Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2013, 10:14 pm

LTC girls' basketball tourney tips off with today's trio of first-round games

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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com

The 2013 Lincoln Trail Conference girls' basketball tournament will tip off this afternoon with a trio of first-round games at various sites.

The earliest of those three tips off at 1 p.m. at Galva, where the seventh-seeded Lady Cats host No. 10 Sciota West Prairie. The other two games are both set for 3 p.m., with No. 6 Ridgewood entertaining No. 11 Princeville at AlWood High School and No. 8 United -- the tournament host -- welcoming No. 9 Mercer County to its new fieldhouse.

Of the four teams, Ridgewood (7-9) is the hottest right now with five wins in its last six games, including two wins in its last three league outings that has the Spartans at 3-3, keeping them on the bubble in the regular-season title race.

The remaining five LTC teams open tourney play Monday night in a quartet of 7 p.m. quarterfinal games. Top-seeded Annawan (16-2) hosts either United or Mercer County; No. 2 Stark County (14-6) welcomes the Galva-West Prairie winner; No. 3 Wethersfield (17-4) hosts the Ridgewood-Princeville winner; and No. 4 West Central and No. 5 ROWVA (12-8) square off in Biggsville.

The losers' bracket quarters are Wednesday at 7 p.m., with the higher seeds hosting. The winners' bracket semifinals(at United)and losers' bracket semis (at various sites) are Thursday at 6 and 7:30 p.m. The finals are next Saturday at United, capped with the 7 p.m. championship game.

-- By Terry Duckett