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Tougher tests await ECHS in tourneys

By By Lori Dann
Advance Managing Editor
Theodore White wanted his team to be accustomed to facing high-caliber teams when they reached the postseason this year.
Based on ECHS' early-season schedule, that shouldn't be any problem.
The Lady Blue Devils have already played a string of ranked opponents, with even more on tap in the next couple of weeks.
While the rest of their classmates are relaxing over the Christmas holidays, the Lady Blue Devils will be competing against some of the top teams in the state and even the South in the T.R. Miller Christmas Tournament and the Springhill Holiday Girls Basketball Classic.
In the T.R. Miller Tournament, which starts Monday, ECHS will open against undefeated Andalusia, ranked second in Class 5A, on Monday at 6 p.m.. Host T.R. Miller will face Hillcrest-Evergreen at 7:30 p.m.
Other Monday games include UMS-Wright, the top-ranked team in 3A, taking on Hueytown at 3 p.m. and Baldwin County, ranked seventh in 6A, facing previously ranked B.C. Rain.
ECHS will face either Baldwin County or B.C. Rain, both of whom it has previously beaten, in the second round of the tournament Tuesday. If they win their first game, the Lady Blue Devils will play at 6 p.m., for a chance to advance to the finals. If they lose, they will play at 3 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., with the consolation finals set for 6 p.m.
The Springhill Tournament will begin on Monday, Dec. 27, and will include teams from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana.
ECHS will open the tournament by facing Karr of New Orleans at 9 a.m., while T.R. Miller drew the unenviable task of taking on Washington, the No. 1 team in Florida, in its opener. The losers and winners of those two games will meet Tuesday at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.
Other teams in the tournament are Robertsdale, McGill-Toolen, Warren Central of Mississippi, B.C. Rain, St. Thomas More of Louisiana, Murphy, Foritier of Louisiana, No. 10 Vigor, Meridian of Mississippi, No. 6 LeFlore, St. Bernard of Louisiana and No. 7 Baldwin County.