Varsity Non-Conference Schedule Released
The non-conference portion of the 2018-19 Little Rock Central basketball schedule has been finalized with several highly-anticipated showcase and tournament opponents yet to be revealed. The Varsity Tigers' schedule features potential matchups against nine squads that competed in the 2018 postseason, six teams who ranked in the top-15 and seven teams that won 20 games or more last season. Facing tough competition and programs with tradition is nothing new to the Tigers. According to MaxPreps, Central had the second-highest strength of schedule for the 2017-18 season. Central will host just two home games during non-conference play including Monticello (Nov. 8) for its AAA Benefit Game and Forrest City (Nov. 15) as the official home opener. Central's opponent for the Diabetes Awareness Game (Nov. 17) in North Little Rock is to be determined in the coming weeks. The Tigers will hit the road to face El Dorado (Nov. 30) and Hot Springs (Dec. 1) at the ESPN 96.3 Classic in Hot Springs. El Dorado is coming off of another postseason appearance following its 2017 5A state runner-up finish, while Hot Springs has appeared in the 5A state semifinals in each of the last four seasons. The loaded field of the Jammin' for Jackets Tournament (Dec. 6-8) at Hall High School consists of seven other local basketball programs, including two defending state champions. The Tigers are among Parkview, Mills University Studies, Hall, J.A. Fair, McClellan, Episcopal and Baptist Prep, who has won three consecutive 4A state titles. After Jammin' for Jackets, the Tigers will head to Conway to face a pair of 7A West opponents in the Bank OZK Classic. Central will play against Van Buren (Dec. 14) in Conway High School's Gymnasium and Fayetteville (Dec. 15) in Buzz Bolding Arena; Fayetteville reached the 7A state semifinals in 2018. To round out the non-conference schedule, Central will travel out-of-state for the first time since 2012 to Ardmore, Okla. This will mark Central's first time playing in the Ardmore Holiday Tournament. The tournament field will be announced soon.