Eight boys and girls team, primarily representing the top classifications in the state and from different areas of Arkansas, will begin play Monday in the Bank of the Ozarks John Stanton Memorial Wampus Cat Invitational.
Besides Conway, boys teams competing will be Bryant, North Pulaski, Hot Springs, Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, Jacksonville and Harrison.
Girls teams in the field are Conway, West Memphis, Fayetteville, Little Rock Hall, Greenwood, Hot Springs, North Little Rock and Guy-Perkins.
It shapes up as one of the best fields in history. Fayetteville and Jacksonville have been the top boys teams in the tournament for the last few years. North Pulaski, Bryant and Pine Bluff should present challenging groups.
On the girls side, Conway is undefeated and should be one of the top 7A teams in the state. Perennial girls power North Little Rock is on the other side of the bracket. Little Rock Hall and Fayetteville are other traditional state powers.
On a side note, Conway coach Ashley Nance’s father, John Hutchcraft, will bring his Guy-Perkins team to Buzz Bolding Arena.
Play will be contested Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The championship round will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. The girls championship game is set for 7 p.m. with the boys title game to follow.
The tournament is held in memory of John Stanton, a former community leader, support of Conway schools and Wampus Cat fan.