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SoCalHoops Tournament News

Some Really Big & Important Tournaments
On Tap This Week & Next--(Dec. 17, 2001)

The next two weeks usually marks the biggest and best of the holiday tournament season, a time when some teams will be doing a lot of traveling, at least the top teams in the region.   Some of the better tournaments, from a national perspective, will be taking place this week, i.e., the week before Christmas, and next week just prior to the new year will be the really big tournaments (Slam Dunk to the Beach, the Nike Academy Tournament in Houston, etc).   Things just really get started this week, so here's what's happening among the larger out-of town venues. 

The list of tournaments this week which take on "national" importance, are the Powerade Las Vegas Holiday Prep Classic, the Mission Prep Christmas Classic, the Les Schwab Oregon Invitational, the City of Palms Classic, the Iolani Classic, and a handful of other top tournaments taking place around the country.  The ones we've mentioned feature some of the top SoCal-based teams competing against top national teams from other regions.  Here's what we know about these tournaments and how to keep up with them throughout the week if you're staying home but still want to follow the action:

"Powerade" Las Vegas Holiday Prep Classic in Las Vegas, NV, December 20th-22nd

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The old "Reebok Holiday Prep Classic" which is run by Larry McKay, used to be the winter version of the adidas "Big Time."  It is still probably the biggest tournament of it's kind in the country taking place during the winter months, which is a very good thing, but in all fairness, a bit of the lustre has worn off this one given the restrictions imposed by the National Federation of High Schools on out of state travel subsidies and a changing economy over the past few years.   So, the Las Vegas Holiday Prep Classic  tournament has gradually been reshaping and refocusing itself in the past few years, and the organizers were fortunate enough to pick up a new sponsor last year with Powerade, in addition to a continuing relationship with Alliance Sports (who picked up the ball when Rivals dropped out of sight), so there's still a great website which will report all the tournament results and standings.

This is one of the largest tournaments in the West,  and traditionally it's been among the best in terms of attracting national competition. That's probably less so this year (there's no Oak Hill, Mt. Zion, or other top national teams like that), but there is still some excellent national talent, including a few teams from the east like Pleasure Ridge from Kentucky, St. Benedict's from New Jersey and Uniontown from Pennsylvania among others.  This tournament really isn't quite like the "old days" when there was one "super-bracket" featuring the best teams in the country all in one place, but with 5 brackets of 16 teams each competing for separate "Cups" it still features some good matchups.

This year, there are only a handful of teams from SoCal attending, but they are some of the better teams in the region, including Artesia (Ryan Meiuller, Ronald Allen), Carson (Onye Ibekwe), Fremont (Geoffrey Clayton, Mark Bradford), Bakersfield Garces (Robert Swift), Inglewood (DeAngelo Collins), Calvary Chapel Downey (Tim Drisdom, Ralph Miley), and others including Montclair Prep (Marko Bozovic), Horizon (San Diego), Hart, Harvard-Westlake (Bryce Taylor), Palm Desert (Josh Zazulia), Vista (San Diego), Daniel Murphy, LACES (LA Magnet) and North Hollywood HS.

The complete list of participants is below. We've highlighted the teams from SoCal who will be competing in the following divisions:  

  Millenium Cup    Gold Cup
Andrew Hill, CA Alcee Fortier, LA
Artesia, CA Butler, AL
Bishop Gorman, NV Butler, KY
Bonner, NC Cheyenne, NV
Carson, CA Cim-Memorial, NV
Denver East, CO Desert Pines, NV
Durango, NV Horizon, CA
Farrell, PA Inglewood, CA
Fremont, CA Laurel Highlands, PA
Garces, CA Layton Christian, UT
Green Valley, NV Montclair Prep, CA
Modesto Christian, CA Parkview Baptist, LA
Our Savior New American, NY St. Ignatius, CA
Pleasure Ridge Park, KY St. Mary's, AZ
St. Benedict's, NJ Strake Jesuit, TX
Uniontown, PA Stratford, TX
Silver Cup Bronze Cup
Arvada West, CO Basic, NV
Bulitt East, KY Carson, NV
Calvary Chapel, CA Chaparral, NV
Chugiak, AK Cyprus, UT
DeLaSalle, LA Douglas, NV
Eldorado, NV Hart, CA
Foothill, NV Manual, CO
Galena, NV Moapa Valley, NV
George Washington, CO Mojave, NV
Harvard-Westlake, CA Mountain Crest, UT
Mountain View, AZ Palm Desert, CA
Palo Verde, NV Payson, UT
Valley, NV Ross Sheppard, CN
Warren Easton, LA Silverado, NV
Westlake, TX Upper St. Clair, PA
White Rock Christian, CN Vista, CA
Copper Cup
Alameda, CA
Bonanza, NV
Cedar City, UT
Chatfield, CO
Coronado, NV
Daniel Murphy, CA
Mars, PA
Mountain View Christian, NV
North Hollywood, CA
Orem, UT
Palo Alto, CA
Paradise Christian, NV
Sierra Vista, NV
The Meadows, NV
Western, NV

Les Schwab Oregon Invitational at Portland Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR, December 19th-22nd

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The Les Schwab Oregon Invitational Tournament has been running for six years, and it just keeps getting better and better.  This year's field will, as in past years, feature the best of the teams from Oregon (e.g., Portland Jefferson, Benson Tech, Churchill, Portland Jesuit, etc), and it will also feature four top teams from outside the Oregon area, including Mater Dei, Oak Hill, St. John Bosco, and Little Rock (Ark.) Central. 

Given the possibility of an Oak Hill v. Mater Dei matchup, this could be a prelude to the Nike Extravaganza which is set for February, which will also feature a contest between the same teams. There's a nice website for this tournament (see the link above), so you'll be able to follow the action as it happens.   The complete list of teams in this one is impressive:

Little Rock Central Tigers Little Rock, Arkansas
Mater Dei Monarchs Santa Ana, California
Oak Hill Academy Warriors,  Mouth of Wilson, Virginia
St.John Bosco Braves, Los Angeles, California
Beaverton Beavers, Beaverton, Oregon
Benson Techmen,  Portland, Oregon
Central Catholic Rams,  Portland, Oregon
Churchill Lancers,  Eugene, Oregon
Jefferson Democrats,  Portland, Oregon
Jesuit Crusaders,  Portland, Oregon
Roseburg Indians,  Roseburg, Oregon
South Salem Saxons,  Salem, Oregon
Thurston Colts,  Springfield, Oregon
Tigard Tigers,  Tigard, Oregon
Westview Wildcats,  Beaverton, Oregon
Wilson Trojans,  Portland, Oregon

Mission Prep Christmas Classic in San Luis Obispo, CA, December 19th-22nd

missionprep.gif (4036 bytes)The Mission Prep Christmas Classic is going to be one of the best tournaments locally, featuring most of the area's top teams, and some other top teams from outside the region.   The tournament will be held at Cal Poly’s Mott Gym and at Cuesta College, and will run from December 19-22, 2001. Locally, the top teams attending will be Crenshaw (Marcus Williams), Long Beach Poly (,  Eisenhower (Johnny Dukes, Cory McJimson, Sean Marshall), Sylmar (Louis Darby, Frank Robinson), Lompoc (Joel Smith) as well as several other top teams like El Cajon Christian (Kansas signee Moulaye Niang), Washington Union, Bakersfield,  JW North,  Fresno Edison, Richmond Kennedy, Santa Barbara, and Canyon (Anaheim).  Top national teams include Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) which has won the Florida state title each of the past two seasons,  Archbishop Carroll (Washington D.C.).   The Mission Prep Classic doesn't have it's own website, but we'll be featuring updates from there throughout the tournament.

City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers, FL, December 18th-22nd

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The City of Palms Classic is one of those tournaments that continually attracts the top talent from all over the country, even if it does have a decidedly "Florida" taste to it.  The tournament is, after all, not unlike other regional tournaments that attract top teams from all over, in that it's an opportunity to showcase the best from the home state against some of the best competition in the country.  This year, Westchester, the No. 1 team in the country according to many of the best prep polls, will be the main team with a target on their backs.  Westchester features some of the best players from SoCal, including Arizona-signee Hassan Adams, San Diego State-signee Brandon Heath, New Mexico-signee Ashanti Cook,  Georgetown-signee Brandon Bowman, and as yet unsigned Keith Everage, and perhaps one of the best juniors in the country in Trevor Ariza.  Also from California this year will be Oakland Tech, featuring Armando Surratt, who has signed with Fresno State.

The teams competing include:
Abramson High School (New Orleans, Louisiana),
Lakewood High School (St. Petersburg, Florida),
All Hallows Institute  (Bronx, New York),
Lehigh Senior High School, (Lehigh Acres, Florida),
Bishop Verot High School (Fort Myers, Florida)
Miami Christian High School (Miami, Florida)
Broughton High School (Fort Myers, Florida)
Oakland Tech High School (Oakland, California)
Calhoun County High School  (Saint Matthews, South Carolina)
Salem High School  (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Cypress Lake High School  (Fort Myers, Florida)
Tabor Academy (Marlon, Massachusetts)
Hightower High School  (Missouri City, Texas)
Westchester High School (Los Angeles, California)
Kathleen High School  (Lakeland, Florida)
Xaverian High School  (Brooklyn, New York)

You can find out more about each of the schools participating by visiting the website for the tournament, which has full bios of the teams, complete brackets,and they'll be updating the results throughout the week of competition. .

Iolani Basketball Classic in Honolulu, HI, December 18th-22nd

classictopban.gif (6826 bytes)The website for this tournament is often hard to reach, but when it's available, you'll find out all you need to know.  And it's going to be a pretty impressive field, led by national power Fairfax (UCLA commit Evan Burns,  Cal Poly-signee Fernando Sampson, Alex Bausley, Kevin Bell, etc), and another SoCal favorite, Clovis West (Nick Debban).   Other teams include top national powers Cathedral Prep from Erie, PA, and Garfield HS from Seattle, Washington.   The complete list of teams includes:

Damien (Honolulu, HI)
Wilson (Florence, SC)
Iolani (Honolulu, HI)
Cathedral Prep  (Erie, PA)
Punahou (Honolulu, HI)
Northwestern (Miami, FL)
Mililani (Mililani, HI)
Montrose (Rockville, MD)
Farrington (Honolulu, HI)
Clovis West (Fresno, CA)
Kalaheo (Kalaheo, HI)
Kealakehe (Kealakehe, HI)
Aiea (Honolulu, HI)
Garfield (Seattle, WA)
Roosevelt (Honolulu, HI)
Fairfax (Los Angeles, CA)

Lahainaluna Basketball Classic in Lahaina, HI, December 19th-22nd

Thanks to the LA Times new Preps section, we actually have an idea about who is in this tournament.  In years past, teams like Canyon (Anaheim), Villa Park, Chaminade and others have come from the mainland for four days of basketball and fun on the beaches of Lahaina.  Here's the first round schedule for the games that will be played at various locations in and around Lahaina on the island of Maui.   This year it looks like the only SoCal based team is Moreno Valley Rancho Verde HS:

at Lahaina (Hawaii) Civic Center
9:00 a.m.   Fremont Mission San Jose vs. Wailuku (Hawaii) Baldwin
10:30 a.m. Rancho Verde vs. Lanai City (Hawaii) Lanai
12:00 p.m. Edmonton (Alta.) Strathcona Composite vs. Sonoma Valley
1:30 p.m.   Wailuku (Hawaii) Baldwin vs. Waimea (Hawaii)
3:00 p.m.   Lanai City (Hawaii) Lanai vs. Honolulu (Hawaii) University
4:30 p.m.   Sonoma Valley vs. Hilo (Hawaii) Waiakea
6:00 p.m.  Waimea (Hawaii) vs. Fremont Mission San Jose
7:30 p.m.  Honolulu (Hawaii) University vs. Rancho Verde

at Lahaina (Hawaii) Lahainaluna HS
9:00 a.m.    Half Moon Bay vs. Makawao (Hawaii) King Kekaulike
10:30 a.m.  Lahaina (Hawaii) Lahainaluna vs. Kapa’a (Hawaii)
4:30 p.m.   Makawao (Hawaii) King Kekaulike vs. Kapa’a (Hawaii)
6:00 p.m.   Lahaina (Hawaii) Lahainaluna vs. Half Moon Bay
8:00 p.m.   Hilo (Hawaii) Waiakea vs. Edmonton (Alta.) Strathcona Composite

Other national tournaments taking place this week include:

Kreul Invitational Classic in Coral Springs, FL, December 15th-20th--No teams from California this year, but there are a lot of really good teams from Florida and New York.  If you're down that way, it's worth checking out.

Great Florida Shootout in Kissimmee, FL, December 18th-22nd

King of the Bluegrass at Fairdale High School in Fairdale, KY, December 18th-22nd

Anthony McPhee Holiday Classic in Miami, FL, December 20th-22nd

Dell Curry Foundation Shootout in Charlotte, NC, December 20th-22nd

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Holiday Classic in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, December 20th-22nd

Junior Orange Bowl Classic in Miami, FL, December 20th-22nd

Seahawk Holiday Classic in Hilton Head, SC, December 20th-22nd

Next week, we'll profile a whole different group of tournaments, including the post-Christmas national tournaments, including these tournaments (the biggest among them and most important to the California teams will be the Torrey Pines National Tournament, the Modesto Christian Tournament, and the "Academy National Invitational", which is the Nike-sponsored tournament that will feature most of the top Nike-sponsored teams in the country, including Westchester).  Here's the complete list of post-Christmas events:

Huntsville Times Classic in Huntsville, AL, December 26th-28th
Academy National Invitational at the Campbell Center in Houston, TX, December 26th-29th
Ashland Invitational Classic in Ashland, KY, December 26th-29th
Cactus Jam Classic in Phoenix, AZ, December 26th-29th
Deep South Classic in Snellville, GA, December 26th-29th
Gilbert Holiday Classic in Gilbert, AZ, December 26th-29th
Greenwood Blue and Gold Classic in Springfield, MO, December 26th-29th
Hooters Holiday Classic in St. Petersburg, FL, December 26th-29th
Kentucky Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic High School in Lexington, KY, December 26th-29th
Kingdom USA Holiday Classic in Ocala, FL, December 26th-29th
Magic City Classic in Birmingham, AL, December 26th-29th
National Prep Classic at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, CA, December 26th-29th
Owensboro Invitational in Owensboro, KY, December 26th-29th
Proviso West Holiday Classic at Proviso West High School in Hillside, IL, December 26th-29th
Surf'N Slam Hoops Classic in San Diego, CA, December 26th-29th
Arby' Basketball Classic at Tennessee High School in Bristol, TN, December 26th-30th
Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, SC, December 26th-30th
Peach State Holiday Classic in Atlanta, GA, December 26th-30th
Slam Dunk to the Beach in Lewes, DE, December 26th-30th
Whataburger Basketball Tournament in Ft. Worth, TX, December 26th-30th
Bank One Classic in Lake Charles, LA, December 27th-29th
Capital City Classic in Columbia, SC, December 27th-29th
Celriver Holiday Classic at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, SC, December 27th-29th
Centralia Holiday Classic in Centralia, IL, December 27th-29th
Gilbert Holiday Invitational in Gilbert, AZ, December 27th-29th
Glaxo Wellcome Holiday Classic in Raleigh, NC, December 27th-29th
Poplar Bluff Showdown in Poplar Bluff, MO, December 27th-29th
Red Cross Rotary Classic in Charleston, SC, December 27th-29th
Rim Rocker Classic in Middle Island, NY, December 27th-29th
Stop DWI Classic in Binghamton, NY, December 27th-29th
Great Kentucky Shootout in Louisville, KY, December 28th-30th
Adolph Rupp Classic at Lexington Catholic High School in Lexington, KY, December 26th-30th

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