Basketball tips off with annual tournament

With the football and volleyball seasons winding down, basketball is getting ready to start. The annual Tharptown Junior High Basketball TipOff Tournament was held Oct. 17 with games in both the high school gymnasium and elementary school gymnasium.

This year the tournament was structured a little differently, with health protocols in mind to keep students and fans safe amid the continuing global pandemic. School community clusters were kept together as much as possible, and games were played back-to-back just like a normal night of basketball; however, when teams started crossing over during tournament play, there were longer breaks between games to give teams and fans time to leave the gym without interacting with teams and fans from other communities.

This also gave school personnel time to do some disinfecting of the area.

In addition to other restrictions and precautions, masks were required to be worn in the building at all times.

“We know this is not a normal year,” said Tharptown Principal Ann Scott. “Our primary goal is to keep our students and athletes as safe as possible. We are putting in measures to make that happen. We ask that the adults set a good example for our students and respect the health and views of others we might disagree with.”

Saturday games featured seventh-grade, eighth-grade and ninth-grade boys and girls from Tharptown, East Franklin, Belgreen, Phil Campbell, Russellville, Lawrence County and Colbert Heights. The finals will played Thursday.