Basketball fans in Cherokee County won’t have to travel far if they are looking for a quality basketball tournament this weekend.
Starting on Friday, Sequoyah will host the 4th annual WarLodge Classic Invitational. The two-day Classic will feature 20 different teams from around the state, including several local teams from Cherokee County. Boys and girls teams from Sequoyah, River Ridge and Woodstock will participate in the Classic and games will be played in three different gyms located on Sequoyah’s campus.
“When I got here I thought we could host a pretty good tournament with three gyms right here on campus,” Sequoyah's boys basketball coach Allen Carden said. “It was actually myself and Derrick DeWitt who now coaches at Marietta. The consensus from both of us was to cater to what everybody needs because some teams are only looking for one game.
“We really try to cater to what teams need and kind of move to that Classic format instead of a bracketed tournament.”
Games will be played in Sequoyah’s main gym, the Sequoyah East gym and the Dean Rusk Middle School gym. A $10 dollar ticket allows patrons to move freely from one gym to another and several high quality teams from around the state will participate in the action.
On the girls side, Woodstock (11-1) enters the weekend ranked No. 8 in Class AAAAAAA. The Lady Wolverines only loss came at the hands of Cherokee (12-1), AAAAAAA’s No. 3-ranked team. North Cobb (7-4) enters the Classic ranked No. 10 in AAAAAAA while Wesleyan (6-2) is ranked No. 4 in Class A-Private.
Woodstock is scheduled to play against Alpharetta (8-4) and Mountain View (2-12). Sequoyah (6-5) will play against Our Lady of Mercy (9-3) and Alpharetta while River Ridge (6-5) will face off against Mountain View and Marietta (4-6).
“I think a lot of teams like the format of just getting one game if that’s what they need,” Carden said. “We tell them ‘Tell us what you need and we’ll take care of you. We’ll make it work.’”
On the boys side, River Ridge (5-7) will face a tough test Friday night when they face Class AAAAA No. 10 Buford (7-3). The Knights will play against Wesleyan (4-2) on Saturday. Sequoyah (8-4) is scheduled to play North Cobb (5-4) and Jefferson (6-5) while Woodstock (6-6) will face off against Our Lady of Mercy (5-8) and Marietta (2-8).
With multiple games occurring simultaneously in multiple gyms there is sure to be plenty of activity this weekend at Sequoyah.
“Our administration does a tremendous job with helping run this whole thing. We honestly couldn’t do this without them,” Carden said. “We also get tremendous support from our parents and community because it takes a lot of people to run a big tournament like this.
“You can pay $10 and watch nine games and walk from gym to gym,” Carden said. “It’s really an exciting time and a chance to see some really good basketball.”