With temperatures threatening to hit double digits and the stakes not nearly as intense, a tournament at a team camp doesn’t register as make-or-break for any team involved.
But using the next three days at the LCU Team Camp as a barometer of sorts is a realistic approach for six Hub City teams involved. The camp starts Thursday with each team playing three games and continues Friday with three more. Frenship, Lubbock High, Monterey, Lubbock-Cooper, Trinity Christian and the Lubbock Titans are all in action.
“We’ve been coming to this camp for a few years,” Cooper coach Kyle Lovorn said. “LCU does a great job of putting it on and it’s a very competitive level of basketball for our girls.”
Indeed, finding a tough test won’t be a challenge for any of the teams in the 5A/6A division.
Besides the Lubbock teams in the field, perennial powers Plainview, Canyon and Amarillo High will be in action, along with San Angelo Central, Idalou, Wall, Jim Ned and Houston 9th Wonder, an AAU team.
“There are a lot of teams with tradition, and all the big schools we see are going to have good athletes to test us,” Lovorn said.
For a Cooper team looking to build on a 29-6 record and its first-ever 5A regional tournament appearance, the next three days will help establish a baseline for fall pre-season work.
Four starters are back for Cooper, led by senior Kaitlyn Edgemon and junior Avrie Douglas.
“For us right now it’s been a little different,” Lovorn said. “This is the first summer that the UIL has allowed us to practice with them, so we have been able to touch on some stuff. We have a lot of girls trying to find their niche.
“In the summer, nobody is at the top of their game, and offense can be ugly at times, but defensive effort should be always be there; that’s non-negotiable. Our girls have gotten after it this summer, and that’s a real positive and something we want to build on.”
The UIL reference Lovorn alluded to is a rule that allows coaches to work with their teams for 2 hours a week. But they are not allowed to coach teams at tournaments like this one.
The Lady Pirates have a built-in advantage, though. Lovorn’s wife Sierra (formerly Wilcox) played at Canyon for Leady Eagles’ coaching legend Joe Lombard then competed at the college level for LCU and coach Steve Gomez.
“We would like to have little more control in a tournament this competitive, but I’m pretty fortunate to have my wife taking over for me,” Lovorn said.
“That doesn’t always happen with summer coaches. She knows what she’s doing, and our girls play well for her.”
Cooper’s opening day is plenty to bite off: The Lady Pirates take on Idalou, Canyon and Lee. Other high-profile matchups on Thursday include Monterey taking on Trinity Christian, Frenship tangling with Amarillo and Lubbock High meeting Wall.
The final round of games on Friday pack some punch with Cooper and Trinity colliding at the Rip Griffin Center, the Lady Westerners facing San Angelo Central and a Frenship-Monterey showdown.
After two days of round-robin action, a single-elimination tournament commences at 8 a.m. Saturday and culminates with the championship round games at 3 p.m.
Besides the regular schedule, the event also includes an Overtime Tournament -- a rapid-fire series of 2-minute games with specific rules in place. Cooper won that part of the LCU camp last season.
“It’s a good test for the girls to see how they react in a pressure situation,” Lovorn said.
“It’s also a lot of fun.”
LCU Team Camp
Lubbock Titans vs. Smyer, 11 a.m., Trinity Christian HS
Frenship vs. Houston 9th Wonder, 1 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #4
Lubbock-Cooper vs. Idalou, 1 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #3
Lubbock High vs. Canyon, 1 p.m., Lubbock Christian HS
Monterey vs. Lee, 1 p.m., Rip Griffin Center
Trinity Christian vs. Jim Ned, 1 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #1
Lubbock Titans vs. Haskell, 3 p.m. Rip Griffin Center
Frenship vs. Lubbock High, 5 p.m., Trinity Christian HS
Lubbock-Cooper vs. Canyon, 5 p.m., Rip Griffin Center
Monterey vs. Idalou, 5 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #1
Trinity Christian vs. San Angelo Central, 5 p.m., Lubbock Christian HS
Lubbock Titans vs. Memphis, 7 p.m., Lubbock Christian HS
Frenship vs. Amarillo High, 9 p.m., Rip Griffin Center
Lubbock-Cooper vs. Lee, 9 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #4
Lubbock High vs. Wall, 9 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #1
Monterey vs. Trinity Christian, 9 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #2
Lubbock Titans vs. Frenship JV, 8 a.m., Lubbock Christian HS
Frenship vs. Plainview, 11 a.m., LCU Rec Center #2
Lubbock-Cooper vs. San Angelo Central, 11 a.m., LCU Rec Center Court #1
Lubbock High vs. Idalou, 11 a.m., Rip Griffin Center
Monterey vs. Canyon, 11 a.m., LCU Rec Center Court #4
Houston 9th Wonder at Trinity Christian, 11 a.m.
Lubbock Titans vs. Presidio, noon, Lubbock Christian HS
Monterey vs. Wall, 3 p.m., Trinity Christian HS
Frenship vs. Lubbock-Cooper, 4 p.m., Trinity Christian HS
Lubbock High vs. Lee, 4 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #2
Trinity Christian vs. Plainview, 4 p.m., LSU Rec Center Court #3
Lubbock Titans vs. Guthrie, 5 p.m., Lubbock Christian HS
Lubbock-Cooper vs. Trinity Christian, 8 p.m., Rip Griffin Center
Lubbock High vs. San Angelo Central, 8 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #4
Frenship vs. Monterey, 9 p.m., LCU Rec Center Court #3
Single-elimination tournament, time, location & opponents TBD