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Get ready high school hoops junkies, your time's comin'.Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at 4:17 PM
There are no less than five separate boys' and girls' basketball tournaments in the coming month or so to give you all you can handle and more.
Whether you're a fan of boys, girls or both, you'll have plenty of chances to catch hardwood action -- and while there will be some travel involved -- most of the action takes place within a relatively short radius.
The tourney season begins right here in Greene County when the Linton-Stockton Lady Miners host a four-team invitational on Saturday, Dec. 19.
Things get underway at 10 a.m. when the host Lady Miners take on Tecumseh in the high school gym while at the same time North Daviess and Northeast Dubois get together in the junior high school gym.
The tournament concludes with a pair of games at 1 p.m. as the winners meet in the high school gym and the losers battle in the junior high.
This is a rotating tournament between the four schools. So next year's event will be held at Tecumseh High School before it travels to North Daviess and Northeast Dubois.
The tournament trail takes Christmas off before getting a kick-start with one of the most prestigious in the state on Saturday, December 26.
The Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic gets started early for fans of Bloomfield as they join the Terre Haute South Braves in kicking off the 10th annual renewal of the event at 10 a.m.
This year's event takes place at Terre Haute North and should be quite pleasing to anyone who even remotely enjoys high school basketball in Indiana.
Shakamak and Linton-Stockton get together in the day's next-to-last game at 7 p.m.
Play will continue in the classic on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Each of the county schools are guaranteed at least three games, so there are plenty of chances for you to see your favorite squad.
While area boys teams are slugging it out for a tourney title in Terre Haute, area girls' teams will fire back up starting December 28.
That's when the Union (Dugger) Lady Bulldogs take their show on the road to Bridgeport, Ill. and the Red Hill High School Invitational.
Right now we're really sure what the schedule will be but the Lady Bulldogs and host Lady Salukis will be joined in the two-day event by two more Illinois schools -- Lawrenceville and Noble.
If you're not into traveling across the state line, then there's a chance to see how the Linton-Stockton Lady Miners stack up against some pretty solid competition -- including what many consider to be the front-running team for a Class A title -- when the No. 1 ranked Vincennes Rivet Lady Patriots host a two-day round robin affair at the Vincennes University PE Complex Dec. 29-30.
The event begins with pool play in two groups.
Pool B features Turkey Run, Linton-Stockton and Robinson, Ill. while Pool A features the host Lady Patriots, Sullivan and Evansville Mater Dei.
The Lady Miners get into action in game one against Turkey Run then take on Robinson in game three.
Day two begins with the third place teams meeting for fifth-place, followed by the second place teams meeting for third and finally the two pool winners meeting for the title.
If you don't want to travel to Vincennes for a mere nine games, there's always the Toby Yoho Invitational hosted by Eastern Greene at Little Cincinnati.
2009 will mark the second year of the event and will also feature an expanded field.
"We are now up to 12 teams and everybody will play four games in two days," said EG girls coach Dan Fidago. "We don't expect much -- just that it is the best run tournament in the state of Indiana."
The field includes the host Lady Thunderbirds, Bloomington North, Brownstown Central, Centerville, Cloverdale, Edgewood, Forest Park, Hauser, Indianapolis Arlington, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, Owen Valley and South Knox.
"The first day will be pool play with three teams in each pool," Fidago said. "The second day four teams will have a chance to win the tournament. We are excited about the tournament."
Games will be played at three venues -- the new high school gym, Toby Yoho Gymnasium and the elementary school gym -- so fans can keep their heads spinning as they travel from game to game.
Wednesday, Dec. 30 also will feature a one-day girls tournament involving the Shakamak Lady Lakers. They'll travel just outside of Greencastle for the South Putnam Invitational.
The field there includes the Lady Lakers, Clay City, North Vermillion and the host Lady Eagles.
After a break for the New Year to begin, the boys get back into tournament mode with the 40th edition of the Greene County Invitational.
Once again the field features Eastern Greene, Clay City, Linton-Stockton, Shakamak, Union (Dugger), Vincennes Rivet, North Central and the host White River Valley Wolverines.
Games will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 5 and continue throughout the week with games at 6 and 7:30 p.m. during the week.
The final day -- Saturday, Jan. 9 -- features a full day of action beginning at 10 a.m. with the seventh place game followed by the fifth-place contest at 11:30 a.m.
The consolation game begins at 6 p.m. with the title tilt scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
So there you have it, a holiday feast of high school hoops so hearty that there's plenty to go around no matter who you cheer for or where you are from.
Rick Curl is a sports writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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