The long-awaited and highly anticipated release date of the girls’ basketball schedules for the 2016-17 season has arrived.

Van Alstyne coach Tim Bryant has put together a challenging road map for his Lady Panther team, for both varsity and junior varsity squads.

All Van Alstyne teams will open the regular season at home on Nov. 8, hosting the Gunter Lady Tigers.

The junior varsity team will compete in a tournament in Muenster on Nov. 10 and 12.

Both the varsity and JV teams will playimg the Ponder Tournament on Nov. 17-19.

On Nov. 29 the Lady Panther teams will travel to Campbell, just east of Greenville on I-30.

There are two big road trips for the Van Alstyne girls, the first coming on Dec. 1-3 as they compete in the Clay County Tournament in Petrolia. That’s 18 Google miles northeast of Wichita Falls.

There will be a Highway 5 junior varsity tournament in Melissa on Dec. 8 and 10.

District 10-3A play begins on Dec. 9 as Commerce comes to Van Alstyne for the district opener.

After a trip to Lone Oak on Dec. 13, the defending champion Whitewright Lady Tigers come to town.

The holidays will see the Lady Panthers taking their longest trip of the season as they travel to Starkville, Mississippi, for a three-day tournament on Dec. 28-30.

On Jan. 3, after many resolutions have been shattered, district play resumes with a trip to Farmersville.

On Jan. 6, a bye week in the district schedule, the Lady Panthers will host Pottsboro, and that promises to be a chore. The Lady Cardinals will go into the season as prohibitive favorites in District 9-3A.

On Jan. 30, the second bye week, Van Alstyne will host Lindsay.

Games against Howe are Jan. 10 at home and the 6-mile trip up Highway 5 comes on Feb. 3.

Senior night will be Feb. 7 against Leonard.

Howe coach Derek Lands begins his 15th season as the Lady Bulldogs’ leader and he has chosen to shop mostly local in his 2016-17 schedule.

Tournament trips to Bells, Sadler and Gainesville are on the Howe agenda.

The Sadler tournament, “For Love of the Game Tournament” has one absolutely fantastic thing going for it — a home-cooking hospitality suite.

Referees have been known to come over from other tournament assignments to partake in the culinary treats.

The NCTC tournament in Gainesville has a pretty good menu as well, especially if deserts from Rumpy’s are in the mix. It’s played in a cool old gym with fans up in the rafters and they can get loud.

Howe will play Melissa, Anna, Muenster and Princeton in the early season.

It heads into league play on Dec. 9, hosting Leonard.

On the Lady Bulldogs’ two bye weeks the team will play a home-and-home series with Gunter, closing out the regular season with a Feb. 7, senior-night game against the Lady Tigers.

There are good test’s for both teams. Let the games begin.