YMBL basketball tourney readies for 59th year

YMBL basketball tourney readies for 59th year

The YMBL South Texas Shootout is one of the longest running high school basketball tournaments in the country. The tournament began in 1952, and the nonprofit organization the Young Men’s Business League has since teamed up with the Beaumont Independent School District to bring in the best talent in the state of Texas.

The three-day double-elimination tournament is scheduled for Dec. 1-3 and will be contested mostly at Lamar University (Montagne Center and McDonald Gym) with a few games held at Ozen High School on Saturday morning.

Tickets for each day are just $5 and can be purchased at the gate.

Sixteen teams are competing in the boys bracket; four are ranked teams, three of which are in the top portion of the bracket.

The boys will play their opening-day games in the McDonald Gym, and returning is last year’s event champion and Class 4A state title holder No. 2 Dallas Kimball.

The Knights lost some key players from last year’s team but have plenty of firepower including senior guard Shannon Lilly Jr. and junior Keith Frazier, who was recently cleared to play after transferring from Irving. Add to those two junior Stevie Clark, who’s already scored 44 points in one game this season, and this team might not miss a beat.

Also competing in the top bracket are 4A No. 3 Dallas South Oak Cliff and Class 3A No. 6 Silsbee.

Other teams to keep an eye on are North Shore, which is now coached by former Kountze and Central head coach David Green, Fort Bend Hightower, West Orange-Stark, Nederland and 4A No. 22 Ozen.

The championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 3.

The girls’ bracket will also feature 16 teams, and all eight opening day games will be held in the Montagne Center, beginning at 9 a.m. with Beaumont Central vs. Orangefield.

Four of the 16 teams are ranked, led by Class 4A No. 1 Ozen, who will open the tournament against Class 2A No. 25 Hempstead.

Ozen lost in the state semifinals last year to eventual state champion Canyon, 44-39, and returns all-state guard Asia Booker.

Hardin-Jefferson is ranked No. 15 in Class 3A and returns TABC All-Region player Abreanna Fontenot, and fans are in for a treat when Class 5A No. 4 Clear Springs takes to the court. Sophomore Brooke McCarty (5-6) is averaging more than 21 points per game this season and was named TABC All-State as a freshman last year. Teammate and junior guard Courtnie Latham was TABC All-Region last season.

It looks as if Ozen could tangle with Clear Springs in the final, which is scheduled for 4:15 on Saturday at the Montagne Center.

MMA

The UFC presents the Ultimate Fighter season 14 finale on Saturday, Dec. 3, which will be shown live at 7 p.m. on Spike TV.

The two head coaches will meet in the main event as “The Count” Michael Bisping of Liverpool fights Jason “Mayhem” Miller.

Bisping, 32, is a UFC veteran who actually won the Ultimate Fighter season-three title and has compiled an 11-3 record in the UFC. He last fought on Aug. 6 when he dominated Jorge Rivera via first round TKO at UFC 133.

Miller, 30, is a 30-fight veteran with a 23-7 record and returns to the UFC for a second time after a one-fight stint when his lost to Georges-St. Pierre at UFC 52 in 2005.Since then, he’s been in and out of smaller promotions and hosted a reality show on MTV called “Bully Beatdown.”

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