Brewton-Parker begins basketball seasons Friday with Tip-Off Classic

After both Brewton-Parker College basketball teams posted 20-win seasons last year, the Barons and Lady Barons are set to begin their 2003-04 campaigns Friday, Nov. 7, in the second annual BPC Tip-Off Classic.

Action at the Student Activities Center begins both Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes with 8 p.m. games. The Lady Barons play both nights at 6, followed by the Barons at 8.

The Barons play host to the Savannah College of Art and Design, a three-time NCAA Division III national tournament qualifier before moving to the NAIA this year, in the season opener Friday.

The Barons then play Martin Methodist College (Tenn.), an NAIA Division I national tournament qualifier, on Saturday. Georgia Southwestern State University, a Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference member along with Brewton-Parker, plays the 4 p.m. men's games each day.

The Lady Barons play Florida Memorial College on Friday and Flagler University (Fla.) on Saturday. Defending GACC women's champion North Georgia College and State University is the fourth women's team in the classic and plays the 2 p.m. games each day.

Steve Barker his 14th season as the Brewton-Parker men's coach after his Barons posted a 20-13 record that earned Barker GACC Coach of the Year honors last winter. Barker's probable starting lineup includes four returnees, two seniors and two juniors.

First-year Lady Barons coach Sheila Simmons inherits a returning nucleus from a 24-9 national tournament-qualifying squad that features three well-experienced seniors and four seasoned sophomores -- including one selection to last year's GACC All-Freshman Team.

Simmons brings three years of success from Brevard College, where she turned a doormat program into a perennial league contender with a 67-31 record (68.4 percent) and an NAIA Division II national tournament berth in 2001-02.