Cliburn starts run today at Bazinsky|[03/06/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2008

When Sam Temple brought the Wes Cliburn Classic to Vicksburg in 2006, he dreamed of it one day becoming a destination spot for some of the top junior college teams in the country.

As the spring break tournament gets underway today at Bazinsky Field, the dream is becoming reality. Eight teams from four states, including Temple’s Hinds Community College squad and No. 2 ranked LSU-Eunice, will take the field for four days of games.

The tournament starts today at 1 p.m. with Bossier Parish and Coahoma, and continues through Sunday with three games each day. Temple said the tournament offered Hinds a chance to not only play some of the best teams in the country, but also show that the Eagles can stand toe to toe with them.

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“It was the evolution of the program. My idea was not only to win a state championship, but to get the program nationally recognized, and that plays into it. You have to play the Eunices and the Panolas of the world, and beat them,” said Temple, whose team beat No. 5 Iowa Central last week. “This tournament gives me a venue to bring in some of the top teams in the country and do it right in my backyard.”

Temple won’t have long to wait to be tested. Hinds will open its four-game Cliburn schedule against LSU-Eunice at 5 p.m. Friday.

The start of Friday’s games were all moved up two hours because of the threat of rain and cold weather, and an 11 a.m. game was canceled.

On Saturday, Hinds will play Panola (Texas) at noon and Kishwaukee (Ill.) at 6 p.m.

Wes Cliburn ClassicAt Bazinsky FieldTodayBossier Parish (La.) vs. Coahoma, 1 p.m.LSU-Eunice vs. Coahoma, 4 p.m.Bossier Parish vs. LSU-Eunice, 7 p.m.FridayKishwaukee (Ill.) vs. LSU-Eunice, 2 p.m.Hinds vs. LSU-Eunice, 5 p.m.SaturdayHinds vs. Panola (Texas) College, NoonKishwaukee vs. Panola, 3 p.m.Hinds vs. Kishwaukee, 6 p.m.SundayPanola vs. Southwest, 1 p.m.Southwest vs. Miss. Delta, 4 p.m.Kishwaukee vs. Miss. Delta, 7 p.m.