One of the best small-school conferences in the area face off in the Black River League Tournament this week.
The South Iron Panthers are the top ranked team in Class 1 and hold the number one seed in the tournament. Panthers head coach Dusty Dinkins says that the upcoming opponents can pose a challenge despite recent success against some of the larger schools.
Host school and 2-seed Bunker is 7-5 and was the runner up in last year’s tournament. Standout freshman Brennen Meloy leads an Eagles team that graduated four starters and 90% of last season’s production. Head coach Rod Gorman says this year’s team is balanced.
Ellington is seeded third, followed by 4-seed East Carter.
The 5-seed Clearwater Tigers are 5-8 and already had a taste of conference play after back-to-back battles with South Iron and Bunker earlier this month. Zac Moore coaches the senior-heavy Tigers squad, and says the BRL is a tough conference.
Lesterville has the sixth seed, but is making steady progress with its rebuild. The Bearcats have a new head coach in Jason McMurray. He has learned that any team in the conference can play well on a moments notice.
The tournament opens tomorrow with two first round games. 6-Lesterville and 3-Lesterville will square off, as will 4-Easat Carter and 5-Clearwater. The winners of those games will play in the semifinals on Thursday against either 2-Bunker or 1-South Iron. We’ll broadcast the semifinals and championship game on J-98.