BALLINGER - Last week Ballinger ISD hosted the annual three day Ballinger Classic basketball tournament which saw many top teams from around the area compete.

BALLINGER - Last week Ballinger ISD hosted the annual three day Ballinger Classic basketball tournament which saw many top teams from around the area compete. The three day tournament brought hundreds of athletes, students, families and educators to Ballinger for the annual competition sponsored by the Ballinger Bearcat Athletic Booster Club.

“The Bearcat Athletic Booster Club would like to send a sincere ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped make the Ballinger Classic Basketball Tournament a success this past weekend,” President Jennifer Nash posted on social media. “We could not have managed without the support of the coaches, school administrators, teachers, janitors, parents, volunteers and local businesses. It takes everyone working together to make large events like this one possible and successful for our students.”

City officials were also happy to welcome the fans and families to town.

“As always it is a boost in our economy anytime we have an influx of people in our community for a few days,” said Tammie Virden, executive director of the Ballinger Area Chamber of Commerce. “Ballinger hosting a three day Basketball Tournament is wonderful for our local economy, our restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and local retailers see increased revenue that they would not typically see during the week. This also gives us an opportunity to showcase our town to people that would not normally come to Ballinger. We always hope this appeals to these people so that they will come back to visit and bring more with them.

Audiences packed the gyms at Ballinger High School for all three days of the tournament.

Ballinger’s Lady Cats opened the tournament pool play with a surprising loss to Winters, but they were able to rebound with a victory over Lake View and a thrilling 36-35 victory over Merkel to give them a tie-breaking edge over Winters to place them in the winners bracket. Ballinger was unable to overcome Abilene Cooper in the waning moments of their first bracket game, setting them up for a third place game rematch against Merkel. The second game between the two would be in Merkel’s favor as the Lady Cats finished the tournament 2-3. All is not bad news for the Lady Cats as the tournament champ Christoval already has a loss to the Lady Cats this season.

For the Ballinger teams, the most impressive showing came from the Ballinger Bearcat varsity who took a first place in the tournament. Ballinger stormed through pool play with a 64-28 victory over Lake View, a 65-40 win over Coleman and a 68-33 victory over Christoval, averaging a 32 point victory margin over the course of pool play. The Bearcats made it interesting against Abilene High with a 68-65 double overtime victory over the Eagles. Once again the Bearcats were back to their dominating ways in the tournament championship game against Brady, winning 71-47.

"The boys were able to win the Championship game 71-47 over Brady," said Coach Jamal Anene. "Bearcats went 5-0 in the tournament. Teams played included Lake View JV (64-28), Coleman (65-40), Christoval (68-33), and Abilene HS JV (68-65 in 2OT). Chance Parker received Tournament MVP averaging 18.6 points per game in assisting his team to earn tournament champs."

The Ballinger Bearcats Junior Varsity also had an impressive tournament. With a 50-19 victory over Junction JV and a 45-24 victory over TLCA the Bearcats were able to make it to the championship game. Unfortunately the Bearcat JV fell to Wall in the championship game, taking second place.

Ballinger will move on from their tournament victory with momentum. Both the girls and boys varsity squads are scheduled to participate in the Coleman Tournament which begins today and runs through Saturday.