DYERSBURG, Tenn. -- Typically, the Sikeston Bulldogs spend Christmas break in the practice gym instead of playing in the local holiday basketball tournaments.
But this year Sikeston (5-3) will get a chance to face some of the top teams in Western Tennessee as they will play in the Dyersburg Christmas Tournament starting tomorrow.
Sikeston is scheduled to play Brighton (Tenn.) at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at Dyersburg High School.
According to Sikeston coach Gregg Holifield, Brighton is 8-3 on the season and sports one of the most athletic lineups the Bulldogs will see this year.
"Everybody I've talked to says their a good basketball team," said Holifield of Brighton. "They're very athletic and very quick. They have three 6-5 guys and two of them are very good players from what I understand. It's going to be a great challenge for us. We're playing top-notch competition and hopefully it will make us better."
If Sikeston wins against Brighton, the Bulldogs will play the winner of the Jackson Northside-Crockett County game on Friday at 5:30 p.m. If Sikeston loses to Brighton, the Bulldogs will play the loser of that game at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
The final day of the tournament is on Saturday with the championship game starting at 8:30 p.m.
This is Sikeston's first appearance in a holiday tournament since 2000 when they competed in the Poplar Bluff Showdown.
"I think it's a good experience to play over Christmas, especially in a tournament against quality competition," said Holifield. "An opportunity came up for us and we thought it would be in our team's best interests to get some games over the break.
"Usually, we have a three-week layoff and we have a tendency to come out sluggish after Christmas. This way we won't have such a long layoff, plus we can see some very good basketball teams."
On the other side of the bracket, Munford (Tenn.) will play Obion County Central at 5:30 p.m. while New Madrid County Central will take on host school Dyersburg at 8:30 p.m.
NMCC comes into the tournament with a 1-5 record. The Eagles have played in the tournament for four years, compiling a record of 3-8 in the event.
"Everybody I've talked to says it's a quality tournament with good competition," said Holifield. "It should be an exciting three days of basketball."