentum in their program right now, and that’s where we want to be. I want us to get that experience early and build on it for the rest of the season."

The Lady Tigers will begin play Thursday night at 8 p.m., also against the Lady Blue Devils.

"We chose to go because we were looking for some more games at the start of the season," Alcovy coach David Baker said. "I wanted my girls to play the best, right at the top (of the season). Norcross is one of the toughest teams in the state and are coming off a state title last season. So, they’re going to provide us a great assessment of where we are right now. I know there is going to be some fierce competition there, and that’s what I wanted the girls to see. The girls need that challenge."

The Lady Tigers will also play Effingham Nov. 23 at 11:30 a.m.

Baker said he wants to see his program compete at a high level against the Lady
Blue Devils and the Lady Rebels.

"I’m hoping to see them playing hard and competing," he said. "We have to compete at a high level. We want to play the best so that we can be the best at the end of the season."

The Lady Rams will close tournament action against South Gwinnett at 2:30 p.m., Nov. 23.