A pair of Cumberland County teams will be looking to defend their title when the Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation high school basketball tournaments begin Thursday across the province.
In Digby, the Springhill Lady Golden Eagles enter the Division 3 tournament as the top seed and open at 6 p.m. against eight-seeded host Digby while Halifax Grammar, Dalbrae Academy, King's Edgehill, Shelburne, New Germany and Cape Breton Highlands are the other teams competing.
Springhill won last year's provincial tournament on their home court with a 64-49 win over Halifax Grammar, winning their fourth girl's title in seven years.
If Springhill wins Thursday, they play in one of two semifinals on Friday at 6 .m. against the winner of the Cape Breton Highlands-Dalbrae Academy game.
The championship game goes Saturday at 3 p.m. with the consolation game at 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Pugwash District High Lady Panthers will be at Cabot High in Cape Breton defending the Division 4 girl's championship they won in Pugwash with a 62-51 win over Inverness last March.
Pugwash is joined by the Oxford Educational Centre Lady Golden Bears, Lockeport, Queens, North Colchester from Tatamagouche and Cabot High, Inverness and Baddeck from Highland.
The Lady Panthers enter as the second seed behind top-ranked Oxford and open play against seventh-ranked Lockeport at 4 p.m. Oxford opens against eighth-seeded Norht Queens at 8 p.m.
The semifinals are set for 6 and 8 p.m. on Friday with the championship and bronze medal games on Saturday.
In Division 4 boy's action, fourth-ranked Pugwash is the lone Cumberland County entry in the provincial tournament at Lockeport. The Panthers open against fifth-seeded Cabot High at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Other teams include top-seeded North Queens, second-ranked North Colchester, Colchester Christian Academy, Lockeport, Baddeck and Fountain Academy from Halfiax.
North Colchester is the defending champion.
The semifinals go Friday with the gold and bronze medal matches on Saturday.
In Amherst, the ARHS Vikings will host the Division 2 boy's tournament with the home team entering the tournament as the top seed.
Amherst begins play at 6 p.m. Thursday against Fort Heights High from Chester.
Defending champion Central Kings enters the tournament as the third seed opening the event at 2 p.m. against King's-Edgehill while Middleton meets Northeast Kings Education Centre at 4 p.m.
The other game on opening day has Bridgewater playing Breton Education Centre at 8 p.m.
The semifinals are set for 6 and 8 p.m. on Saturday with the consolation game at 1 p.m. Saturday. The championship game is Saturday at 3 p.m.
The ARHS Vikettes enter the Division 2 girl's tournament in Canning as the second seed and open against Forest Heights at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Other teams include defending champion Middleton, Millwood, NKEC, Central Kings, Liverpool and Breton Education Centre from Cape Breton.
The championship game is Saturday at 3 p.m. with the consolation matchup just before.