For more than a decade Lenoir City High School has held a post-Christmas basketball tournament, though it has not always existed as it does today. "We've only done the tournament format with the brackets, not knowing who you play, this year and last year, so two years," Lenoir City boys coach Brandon Kirkland said. "But they've had a Christmas tournament for a while, I'm not sure how many years." There were multiple reasons for the change to a bracket format, one being to attract teams. "One of the benefits is, the TSSAA allows you 24 games, and if you're doing a bracketed tournament like we're doing it only counts as two games regardless of how many games you actually play," Kirkland said. "Teams are getting three games and it only counts as two on their schedule. That's a draw, teams like that they get an extra game." Another reason for the switch was simply building experience for team. "We wanted to do it here more as a tournament feel to get us ready for the district and region tournaments," Kirkland said. "That's why we did it, just to get that experience of not knowing who you're going to play until the games are played that day and playing back-to-back. If you get to the state tournament you have to play three straight days." Loudon girls coach Bryant Collins said. "We tried to come out here today and build on it." The defense of the Lady Redskins was key in controlling the tempo of the game as they allowed no more than five points in any quarter and just two in the third. "We've been pretty solid defensively all year long," Collins said. "There's a few little things we're not going that we need to be doing to win some big games, but we're getting better every game, that's for sure. Leading the defense was senior Zoe Grimes, who finished with seven of the team's 15 steals and six rebounds. "Zoe can play, you know," Collins said. "She started for four years. She's seen a lot of stuff. She's played in the state tournament, she's won district championships, she's probably played in 150 high school games. There's not many people in the state that can say they've played in as many games as Zoe. A lot of experience, she knows what to do." Sophomore Aspen Jordan played strong defensive as well, blocking four shots. Jordan blocked 10 in Thursday's loss to McMinn Central. She also grabbed 11 rebounds between the two games. Offensively, Loudon got a strong performance from senior Bekah Campbell, who finished with a game-high 14 points on six of eight shooting. "It's nice when you get four or five people scoring," Collins said. "Bre (Snow) and Aspen (Jordan) and Zoe (Grimes) are always going to be steady, but today we had Bekah pitch in and we had some other people score. That really helps when you can distribute it like that." Moving forward, Collins believes playing in the tournament at Lenoir City can be beneficial for the Lady Redskins. "It's big for us because we're a young team and we're learning," Collins said. "Last year, we were an experienced team and we didn't play a very good Christmas tournament. It's good for us to play different types of teams and play several games in a row here to try and get better for the district stretch." Several freshmen were given playing time late in Friday's game. Jessica Malone made the most of her opportunity with six points off the bench. Loudon played Lenoir City Saturday. They travel to Stone Memorial Friday where they move into the heart of district play. They will travel to Alcoa Jan. 8 before returning home to host Scott County Jan. 11.