The 2005 senior girls Gerald Jennings Invitational Tournament boasts two unbeaten teams, East Poinsett County and Buffalo Island Central, plus a Riverside squad fresh off a victory against last year's Regional Tournament runner-up, Piggott.
The Lady Warriors feature the potent one-two punch of sisters Sade and Jordan Madden. EPC comes into the tournament with a 3-0 record and momentum, having beaten AAAA Nettleton 51-48 in their last outing. Lauren Turner, Samantha King and Elisha Gilmer add plenty of extra fire power for the top seeded and defending Region 4 champions.
Buffalo Island Central, the number two seed, is led by high scoring sophomore Jessica Shepard and senior guard Nan Lee Bridges. The 10-0 Lady Mustangs return the bulk of last year's 3AA North Conference championship team and are seeded to meet the Lady Warriors in the championship game.
To get to the finals, BIC figures to have to get past third seeded Riverside, who comes into the tournament riding the momentum of their victory over Piggott. The Lady Rebels, 8 -2 on the year, are led by 6'2" junior Marisa Johnson and senior guard Sam Dunigan.
AAAA Paragould enters the tournament as the number four seed while the Manila Lady Lions garnered the fifth seed. Paragould and Manila will meet for the unenviable right to face top seeded EPC in the quarter-finals.
On the bottom half of the bracket, BIC will open tournament play against seventh seeded Marked Tree while Riverside faces sixth seeded Armorel. Crowley Ridge Academy, the number eight seed, will meet ninth seeded Gosnell to open the tournament.
Play began Monday with a 5:15 match-up between CRA and Gosnell and will run through Friday, Dec. 2, when the championship game will be played at 7:30.
In the junior girls division, undefeated Manila was rewarded with the number one seed while Riverside captured the number two seed. Paragould is the third seed, Marked Tree garnered the number four seed while Crowley Ridge Academy is the fifth seeded team.
The complete tournament brackets are as follows: (I am e-mailing brackets)