The holidays are upon us once again, which means it’s time for family, food, presents and some high school hoops. ‘Tis the season for boys and girls basketball tournaments both near and far. From Dec. 28 through Jan. 2, six different teams will compete in events, ranging from one-day extravaganzas to two-day marathons. Here are a few to keep an eye on over the next two weeks.
1. Marauders hit the road
The Mt. Vernon girls basketball team kicks off the holiday hoops schedule with a trip to the two-day Twin Lakes Tournament. The eight-team event begins at 3 p.m. Monday and wraps up Tuesday with the championship game at 8 p.m.
The opening round games will take place at Twin Lakes High School in Monticello while the consolation and seventh- through fifth-place games will unfold inside Staggs Gym on Day 2. The semifinals, third-place game and championship will be at the high school also on Tuesday.
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The Class 4A Marauders (11-3) face 3A Western (3-9) in the first round at 4:45 p.m.
At less than 100 percent with several starters either out or slowed by injuries, Mt. Vernon is riding a two-game losing streak entering the tournament. The Marauders were 11-1 before falling to Hoosier Heritage Conference rival New Palestine and 4A North Central last week.
If the team can get somewhat healthy, a championship appearance isn’t out of the question.
The 4A Mt. Vernon boys team is off to its best start since 2012-13 when they reached the 3A semistate. At 6-1, the Marauders have won three straight and carry momentum into Wednesday’s Lion Classic at Rushville High School.
The four-team one-day tournament pits the Marauders and it’s talented and experienced starting five against unbeaten 4A Franklin (5-0) at noon. The winner moves onto the title game at 7:30 p.m. while the loser falls into the consolation game at 6 p.m.
Host 3A Rushville (2-5) plays 4A Mooresville (5-2) at 10:30 a.m.
Twin Lakes Tournament Schedule
Monday (First Round)
Game 1: Carroll (Flora) vs. Western Boone, 3 p.m.
Game 2: Mt. Vernon vs. Western, 4:45 p.m.
Game 3: Cathedral vs. Logansport, 6:30 p.m.
Game 4: Hagerstown vs. Twin Lakes, 8:15 p.m.
Game 5: (semifinal) Gm 1 winner vs. Gm 2 winner, 11 a.m.
Game 6: (consolation) Gm 1 loser vs. Gm2 loser, 11 a.m.
Game 7: (semifinal) Gm 3 winner vs. Gm 4 winner, 12:30 p.m.
Game 8: (consolation) Gm 3 loser vs. Gm 4 loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 9: (seventh-place) Gm 6 loser vs. Gm 8 loser, 4:30 p.m.
Game 10: (fifth-place) Gm 6 winner vs. Gm 8 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 11: (third-place) Gm 5 loser vs. Gm 7 loser, 6 p.m.
Game 12: (championship) Gm 5 winner vs. Gm 7 winner, 8 p.m.
2. Dragons, home and away
The New Palestine girls basketball team hits the road on Tuesday to compete in the Tri-West Tournament, which includes Indianapolis Shortridge, host Tri-West and Greensburg.
The 4A Dragons (8-4) have been red-hot lately, winning four of the their last five games and seven of their past nine. They received the toughest draw of the one-day tournament, having to play 3A Greensburg (10-2) in the first round at noon. The Pirates put together a 10-game winning streak before suffering their second loss of the season on Dec. 18.
Class 2A Shortridge (3-4) will run the floor with the host Bruins (5-7) in the other first-round game at 10 a.m.
The winners face off in the championship at 4 p.m. The consolation is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The New Palestine boys basketball team will get an extended Christmas break between games, not resuming action until Jan. 2 for their own four-team tournament.
The Dragons most recent game was Dec. 19 at Franklin Central, where they lost and as a result extended their recent skid to four straight games.
The down time couldn’t have come at a better part of the season. Well rested and more focused, the 3A Dragons (2-5) will look to get back on track at their one-day tournament when they see 3A Beech Grove (1-5) in the first round at 10 a.m.
Class 4A Decatur Central (2-5) will compete against 3A Tri-West (5-1) at noon with the championship game set for 4 p.m. and the consolation to take place at 2 p.m.
3. Cougars are in it to win it
The Greenfield-Central boys are searching for consistency after opening the season a perfect 4-0 only to fall in defeat in two of their past three games.
Their fast start was the best the program had seen since 1997-98, but their losses to 2A Broad Ripple, 57-45, and 4A Connersville, 47-40, both revealed a frustrating trend. Unable to pair their solid defense with high-percentage offense, the Cougars struggled to score all four quarters.
In the South Ripley Tournament, beginning on Tuesday against 3A South Dearborn (0-7), Greenfield-Central should get out fast and set the tone when the teams clash in the first round at 2:30 p.m.
The eight-team tournament spans two days with the placement games on Wednesday and the semifinals held on Tuesday night.
Class A Oldenburg Academy (4-1) enters the event as the only ranked team at 10th in the state.
Greenfield-Central’s Tate Hall is coming off a 21-point performance against Connersville, so if the University of Indianapolis recruit and the Cougars can find their shot, they could put themselves in position to make a run.
The Greenfield-Central girls, on the other hand, are on fire in recent weeks, winning five straight. They host the Laker Farm Implement Service Inc./Riley Park Tire Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday with a 10-3 overall record.
The Cougars continue to flirt with the state rankings, once after staring the season 4-0 and after bouncing back from a 1-3 stretch with their recent run.
Two of their three losses were by one point, which shows just how dangerous head coach Doug Lakers’ squad can be to any opponent. They open against potential sectional foe Richmond at 10 a.m. in the first round.
Three ranked teams loom in the tournament bracket in 4A No. 7 Westfield (13-1), 2A No. 4 Whitko (10-2) and Class A No. 6 Marquette Catholic (10-1).
See the tournament’s complete bracket in today’s sideline and read the breakdown of the two-day event in Tuesday’s sports section.
South Ripley Tournament Schedule
Tuesday (First Round)
Game 1: Crothersville vs. Oldenburg Academy, 10 a.m.
Game 2: Bishop Chatard vs. East Central, 11:30 a.m.
Game 3: Christian Academy vs. South Ripley, 1 p.m.
Game 4: South Dearborn vs. Greenfield-Central, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 4 p.m.
Game 6: (semifinal) Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5:30 p.m.
Game 7: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 7 p.m.
Game 8: (semifinal) Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m.
Game 9: (seventh-place) Game 5 loser vs. Game 7 loser, 2 p.m.
Game 10: (fifth-place) Game 5 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 4 p.m.
Game 11: (third-place) Game 6 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 6 p.m.
Game 12: (championship) Game 6 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8 p.m.