NEW SUMMERFIELD —
There's nothing like that satisfied feeling that comes over one when arduous plan comes together.
New Summerfield's head boy's basketball coach, Jason Davis, has been feeling a bit exhilarated of late after assembling what is, arguable, the best field for a regular-season high school basketball tournament featuring some of the smaller schools in East Texas.
That's a bold statement to make, granted, but when six of the eight teams are state ranked, according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches pre-season poll, including three in the top 10, it is fitting.
What is all this excitement over?
The New Summerfield “Hot House” Invitational Basketball Tournament, which will take place Nov. 15-17 at Hornet Gymnasium.
“We wanted a splashy name that was reflective of our town and that described the talent level of the teams that will be playing in the tournament,” Davis said. “New Summerfield is known for its plant farms and hot houses and with the teams, and players that we have coming to our tournament, our gym will be a hot house for basketball.”
The marquee teams are the Roxton Lions, ranked No. 1 in Class A-II and Laneville's Yellowjackets, who are ranked No.6 in Class A-II.
LaPoyner (Class A-I, No. 8) will also be in the mix, as will Martinsville and Broaddus, ranked No. 15 and No. 18, respectively, in Class A-I.
Davis said that it was a goal of his to return the New Summerfield tournament to a premier level.
“Our tournament used to draw a lot of the top teams, but then we (had a change in philosophy) in the direction that we wanted to go with the tournament and the quality of teams went down,” Davis said.
“The bottom line is this: last spring I told (the head coach at Roxton and the head coach at Laneville) that if they would commit to my tournament, that I would promise them it would be one of the best Class 1A and 2A tournaments in the state. They agreed to come, and I feel that I delivered what I promised.”
Davis said that once word got out that Roxton and Laneville, two perennial East Texas powers, would be taking part, that it was easy to fill the remaining spots.
“Good teams want to play other good teams to get better and to get ready for the playoffs,” Davis said. “Once Roxton and Laneville signed up, the rest just seemed to fall into place.
“We're glad to have LaPoyner coming in and Martinsville and Broaddus are solid teams that figure to be in the mix to possibly win a regional championship.”
Of the three unranked teams, one is host New Summerfield, who always seems to play well in its own tournament, Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill representing Class 2A and Texas High (Class 4A), who probably will not have the services of its football players who are also on the basketball team.
First-round pairings for Nov. 15 have LaPoyner taking on Texas High at 10:20 a.m. and New Summerfield battling Martinsville at 1 p.m.
At 3:40 p.m. Roxton engages Broaddus, with Laneville and MP Chapel Hill slated to tee it up at 6:20 p.m.
The double-elimination affair will conclude with a championship game at 6:20 p.m. on Saturday.
“Other than Texas High, every team is a straight basketball school,” Davis said. “We think the fans will appreciate having the opportunity to see a handful of East Texas' best small-school basketball teams in action right here in New Summerfield.”