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Christmas break is officially over as area schools returned to the classroom on Monday, but although classes may have just resumed, student athletes in the area didn’t get much of a break at all as they continued to practice and, for some, compete throughout their two week vacation.
The Altus High School boys and girls basketball teams returned to action on Saturday in Cache, and Duke returned to action on Friday against Blair and again on Saturday against Canute, making Navajo the only area team waiting for the break to completely wrap before hitting the court again.
For eight teams, including Duke, Blair, Tipton and Olustee-Eldorado, the next wave of games is scheduled to begin tomorrow when the 2019 Frazer Bank Invitational kicks off at Western Oklahoma State College.
The yearly tournament brings eight teams to Altus to compete against each other, giving fans an opportunity to see most of the area’s schools competing on one court.
Formerly the Cottonbelt Classic, the tournament has been going strong for more than 30 years and is now fielded by many of the same teams that made the tournament a must watch in the past.
Because of school closures, the tournament has seen a decline in competing schools, but as the Frazer Bank Invitational, the tournament has been revived and now features teams both familiar and new to the tournament.
Since there is only one court at Western, the games have been staggered to provide spectators with a view of the boys’ and girls’ teams.
The girls will play first with Tipton Lady Tigers (8-0) and Olustee-Eldorado Lady Diamondbacks (3-11) kicking things off at 11 a.m.
The Blair Broncs (2-9) and the Grandfield Bearcats (2-5) will each be looking to pick up their third win of the season at 12:20 p.m.
The Sweetwater Lady Bulldogs (0-13) will try to pick up their first win of the season against the Grandfield Lady Bearcats (3-4) at 1:40 p.m.
The Duke Tigers (12-0) will try to remain perfect against the winless Sweetwater Bulldogs (0-13) at 3 p.m.
Action will resume at 4:20 p.m. when the Granite Lady Panthers (5-8) face off against the Blair Lady Broncs (2-10).
The Indiahoma Warriors (7-7) will take on the Olustee-Eldorado Diamondbacks (4-11) at 5:40 p.m.
The Indiahoma Lady Warriors (0-9) will have their hands full as they try to pick up their first win of the season against the hot Duke Lady Tigers (11-1) at 7 p.m.
The first day of action will wrap with the Tipton Tigers (1-6) battling the Granite Panthers (7-4) at 8:20 p.m.
Following the first round, action will resume at Western on Friday with the loser’s bracket matchups beginning at 11 a.m. and running through 3 p.m. For the teams that won, action will resume with the winner of Olustee-Eldorado and Tipton against the winner of Sweetwater and Grandfield.
For the boys, the first game of the winners bracket will see the winner of Duke and Sweetwater taking on the winner of Blair and Grandfield.
The championship games are scheduled to begin at 6:20 p.m. Saturday for the girls and 7:40 p.m. for the boys.
For coverage, check out daily updates at AltusTimes.com.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.