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PHS hosts top boys' tourney

By By Jim Luke/Special to The Star
Dec. 26, 2001
PHILADELPHIA If you like quality boys' basketball then the Philadelphia High School gymnasium is where you want to be Thursday through Saturday. Eight teams from around the area will be playing in the Philadelphia-Rush Medical Holiday Classic with each team playing three games over the three-day period.
The four teams that win Thursday will continue play toward the championship while the four teams that lose will be playing for what amounts to a losers' bracket championship. Philadelphia boys' coach Keith Robinson is excited about the tournament and the opportunities for some good basketball.
Thursday's pairings have last year's champion Louisville squaring off with Newton County at 1 p.m. In the same bracket are Kemper County and Neshoba Central, who will follow at 3:30. The two winners will play Friday at 3:30 with the two losers playing Friday at 1 p.m.
The other side of the bracket has Union playing Ackerman at 2:15 p.m. Thursday and Nanih Waiya facing host Philadelphia at 4:45. The two winners will play at 4:45 Friday and the two losers at 2:15.
Saturday the action will start at 1 p.m. with the losers' bracket consolation game followed at 2:15 by the losers' bracket winners. The consolation game from the winners' bracket will be at 3:30 p.m. with the championship game scheduled to start at 4:45.
The tournament gives teams the opportunity to play during the holidays when not much other basketball action is taking place. Robinson and Nanih Waiya coach Fred Hickmon both like this idea.
Keeping his team in playing condition is what excites Hickmon about the opportunity to play in the tournament.
Robinson is expecting the competition to be lively and likes the quality of teams coming into the tournament. He is also keeping mum about any predictions except for the excitement.
There is one other aspect of the tournament, other than the opportunity for exciting basketball that Robinson likes about playing at this time of year. It is the chance for family members who don't live nearby to see their young relatives play some basketball.