68th Blue & Gold Tournament Preview

Published 12/25 2013 08:18PM

Updated 12/26 2013 12:55PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo--Some of the best high school basketball teams in the Ozarks will gather together Thursday for the 68th annual Blue & Gold tournament.

Since 1947 high school boys teams who usually don't play against each other will battle in out at Missouri State University.

Part of the charm of this tournament is that it usually pits small schools against the bigger city schools.

Nixa coach Jay Osborne knows all about that.

His Eagles are the top seed on the gold side and will be looking for their fourth straight Blue & Gold title.

His team is 5-1 going into Thursday's first round game.

The gold side will tip off at 9:30 Thursday morning at JQH Arena with Camdenton taking on Aurora.

There's Nixa against Conway.

Strafford and Morrisville play at 12:30 followed by Bolivar and the host Greenwood Bluejays.

West Plains and Ava tip at five, followed by Republic and Willow Springs.

Hartville plays Lebanon at eight, and the nightcap at JQH is Hillcrest against Mansfield.

On the blue side, the Kickapoo Chiefs are the top seed.

Coach Dick Rippee's is looking for his first ever Blue & Gold title as Kickapoo's coach.

Kickapoo has not played much because of the snowy weather.

The Chiefs are 2-1 going into Thursday's opening round game at the Hammons Student Center.

The blue side tips off with Marshfield against Spokane followed by Kickapoo and Fair Grove.

Rogersville faces Clever at 12:30 followed by Branson and Mountain Grove.

Crane and Hollister will start at five, followed by the second seed Willard against Buffalo.

The late games feature Mt. Vernon and Reeds Spring at eight followed by Ozark and Skyline at 9:30.

Monday is the championship night on both sides.

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