Chapman Tournament opens play on Monday at Montgomery Academy

Autaugaville’s Jaden Nixon brings the ball up the court against Loachapoka’s Khamani Key in last year’s tournament. Both teams are back in the 2022 field.

Montgomery Academy coach Jeremy Arant made sure to delay the start of the Eagles’ basketball season to coincide with the annual Coach Larry Chapman Foundation Tipoff Classic.

And while the Eagles will make their 2022-23 debut on Monday afternoon in the tournament, Arant was left scrambling to replace two other local teams whose players are still on the gridiron this week.

“St. James and Catholic were in it,” Arant said. “I got with Coach (Nigel) Card (at St. James) and Coach (Mike) Curry (at Catholic) a week or so ago and asked what were they looking at if their teams made a run in football. We replaced them with Notasulga and BTW Magnet.”

Montgomery Academy held a handful of practices after a 2020 semifinal playoff run before the tournament and were forced to play their junior varsity players last year after the Eagles’ football team advanced to the 3A finals. This year, Arant has had a couple of weeks to prepare after the football team was ousted in the first round of the 4A playoffs.

“It’s been different this year,” Arant said. “(The practice) has been needed. Our team is young. We’ve got five sophomores so we’re a young group that really needs the extra practice time. We’ve only got three or four guys back that have played any minutes.”

On the boys’ side of the bracket, the finals have included 6A teams the last three years the tournament has been played at Montgomery Academy, with Stanhope Elmore defeating LAMP, Pike Road beating Sidney Lanier and Jeff Davis defeating Loachapoka.

“It’s been pretty wide open,” Arant said. “We kind of feel like it’s that way again this year. It’s a very competitive field and any number of teams can win it.”

On the girls’ bracket, Catholic and Prattville Christian will be joining the six returning teams and are among the favorites to reach the finals. Brew Tech defeated Loachapoka 38-32 in the championship game last season.

COACH LARRY CHAPMAN

FOUNDATION TIPOFF CLASSIC

At Montgomery Academy

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

BOYS

Loachapoka vs. Pike Road, 11:30 a.m.

Autaugaville vs. Brew Tech, 11:30 p.m.

Prattville Christian vs. BTW Magnet, 2:30 p.m.

Notasulga vs. Montgomery Academy, 2:30 p.m.

GIRLS

Catholic vs. Pike Road, 10 a.m.

Marbury vs. Brew Tech, 10 a.m.

Prattville Christian vs. Stanhope Elmore, 1 p.m.

Loachapoka vs. Montgomery Academy, 1 p.m.

TUESDAY’S SCHEDULE

BOYS

Autaugaville-Brew Tech winner vs. Notasulga-Montgomery Academy winner, 11:30 a.m.

Autaugaville-Brew Tech loser vs. Notasulga-Montgomery Academy loser, 11:30 a.m.

Loachapoka-Pike Road winner vs. PCA-BTW Magnet winner, 2:30 p.m.

Loachapoka-Pike Road loser vs. PCA-BTW Magnet loser, 2:30 p.m.

GIRLS

Catholic-Pike Road winner vs. PCA-Stanhope Elmore winner, 10 a.m.

Catholic-Pike Road loser vs. PCA-Stanhope Elmore loser, 10 a.m.

Marbury-Brew Tech winner vs. Loachapoka-Montgomery Academy winner, 1 p.m.

Marbury-Brew Tech loser vs. Loachapoka-Montgomery Academy loser, 1 p.m.

WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE

BOYS

Seventh place game, 10:30 a.m.

Fifth place game, 10:30 a.m.

Consolation finals, noon

Championship game, 3 p.m.

GIRLS

Seventh place game, 9 a.m.

Fifth place game, 9 a.m.

Consolation finals, noon

Championship game, 1:30 p.m.