Updated: 12/30/2013 2:42 PM
Created: 12/26/2013 11:28 AM KSTP.com
By: Ken Lien, Chair of Mr. Basketball of Minnesota
There are a great number of holiday basketball tournaments coming up with some starting Thursday, Dec. 26. The holiday games seem to be a defining point for some teams as they “turn the corner” from the first several games played prior to Christmas to often times jelling as a team and making a run through January and February, preparing for the post-season playoffs.
Augsburg Tournament: Games start on Friday, Dec. 27, at 4 p.m. with Henry Sibley vs. Andover; Chanhassen vs. St. Paul Johnson followed by Hopkins vs. Minneapolis North; North has a very young squad with one senior, three sophomores, five freshmen and one eighth-grader. Larry McKenzie has big aspirations for his team playing Class 1A; I look for them to reach the state tournament in March. Look for a high-scoring affair in their game with Hopkins.
Bethel Tournament: Big game is on Dec. 27 at 8:15 p.m. - Eagan vs. East Ridge.
Catholic Spirit at UST: Dec. 27: 6 p.m. - Holy Angels vs. Rosemount; 8:15 p.m. - Hill-Murray vs. Cretin-Derham Hall; semifinals & championship games are Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
Eden Prairie Tournament: Friday, Dec. 27, has Chaska vs. Waconia at 6 p.m. followed by Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Eden Prairie at 7:30 p.m.
Edina Tournament: Friday, Dec. 27, St. Thomas Academy vs. Armstrong at 6 p.m. and St. Louis Park vs. Edina at 7:30 p.m.; Armstrong is playing very good basketball right now, having recently knocked off highly rated Osseo.
Granite City Classic: Tournament starts Friday at 11 a.m. with games being played at St. Cloud Apollo and St. Cloud State. There are 14 scheduled games with some interesting matchups: At Apollo: Dec. 27 at 12:30 p.m. - Sartell-St. Stephens vs. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; 2:15 p.m. - Prior Lake vs. St. Francis; 7 p.m. - Stillwater vs. Champlin Park and at 8:30 - Apple Valley vs. Roseville; At St. Cloud State: Dec. 28 at 5:30 p.m. - Roseville vs. Champlin Park and at 8:30 p.m. - BBE vs. Apple Valley.
Hibbing Tournament: Thursday, Dec. 26: The spotlight game has Chisholm vs. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at 6 p.m.; Chisholm coach Bob McDonald is hoping to win his 1,000th game. If all goes “according to plan,” Chisholm plays Hibbing (coached by Bob’s son Joel) in the championship game Friday, Dec. 28, at 7:45 p.m.
Lakeville North Tournament: I project Holy Family Catholic to play Lakeville North Saturday, Dec. 28, at 7:45 p.m.; Lakeville North’s JP Macura continues to light it up, averaging 35 points per game.
Rochester Rotary Tournament: Games start on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 2 p.m.; My projection is Osseo vs. Minnetonka in the championship game on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. All games are being played at the Rochester Civic Center.
Mike Miller Classic, Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.: The big matchup has DeLaSalle vs. Findlay Prep (NV) on Saturday at 8:45 p.m. Findlay Prep is loaded with talent and size, so the Islanders need Travis playing to offset the strong front line of Findlay.
The annual T-Wolves Shootout will be played Saturday, Jan. 4. There are four great games scheduled: Lakeville North vs. Grand Rapids 9:15 a.m.; Bettendorf (IA) vs. Cretin-Derham Hall at 11:00 a.m.; St. Rita Cascia (Chicago) vs. DeLaSalle at 12:45 p.m.; Blue Valley Northwest (KS) vs. Apple Valley at 2:30 p.m.
Ken Lien is a KSTP.com contributor and Chairman of Mr. Basketball of Minnesota.