HANCEVILLE – Since arriving at Wallace State in 2010, men's basketball coach John Meeks has always been interested in creating a tip-off tournament, featuring both high school and collegiate teams. His plan has come to fruition. Wallace State basketball will host the inaugural Regional Tip-off Challenge on Nov. 5 and Nov. 7 at Tom Drake Coliseum.
All four high school participants will open their 2013-14 seasons at Wallace State. Butler and Huntsville High Schools will tip off the event at 6 p.m. on Nov. 5, followed by JO Johnson vs. Cullman at 7:30 p.m.
On Nov. 7, both Wallace State men's and women's basketball teams will play their 2013-14 home openers against Northeast Mississippi CC before the tip-off championship games. Wallace State's men will open the four-game slate at 3 p.m., followed by the Lady Lions at 5 p.m. The high school consolation game is planned for 6:30 p.m. and the championship game at 8 p.m.
Wallace State's basketball facility is no stranger to high-level high school competition. The college hosts the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Northwest Regional each February, along with the Cullman County basketball tournament and other athletic events.
"We're excited to have a chance to host the inaugural Wallace State Regional Tip-off Challenge. My ultimate goal is to have this carry as much excitement as the AHSAA Northwest Regional generates in February. I feel mimicking that excitement in November will allow high school teams to really start out with a bang," said Meeks, who's entering his fourth season with the Lions. "This year's tournament is obviously starting out on a small scale, but we hope to continue to build it over the next few years. I'm excited about this year's field though. It's important to have Cullman in it along with three regional-caliber teams from outside the city limits. All four teams bring a lot to the table."
Admission is $5 for both tournament days.
"This should be a couple of great days of basketball. The families and friends of these high school teams can get an early glimpse at what each team offers," Meeks said.
Both Wallace State basketball teams open the season Nov. 1 at Columbia (Tenn.) State.
Wallace State's men finished 17-14 last season, ending its season in the ACCC/Region 22 quarterfinal round. The Wallace State women were state runner-up for the second consecutive season, finishing 23-10.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.