PRINCETON — The annual First Community Bank holiday basketball tournament, which begins play tonight at Princeton Senior High School, will provide an early season yardstick for measuring the growth of all four teams.

The event begins with the Bluefield-PikeView contest at 6 p.m., with Princeton to entertain James Monroe in the opening round nightcap at about 8 p.m.

Princeton, 0-2, returns to action for the first time since last week's 57-54 setback at Riverside. The Tigers hope to extend their strong second half play from that game. They erased an eight-point deficit in the final quarter of the Riverside contest, tying the game with 1:30 remaining before the Warriors hit a late basket and foul shot for the win.

"Our kids showed quite a bit of improvement from game one to game two," Tigers' coach John Flournoy said. "They're learning my system and they're working hard."

Bluefield and PikeView have staged very competitive games in the first round of this tournament in recent years. Bluefield is 1-0, defeating Graham 54-30 on Dec. 16. PikeView is 2-1, coming off a 78-55 loss last Thursday to Wyoming East.

"The tournament provides area fans with a great chance to see some outstanding basketball involving teams from this region," Flournoy said. "We're hopeful that the tournament will attract big crowds both nights."

Princeton is 0-2, while James Monroe is 1-3. The Mavericks’ last loss was a 60-50 loss, also to Wyoming East.

The championship game will be played on Wednesday at about 8 p.m. That game will be preceded by the consolation game at 6 p.m.

Several other area teams will also be in tournament action this week. Graham, still looking for its first win of the season, will play Holston in the Ramey Holiday Classic at Twin Valley High School in Pilgrim’s Knob. Pocahontas’ girls will play Ervinton at 3 p.m., followed by the G-Men and Holston boys at 4:30 p.m. Grundy and Hurley girls will play at 6 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. by Hurley and Marion boys.

Iaeger will also be hosting a boys Christmas tourney starting tonight. Big Creek will play Montcalm at 6 p.m., followed by Iaeger and Pocahontas at 8 p.m.

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