By RYAN HERMAN
Both the boys and girls basketball teams at East Lincoln open their annual post-Christmas tournament with the hopes of erasing last year’s sub-par showings.
The 24th annual East Lincoln Winter Jam tips off at 1 p.m. today with eight boys and girls teams convening on East Lincoln High School.
East Lincoln’s boys (6-0) open as the tournament’s No. 1 seed, and will face No. 8 Huntersville Hopewell (1-8) in the nightcap at 8:30 tonight in the school’s new gym. East Lincoln’s girls (1-5) are seeded eighth and face No. 1 Hopewell (8-1) in the new gym at 7 p.m.
East Lincoln’s boys finished fifth in the tournament in 2012, losing their first game 72-54 to Mooresville before Northern Vance and Concord Robinson to salvage the event.
East Lincoln’s girls finished last a year ago, losing to North Meck, Mooresville and Harrisburg Hickory Ridge on consecutive nights.
Its girls have lost five straight since a season-opening win at North Lincoln. The Mustangs, who fell at Bandys 90-8 in their Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference opener last week, are led by Lydia Smith’s 5.3 points per game.
East Lincoln’s boys have two of the county’s top three scorers in brothers Sage and Chazz Surratt. Sage Surratt is averaging a county-best 20.5 points per game and Chazz is third at 19.5 points per game behind Lincolnton’s Will Saine, who is averaging 19.8.
Other boys teams in the tournament are: East Gaston, York (S.C.), Charlotte Mallard Creek, Charlotte Garinger, Lake Norman Charter and Mooresville. The girls field is rounded out with Mallard Creek, Central Cabarrus, North Meck, Hickory Ridge, Lake Norman Charter and Mooresville.
The tournament will use both gyms today and Saturday. All games on Monday will take place in the new gym, beginning with the girls’ seventh-place game at 10 a.m.
Gaston Christian tournament: Lincoln Charter School’s boys and girls teams are participating in the Gaston Christian School Basketball Invitational, which begins today.
Lincoln Charter’s boys (5-6) Piedmont Charter today at 4:30 p.m. Its girls (8-0) will face Piedmont Charter at 3 p.m. to begin the tournament.
The championship games will be held on Saturday. All games are at Gaston Christian School. The host school and Carmel Christian School round out the field.