MARION -- The winter sports season is upon us and gets rolling Monday with the first session of the Heartland Regional Lady Cat Tip-Off Classic girls basketball tournament at Cuss Wilson Gymnasium.
Previously known as the Marion Invitational, the long-running event now goes Monday through Friday instead of ending Saturday as in previous years. There will be two games each night starting at 5:30 p.m.
Monday's session begins with Herrin taking on Vienna. It will be the debut for Herrin's new coach, Chris Roberts, who was at Marion last season. Marion will then open with new coach Mike Manfredo against Massac County at 7 p.m.
Gallatin County is the other team in the field and it will have Monday off. Carterville, the defending champion, is not in this year's tournament.
Marion is off on Tuesday when Massac plays Vienna at 5:30, followed by Herrin against Gallatin. Marion plays Gallatin in Wednesday's first game, then clashes with Herrin on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Friday's final session features Gallatin against Massac in the opener and Vienna facing Marion in the last game. Herrin has the session off.
Marion's lineup features returning veteran talent like Abby Bayer, Lauryn Kadela, Cassandra Woods and Jasa Bell, as well as young talent such as Daishen Wolaver, Maddie Goodley and Jordan Turner.
Another event of note next Tuesday is the boys basketball fund-raiser dinner at the Knights of Columbus hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the annual event that features a menu of barbecue chicken, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, bread and a drink for $20.
This year's speaker will be MHS and Evansville alumnus Scott Shreffler.
To order tickets contact the MHS athletic office.