Winona down, Australia next.
As odd as it sounds, that's the Kilgore High School boys basketball opponent on Thursday, in the first round of the reborn Oil Belt Classic, a tournament that will be played at both Kilgore College and Kilgore High.
Kilgore blasted Winona Tuesday night here at KHS, 73-29, for the Bulldogs' first big win of the season. The 'Dogs, coached by Jerry Timmons, are off today, and then will open the OBC on Thursday at KC's Masters Gymnasium against a touring team from Australia.
"We're not exactly sure what we're going to see," Timmons laughed. "But we wanted something different. We were originally scheduled to play (another local team) in the first round, but I just wanted us to get a look at something different."
Timmons and KC men's coach Brian Hoberecht put together this tournament, which has 10 teams and bounces back and forth between the college and the high school.
The first two games tomorrow will be Kilgore meeting the Australian team, a 12:30 p.m. tipoff at KC, followed by Longview taking on Jacksonville, also at KC, at 2 p.m.
Pine Tree and Tatum will play at 3:30 p.m. at KHS, followed by Gilmer taking on Henderson, also at KHS, at 5.
The Kilgore-Australia winner plays again tomorrow night, facing Marshall at KHS at 7 p.m. The Kilgore-Australia loser only has the one game on Thursday; they'll play again on Friday against the PT-Tatum loser.
The tournament continues throughout the weekend, with the title game set for 8:30 p.m. Saturday night at KC.
Kilgore needed a confidence-building win and got one at home on Tuesday against Winona, leading Winona 30-2 at the end of the first period.
Seth Thomas had 20 points, four rebounds, five steals and two assists for the Bulldogs. Octavian McKee and Deiontrae Wheat, coming over from football, played well again -- McKee had 13 points and four rebounds, and Wheat had 10 points, two rebounds, a steal and three assists.
Elijah Williams had seven points, six rebounds and two assists, as well.