Class A girls' varsity basketball teams from across the state will begin competing Saturday in the 2014 Girls' West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament.
Games are scheduled at various venues statewide and will take place on consecutive weekends, leading up to the championship on Feb. 15.
According to tournament co-organizer Mike DiPasquale, 22 of the 37 public Class A schools are participating. He explained the tournament bracket is split into two divisions based on competitiveness.
DiPasquale, who is the head coach of the Tygarts Valley High School girls' varsity team, believes the tournament is beneficial to his team because it gives the girls an opportunity to play against top caliber opponents. The Bulldogs will play at home against Buffalo at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
"This is a great tune-up for our squad," DiPasquale said. "I like it because we get to play highly- competitive games. I think a lot of coaches like it."
For the tournament, Division I consists of 12 teams and Division II has 10 teams. Schools were ranked using the same method used by the WVSSAC.
DiPasquale said six of the top 10 ranked teams in Class A are entered in Division I.
"It breaks up some of the mid-season monotony," DiPasquale said. "It gives the girls some new opponents to play against, too. The competition is tough. Sure you might get a loss in the column, but its a good indication of what it's going to be like in March at the state tournament."
The WVHIT Boys' Tournament also will will be held starting Jan. 24.
It also has 22 of the 37 public schools in the state competing.
at higher seeds
No. 5 Buffalo at No. 4 Tygarts Valley, 1 p.m.
No. 7 Sherman at No. 2 Pocahontas County, 3 p.m.
No. 11 East Hardy at No. 10 Midland Trail, 3 p.m.
No. 12 Richwood at No. 9 Tug Valley, 5 p.m.
No. 8 Clay-Battelle at No. 1 St. Marys, 4:30 p.m.
No. 6 Fayetteville at No. 3 Gilmer County, 5:30 p.m.
1No. 7 Van at No. 2 Paden City, 1 p.m.
No. 6 Union at No. 3 Valley (Fayette), 2 p.m.
No. 8 Hundred at No. 1 Meadow Bridge, 4 p.m.
No. 5 Cameron at No. 4 Doddridge County, 7 p.m.