For those who believe the holidays are a quiet time for high-school basketball, think again. That certainly is not the case.
The week between Christmas and New Years is scheduled to be filled with girls and boys holiday tournaments throughout Northern Virginia and beyond.
Many teams are slated to play in area tournaments, but three local squads – the Bishop O’Connell High girls and boys and the McLean High girls – are traveling to competitions.
The O’Connell boys participate in the annual and long-standing Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, Dec. 28-30. O’Connell is scheduled to face Myrtle Beach High School in a Dec. 28 first-round game. Meanwhile, the O’Connell girls are traveling to Tampa to play in the She Got Game tourney Dec. 28 through Jan. 1.
The McLean girls are slated to play two games at Greater Latrobe High School in Pennsylvania.
In Northern Virginia, the longest running tournament is the eight-team boys George Long Holiday Hoops tourney, scheduled to be held for the 18th time Dec. 27-29 at Wakefield High School.
In addition to the host Wakefield Warriors, the competition includes the Washington-Liberty Generals, Madison Warhawks, Centreville Wildcats, the defending champion South County Stallions, Annandale Atoms. W.T. Woodson Cavaliers and Theodore Roosevelt from D.C. Wakefield, which finished second in the 2019 event, plays Woodson at 6:15 p.m. in first-round action.
The other three Dec. 27 first-round matches are South County vs. Annandale at 1 p.m., Centreville vs. Roosevelt 2:45 p.m. and W-L against Madison at 4:30 p.m. Centreville and South County are the past two Virginia High School League Class 6 state champions.
“This has to be the best [holiday] tournament around this year,” Bentley said. “There are no easy games. We didn’t want to play Woodson in the first round, but the way the bracket needed to be set up, we didn’t have any other choice.”
Wakefield has won the title four times and finished second seven times, including the last four. The event wasn’t held in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Centreville, Woodson, South County, W-L, Roosevelt and Madison will enter the competition with winning records.
* The 7-1 Madison High School girls team will be a favored in the eight-team girls tournaments at Fairfax High School. The school also is hosting an eight-team boys tourney.
Other teams from the Sun Gazette coverage areas in those two tournaments are both Langley and Marshall girls and boys squads. The Marshall boys will be a favored with a 7-1 record.
* The Joe Cascio event at Falls Church High School includes the Washington-Liberty girls team. On the boys side of that competition, the McLean Highlanders are entered.
* The Oakton boys are playing in the Lake Braddock tournament.
* Oakton High School is hosting a round-robin eight-team girls tournament Dec. 28-30, which includes local Oakton, Flint Hill and Yorktown teams.