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Nederland hosting 12 teams at girls basketball tournament

There’s going to be a whole lot of basketball played at Nederland High School over the next few days.

Six freshman teams, 10 junior varsity teams and 13 varsity teams will try to fit in as many games as they can Thursday through Saturday during the Lady Bulldog Classic.

“All the coaches were pretty much in agreement on doing pool play, and actually I had a couple of the coaches suggest pool play for Saturday as well,” Nederland head coach Jody Walker said. “I had to do some finagling with times, but all the varsity teams are guaranteed at least three games with the possibility of the teams with three games playing a maximum of five.”

The varsity teams’ games started at 8 a.m. today, with the last game set at 8:15 p.m.

Friday will begin just as early at 8 a.m. and the last game starts at 7:15 p.m. The times and teams playing on Saturday will be determined by the outcome of pool play Thursday and Friday.

The schools sending varsity teams this year are Nederland, Vidor, Hamshire-Fannett, Warren, Deweyville, Tarkington, Kountze, Santa Fe, Kelly, West Brook, East Chambers, Bridge City and Legacy.

The Nederland varsity team began today at 8 a.m. playing Hamshire-Fannett, followed by East Chambers at 3:30 p.m.

On Friday, Nederland will play Kelly at 2:15 p.m. and Kountze at 4:45 p.m.

“I think its going to work itself out to where everybody is satisfied and gets at least four games, which is kind of what you hope for and wish for in a tournament,” Walker said.

Last year Nederland placed second at its annual tournament, with Hamshire-Fannett the tournament champion. This year, Walker has only two players returning to the varsity team in addition to six new sophomores and two freshmen.

“I’m just trying to get things going in the right direction, we’ve got basically a brand new group of kids in the program,” he said. “It’s exciting. Sophomores are coming in, we’ve got a couple of freshmen that are going to have an opportunity to play up during the tournament just to kind of see and get ready for district. They’re eager, ready to learn, and I’m very pleased thus far.

Not all of the other teams at the tournament will be so young. East Chambers has a few girls that returned from last year’s regional qualifier, Walker says, and West Brook, a 6A school, will be a challenge.

His own squad is nothing to overlook, though.

“I think we may surprise a few people based on the kids that we have, just getting them to believe in themselves,” Walker said. “As long as we play like we practice we’ll be in every game we play, which is something positive.”