Another deep field set for 61st Meadows Classic

The roots of Duncanville’s Sandra Meadows Classic stretch to a time when girls basketball was not yet recognized as an official University Interscholastic League sport.

Tradition remains a big selling point for a holiday tournament named for one of the legends of girls basketball coaching.

Another deep field of 32 teams will participate in the 61st edition of the event, utilizing the three-gymnasium complex at Duncanville High School. Starting with opening tip off at 9 a.m. Tuesday until Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. championship, 61 games will be played.

Four of the state’s top 11 teams in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 5A rankings are in this year’s field: No. 2 Southlake Carroll (16-0), No. 4 Duncanville (17-1), No. 7 Plano West (17-1) and No. 11 DeSoto (17-3).

Carroll is ranked No. 27 in ESPNHS national rankings and Plano West is No. 39.

Kennedale (13-4), is No. 2 in TABC Class 3A. And the top three teams in the TABC Private Large School rankings, Houston Westbury Christian, Plano John Paul II and Dallas Bishop Lynch are also in the field.

Heading a contingent of teams from the Houston area is defending champion Fort Bend Hightower (16-4), along with Houston Bellaire (14-3), Katy Cinco Ranch (15-5), Fort Bend Kempner, The Woodlands College Park and Houston Westside.

From Louisiana comes defending Class 5A state champion St. Thomas More Catholic of Lafayette, La.

Arkansas will be represented by Little Rock Hall.

“I’ll stack our tournament with any around,’’ said Steve Martin, in his eighth year as tournament chairman. “We finalize the field in April and there is a waiting list to get in every year.

“Having Coach Meadows' name on the tournament is a big selling point. She helped put girls basketball on the map.’’

This year’s tournament is loaded with talented guards. Four are ranked among the 2012 ESPNU Top 100 Hoopgurlz Recruiting Rankings:

  • No. 2 Moriah Jefferson of THESA, a 5-7 University of Connecticut signee.

  • No. 14 Jordan Jones of DeSoto, a 5-6 signee of Texas A&M.

  • No. 70 Empress Davenport of Duncanville, a 5-7 signee of Texas.

  • No. 72 Curtyce Knox of Humble Atascocita, a 5-6 signee of Texas A&M.

Tuesday’s opening-round schedule:

  • 9 a.m.: Duncanville vs. Garland Naaman Forest; Euless Trinity vs. Mesquite; THESA vs. Garland.

  • 10:30 a.m.: Colleyville Heritage vs. Amarillo Palo Duro; Frisco Liberty vs. Fort Bend Hightower; Denton Ryan vs. DeSoto.

  • Noon: Fort Bend Kempner vs. Plano West; Southlake Carroll vs. Mesquite Horn; Dallas Bishop Lynch vs. Frisco Wakeland.

  • 1:30 p.m.: Longview Spring Hill vs. St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.); Temple vs. Houston Westside; The Woodlands College Park vs. Plano John Paul II.

  • 3 p.m.: Flower Mound vs. Houston Westbury Christian; Little Rock Hall vs. Houston Bellaire; Humble Atascocita vs. Kennedale.

  • 4:30 p.m.: Katy Cinco Ranch vs. Waxahachie.