Christmas tournaments got right back into action after the break, taking First Region teams all over the state and beyond to show off their skills. Some hosted their own tournaments, others traveled to surrounding states and as far as Florida, and others are playing regularly scheduled games or even taking the extra-long break until the New Year.
Up in Illinois, the Paducah Tilghman Blue Tornado put on quite a performance in the Illinois Route 13 Christmas Tournament in Carbondale IL. They started off strong with an 87-36 victory over Jacksonville, IL. Strong performances by Mian Shaw and Jayvion Powell helped spearhead a 34-point opening quarter. Shaw led the way with 20 points and was accompanied by three teammates reaching the double-digit mark as well. Tragen Arthur followed up with 15 points, Powell had 14 with 12 in the first quarter alone and Jequan Warren added 12 points of his own.
They advanced to play Marion IL, on Wednesday where the Blue Tornado once again came out on top, but not in the same blowout fashion as game one, with a 64-54 final score. Shaw once again put up a team leading 18 points with Warren right behind him with 17.
To round out the tournament, the Blue Tornado squared off against Springfield Southeast in the semifinal game where they fell just short of advancing with a 69-63 loss. This sent them to the third place game where they took on Marion once again, beating them for the second time in a 24 hour span, this time 62-34.
The Lady Blue Tornado also put on quite a show in the Kysports.tv Girls Christmas Classic Dec. 27-29. Game one against Eastern ended in an overtime thriller 80-75, where four Lady Blue Tornado had big double-digit scoring performances. Diamond Gray led with 22 points, Dasia Garland and Rosie Minter each put up 14 points and Jayla Reed contributed 13.
Game two was played against Campbellsville with a 60-52 win in favor of Tilghman. Gray put up 18 points to lead the team, Garland had a 15 point 11 rebound double-double and Kiarri Jackson put up 13 points. The win over Campbellsville resulted in a Championship game against Bullitt Central on Wednesday where they came out victorious 49-46.
McCracken County played in the Central Bank Jim Rose Classic at Lexington Christian, Dec. 28-30. The Mustangs started off against Beechwood where they put up a 69-55 victory. Ian Hart led the way with 21 points on 8 of 11 shooting and 5 of 7 from the charity stripe while Brant Brower added 16 points, 7 of 9 from the line.
They advanced to play Garrard County on Wednesday where they came out with a 53-38 win to advance to the Championship game. This game it was Brower who led the Mustangs with 18 points followed right behind by Jack McCune with 17, while Hart hauled in 12 rebounds. The Championship game was played against an undefeated Lloyd Memorial team where the Mustangs handed the Juggernauts their first loss with a 48-29 win.
Marshall County participated in the Campbellsville High School Holiday Classic Dec. 28-30. They started off with a strong 73-53 win over Taylor County on Tuesday. Cole Mills led the Marshals with 23 points, Kole Sedlock followed with 18 and Wade Moore put up 10 points.
The win helped them advance to play Madison Southern where the score was nearly the same as game one. The Marshals came out on top 72-53 to advance and play in the championship game on Thursday where they played and beat Butler 44-39.
Over at the FirstBank Holiday Bash in South Warren, the Lady Marshals continued their dominant undefeated season. They started out with a 69-35 win over Oldham County where Halle Langhi led with 19 points followed by Skylar Waller with 15 and Jada Driver with 11.
Wednesday consisted of a pair of games against Rockcastle County and Owensboro, where the Lady Marshals came out on top in both, 53-36 against Rockcastle and 56-19 over Owensboro. Langhi shot an impressive 10 of 13 from the field in her 22-point performance against Rockcastle. But the performance of the tournament came from Driver against Owensboro when she made an astounding nine buckets from behind the arc for 27 of her 30 over all points.
Sometimes good things have to come to an end and unfortunately for the Lady Marshals their perfect season came to an end against the 10-4 Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces.
Down in Florida, the Graves County Eagles and Lady Eagles each put on strong performances to make it to their respective championship games in the Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic. The Eagles beat out Deltona, FL 72-69 in overtime to start out the tournament and followed it up with a win over Grant County 60-47. The Lady Eagles kicked things off with a dominant 60-21 performance over Seabreeze High School, then took care of Cocke County, TN 62-50.
Unfortunately for both the Eagles and Lady Eagles, the champion status wasn’t in the cards in Florida. The Eagles fell to Science Hill, TN 66-55 and the Lady Eagles lost to Christian Academy-Louisville, 46-31.
The Murray Tigers played in the WKY Hoops Classic while the Lady Tigers hosted the Murray Bank Lady Tiger Classic. Both teams put on impressive performances with the Tigers going 3-1 in the tournament and the Lady Tigers going 2-1. The Boys beat Miller Career Academy out of St. Louis 74-63, then Arlington, TN 74-50 and lost in overtime in the final game of the tournament to Lee, AL 49-47. The girls split two games against Livingston Central with a 32-28 win and 39-37 loss before beating Northeast, TN 40-39.
Things will look to get back to normal next week with regularly scheduled games to start the New Year including big games between McCracken County and Marshall County on Tuesday, Jan. 4.