On sideline

Cherokee’s Roger Kvam watches from the sideline during the Region 4AAAAAAA championship game this past season.

The holiday basketball tournament season gets underway Friday when Walton hosts the first Cobb-Cherokee Challenge.

The event will be a two-day affair, pairing up five Cobb County boys teams against six teams from Cherokee County.

There will be four games Friday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. and five games Saturday, with the first tipping off at noon.

Walton coach Bo Abney said the inspiration for the event came from this year’s new region classifications.

“These kind of events are something that have started the last few years,” Abney said. “Cherokee just had one last week against Forsyth County. The idea for this one came when we lost all of those games against the teams from Cherokee County.”

One of the unique aspects to the event is the host team will play first. Walton will play King’s Academy in the showcase opener at 2:30 p.m. Friday, then will face Woodstock at noon Saturday.

In many tournaments, the host team is typically the last one to take the floor. Abney said the decision was made so he could coach his team without distraction and still properly administer the event.

The Raiders come into the event as the leading Cobb County team at 7-1, while Cherokee, ranked sixth in Class AAAAAAA leads, the Cherokee County contingent at 7-2.

Other Cobb teams participating are Hillgrove, Kennesaw Mountain, North Cobb and Pope. The other Cherokee programs include Etowah and Furtah Prep.

Tickets for the event are $5 for each day and can be purchased online at GoFan.co. No tickets will be sold at the door.

In addition, all current COVID-19 protocols will be in place. Seating will be limited to 30% capacity, with temperature checks made prior to entry. Masks must be worn at all times.

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