Later this month, O’Reilly Family Event Center will host one of the biggest holiday tournaments of the year. On Tuesday, teams gathered for the Pink and White seedings.
“I always say it’s who can come up here and put four good days together mentally and physically,” said West Plains head coach Scott Womack.
There are 32 teams in this year’s field; 10 are state-ranked.
“I think all coaches would agree that with the competition here and the environment, that it’s almost like a district tournament,” said Ozark head coach David Brewer.
A school from Fort Smith, Arkansas earns the 1-seed in the Pink Bracket, while an Oklahoma City team gets the 1-seed in the White. Both teams have two players with multiple Division-I offers.
Locally, West Plains and Nixa are the 2 and 3 seeds in the Pink Division.
“I wasn’t expecting a 2-seed. I know we’ve got off to a 4-0 start, but still I just think there’s so many quality teams here,” Womack said. “For us to get that high of a seed is such an honor for our program.”
Ozark earned the 2-seed in the White Division, paired against Marshfield.
“I thought we’d be in the top 2,3, or 4 seeds. I knew we’d be somewhere in there, so I was glad to see the 2,” said Brewer. “Some of the other teams that were seeded, I was a little surprised by — but when you have this many good teams here it’s just real difficult for them to seed it.”
Last year’s tournament champions, Strafford, coming in as the 3-seed in the White Bracket. The Lady Indians take on Parkview, and coach Dustin Larsen is looking forward to the challenge.
“We’re just looking forward to the opportunity to be in a tournament of this caliber. Looking forward to the opportunity to come in here and get better over the holidays,” said Larsen. “We’re just looking forward to that opportunity to come in and play one of the Springfield schools.”
The Pink and White Tournament kicks off December 26th.
View full tournament brackets here.