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It's holiday tourney time againPosted Tuesday, December 20, 2011, at 4:16 PM
The Eastern Greene Lady Thunderbirds will once again host the Toby Yoho Classic, just one of many holiday tournaments area fans can enjoy over the coming weeks. Above, Lady Thunderbird Brooke Butler (left) drives the baseline against Brown County's Emma Morgan. Both teams will be in action Dec. 28 and 29 at Little Cincinnati. (Shad Cox).
You know that time when it seems like everyone has their mind on holiday hoops tournaments.
We here in Greene County are fortunate to be at or near the epicenter of high school basketball holiday (and beyond) clashes.
The boys kick off the final month of 2011 at the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic. It gets underway at Terre Haute North Vigo High School the Tuesday (Dec. 27) after Christmas with eight games.
The field includes Linton-Stockton, Bloomfield and Shakamak locally, but it also features defending champion and currently ranked No. 7 in Class 2A Sullivan.
As for the local entrants, the Cardinals will get things started when they tip-off against the Lions of Marshall, Ill. at 10 a.m.
That will be immediately followed by the Miners post-Christmas debut when they take on the Monrovia Bulldogs at 11:30 a.m.
The Lakers of coach Steve Brett finish things off on day one of the tourney when they take on Northview in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m.
The Wabash Valley Classic continues until Friday Dec. 30 and the start time for all three local teams will vary depending on their fate on opening day.
For the ladies there's plenty of action in the month of December as three local teams will take to the court in tournament contests.
The Union Lady Bulldogs get things underway when they travel to Bridgeport, Ill. for the Red Hill Invitational.
It's a field that also includes the host Lady Salukis, the Lawrenceville Lady Indians and Noble High School.
The Lady Bulldogs will face Lawrenceville in the first game of the tourney on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. ET, then will play the following night at either 7 or 8:30 p.m.
At the same time the Linton-Stockton Lady Miners will again be a part of a stellar field at the Vincennes University Physical Education Complex.
The class A third-ranked Lady Patriots of Vincennes Rivet will host a field that also includes class 2A No. 4 Sullivan (9-1 going into its game at Edgewood Tuesday) along with Hagerstown, Corydon Central, Vincennes Lincoln, Pike Central and Robinson, Ill.
The Lady Miners will play two games on Dec. 28 beginning with a meeting with Robinson at 2 p.m.
Their next appearance will depend on whether they win or lose.
If they win they'll play again at 8 p.m., if they lose to the Lady Maroons they will return to the court at 6:30 p.m.
Their opponent will be either the host Lady Patriots or the Lady Alices, who will do battle at 12:30 p.m.
Linton-Stockton will play a third game on Dec. 29 at either 1 or 2:30 p.m. -- again start time will be determined by their fate from their second game of the day on Wednesday.
If you think the field at Vincennes is impressive, wait until you look over the field at this year's Toby Yoho Classic hosted by Eastern Greene.
There's plenty of solid teams in that tournament as well including squads that have shown up in the polls.
Riverton Parke is currently ranked No. 7 (A), Paoli is No. 17 (2A), Clay City No. 12 (A) and Edgewood (3A) comes in at No. 2.
Aside from the Lady Thunderbirds -- who play at 9:30 a.m. and again at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 27 at the high school -- and the above mentioned teams, the field for this year's Toby Yoho also features South Knox, Monrovia, Brown County, Forest Park, Hauser, Bloomington North, Brownstown Central and Paoli.
Pool play will take the stage on the first day with elimination games on the second and final day.
"We have a lot of great teams participating," said EGHS coach Zack Stevens. "We think it is going to be a great tournament.
"We are looking forward to hosting it again."
Coach J.B. Neill's White River Valley boys team is not in a tournament, but will host North Putnam on Dec. 28. The junior varsity game will be at 6 p.m.
If all of that's not enough to keep your hoops fire lit, there's of course the Greene County Invitational at White River Valley High School in Switz City.
The annual field includes the usual suspects -- Shakamak, Linton-Stockton, WRV, Eastern Greene, Union, North Central, Clay City and for the last time Vincennes Rivet as Bloomfield will be joining the GCI next year and leave the Wabash Valley Classic.
That annual event runs from Tuesday Jan. 3 until Saturday Jan. 7.
If you're more of a one-day shootout type person, take heart there's something for you on Jan. 14.
That's when the Miner and Laker boys travel to Terre Haute's Hulman Center to take part in the inaugural State Farm Inland Shootout.
The event, hosted by Rockville High School will feature four games beginning with the host Rox taking on Crawfordsville at 3 p.m.
Next will be Shakamak taking on Marshall followed by Cascade meeting South Vermillion and finally the West Vigo Vikings will battle the Miners.
The Lakers are set for a 4:30 p.m. start while the Miners will tip-off around 7:30 p.m.
So there you have it, a look at what's in store for all you hoops junkies that just can't enough, enjoy.
Rick is a sports writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487 ext. 20. He can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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