Sterling, BH, Crosby teams to participate in prestigious event

One of the highlight basketball tournaments of the season once again tips off as the McDonald’s Texas Invitational gets under way today with 94 pool play games scheduled through Friday before bracket play begins.

Sterling High School’s boys team, Barbers Hill’s girls and both Crosby’s boys and girls will take part in games scheduled at various Pasadena and Deer Park schools.

The Sterling boys will take on Clear Creek at 10:30 a.m. and Westside at 3 p.m. today at Dobie High School in Division 2 play.

Crosby’s boys, who are also in Division 2, plays at host Pasadena at 2 p.m. today and then takes on Lake Creek there at 6 p.m.

On the girls’ side of things, Barbers Hill and Crosby are both Division 2 teams as well.

The Lady Eagles will take on Cy Woods at noon today at Sam Rayburn High School and follow up with a 4:30 p.m. tip off against host Pasadena High.

Crosby’s girls play host Pasadena at 1:30 today and Lake Creek at 6 p.m.

Beverly Hills Middle School in Pasadena will be the site of Barbers Hill’s girls taking on Crosby at 1:30 p.m.

Sterling head coach Greg Smith is taking the Rangers to the invitational for the third time and they make the trip to the event because of the high level of competition and the opportunity for the players to be involved in a well-run tournament.

“Clear Creek is already 2-0 and they will not junk it up,” Smith said. “They will play collegiate basketball – playing man-to-man, they run a 5-out motion offense and they are well athletic, skilled and fundamental. They are very well-coached.

“It’s good for us because that’s what we see in district. Teaching good, solid basketball is what I like to see and what we want to play against.”

Sterling lost its opener Saturday at home against Sam Rayburn 64-61 and Smith said the Clear Creek challenge will be a stiff one for this defense.

“I don’t think we played badly in our opener,” Smith said. “I am hoping that they don’t have that one superstar and play more like one team that plays together, we can do more of what we work on in our scrimmages.”

Depending on how they do Thursday, the Rangers will begin bracket play at either 9, 10:30 a.m. or noon Friday.

The Barbers Hill girls have opened up the season with an 8-0 record including a title at last week’s Lumberton tournament.

Head coach Bryan Harris is ready for a myriad of looks on day one of the tournament.

“I know that Cy Woods is always fairly big and they are always well-coached,” Harris said. “I’ve done a lit bit of research on them, but it’s still a little bit of the going into the unknown. Pasadena has struggled the last couple of years so we should be fine, but no disrespect to them. It will be a challenge for us to play ourselves and not play down to the level of competition.

“The McDonald’s tournament is a very prestigious tournament and usually the eventual state champion comes this tournament, so it’s one of the best tournaments in Texas.”

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