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Updated Tuesday night: Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament weather talk + my new column

Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2012, at 6:35 AM

I just spoke with Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament director Mitch Wood.

As expected, he said he and other officials are at a "wait and see" point with the weather right now and what it could mean for the tournament schedule.

Wood did not rule out making a decision about postponing tomorrow's Day 1 tonight. If he does wait until the morning to make a decision, it will be made no later than 6:30 a.m.

That's pretty much all of the relevant information for now. Wood ran through some of the scenarios for if the tournament gets pushed back a day with me, but nothing is settled 100 percent at this point. The biggest thing to note is that the Southeast men have a game at noon on Saturday at the Show Me Center that cannot be moved, so if that does in fact become Day 3 (which starts at noon) instead of Day 4 (which starts at 4 p.m.), changes will be necessary.

Wood also said that if the tournament is pushed back a day, his preference would be to play the finals on Sunday if he gets necessary approval from MSHSAA. The tournament is not typically played on Sunday.

Here is my column from this week: Waiting on Cinderella

I remember where I was when it happened.

It was that kind of night.

I was sitting in section 111 at the Show Me Center the night the No. 7 seed Kelly Hawks almost won the Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament.

I can still hear tournament announcer Frank Ellis saying the name of Jackson standout Jack Puisis' name with his signature flare every time he drained yet another 3-pointer that year.

I was just a high school kid sitting in the stands watching the game with my friends in December of 2004 as the Hawks took top-seeded Jackson to overtime before falling 63-61.

To this day I've never spoken a word to Kent or Kendal Deason, the twins who led Kelly to the title game, but I was among thousands of their biggest fans that night as most of the 6,091 people at the Show Me Center cheered wildly for the underdogs.

I also happened to be pulling for Kelly coach Cory Johnson, whom I had supported throughout his playing career at Southeast Missouri State.

After Kelly upset No. 3 seed Scott City in the semifinal round, Johnson was quoted in the Missourian saying, "Every tournament's got to have a Cinderella. Why can't it be us?"

That may be true during the NCAA's March Madness, but it is not really the case at the Christmas Tournament.

We often have to wait a couple years for Cinderella to make an appearance, but it seems like she's got a better chance to make it to the ball this year than most.

The top-seeded and defending tournament champion Charleston Bluejays are overwhelming favorites to repeat this season, but there are plenty of teams down the seeding list that could upset the traditional order.

No. 2 Central, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 Scott County Central and No. 5 Jackson are all teams with a history of success at the tournament but without starts to their seasons expected from the tournament's top seeds.

Central is 3-3 this season. Notre Dame is 3-5 but coming off a lopsided win over Kennett on Friday. Scott County Central already has lost to No. 7 Advance and No. 11 Oak Ridge since the seeding meeting, and No. 5 Jackson is 4-4.

Of course the level of competition most of those teams play is much higher than the mostly smaller lower-seeded schools. It always is.

That's why even anticipated matchups between bigger schools and smaller schools most often end with the bigger school winning -- most of the time by a wide margin.

That may be the case again this year, but the competition is more formidable than an average season.

No. 6 Leopold is 9-0 and playing like you'd expect a roster full of seniors with multiple years of varsity experience to play.

No. 7 Advance already has wins over SCC and No. 8 Oran, a team that returns most of the production from last season's state quarterfinal run and that typically gets better as each season progresses under coach Joe Shoemaker's watch.

No. 9 Scott City and No. 10 Chaffee are good enough to pull off first-round upsets, and No. 11 Oak Ridge already picked up its signature win by beating SCC last week.

Every other team can use the fact that I didn't mention them as motivation.

So, unlike some years, I think this tournament's got a chance to have a Cinderella. I can't wait to see if some team is willing to ask, "Why can't it be us?"

I already know where I'll be sitting.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Thanks for the update Rachel.

-- Posted by Larry Doby on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 7:53 PM

I would love it if the finals get played on a Sunday. That means if Bloomfield doesn't play its finals on a Sunday I could go to the championship of both tournaments. I sure do like basketball.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 8:02 PM

what stupidity...if we get 12 inches of snow, how are the schools gonna bus their kids and cheerleaders to cape? safety first or $$$? you decide....you think 12 inches of snow will be safely removed from the back highways of bollinger county in time to get a bus safely to cape?? lets use our brains people!!

-- Posted by RedShirt on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 9:42 PM

I don't understand what upset you, RedShirt. I have no doubt that the tournament will be pushed back a day if 12 inches of snow winds up on the ground. They're just letting it actually snow before they make a decision.

-- Posted by Rachel Crader on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 9:50 PM

im not angry at you rachel...merry christmas...im saying think safety first! and theres no guarantee thursday will be passable either for safety reasons! The tournament committee should use their brains! better safe than sorry!

-- Posted by RedShirt on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 9:53 PM

Mitch Wood is one of the smartest / most qualified person's to make this decision based on my following of sports throughout the region in the last decade.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 10:10 PM

I will add I think a decision on what to do Wednesday will be much easier than a decision regarding what to do Thursday.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 10:12 PM

Current conditions at Kennett. Sleet/rain mix with little to no accumulation on grass or pavement. My lights have blinked twice since 8 p.m.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 10:23 PM

We've just had a sudden change at Kennett. Heavy sleet is now rapidly accumulating on the highway just west of the Kennett tennis courts.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 10:27 PM

I agree, RedShirt. I think Mitch Wood would as well. They just can't make a decision until the white stuff starts sticking, assuming it does.

Merry Christmas!! Thanks for taking time out of your holiday to visit semoball.

-- Posted by Rachel Crader on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 10:28 PM

Grass and roads are now completely white in Kennett at 12:20 a.m.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Wed, Dec 26, 2012, at 12:27 AM

I received updates parts of Bernie, Mo., had lost power at midnight. Approximately two inches of snow / sleet covered grass and roads at Kennett at 1:45 a.m.

Follow Rob Tate's blog before 9 a.m. Wednesday for updates on Bloomfield Christmas Tournament. I will join in on conversation at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday.

-- Posted by Dustin Ward on Wed, Dec 26, 2012, at 2:00 AM

The Bloomfield Christmas Tournament games for today, 12/26 have been cancelled.

-- Posted by Skeet on Wed, Dec 26, 2012, at 5:48 AM

I just don't see how they can have it today, with so many rural schools like meadow heights, leopold, woodland, advance, bell city, and oak ridge. Even schools like Oran and delta have kids that live way out there in the sticks.

It's going to be really tough to get everyone up there without a lot of accidents

-- Posted by leopold_championship on Wed, Dec 26, 2012, at 5:58 AM

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Rachel Crader is the editor of semoball.com. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in May of 2009 before spending the summer covering the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Highlights from Rachel's days in college include having a class down the hall from Chase Daniel and having NCAA wrestling champion Ben Askren hold the door open for her at Brady Commons, Mizzou's student center. She spent time covering Mizzou basketball, softball and baseball while working for the Columbia Missourian and is excited to return home to Southeast Missouri to cover local sports for semoball.com.

Rachel has covered three Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournaments for the Southeast Missourian and semoball.com, and she'll see you courtside again this year.