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Action starts today in Machens, State Farm events

It’s a late Christmas present for all the high school hoops fans out there.

Two holiday basketball tournaments start today in the capital city.

The Joe Machens Great 8 Tournament features the Jefferson City Jays, Helias Crusaders, Rock Bridge Bruins, Mexico Bulldogs and teams from Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

“There’s just a lot of good local teams,” Jefferson City coach Blair Thompson said. “With these out of state teams, you find out what you can, but we’ll know a lot more after the first day.”

III

The State Farm Holiday Hoops Invitational showcases the Jefferson City Lady Jays and Helias Lady Crusaders, as well as teams from Kentucky and Illinois and four other teams from Missouri.

“It’s a strong field,” Lady Crusaders coach Doug Light said. “There are teams throughout the bracket that look like they could win it or make it tough on somebody.

“Nobody is going to have an easy game.”

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