At least one area team will be in six different holiday tournaments that start anywhere from Tuesday through Thursday.
Shelbyville, 8-1, will be in the 46th annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament, while Casey-Westfield, also 8-1, is to be in the First Financial Wabash Valley Classic. Neoga, 4-3, is in the Monticello Holiday Hoopla, while Arthur Okaw Christian, 5-3, is to play host to its own tournament, which also includes the Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond junior varsity.
Arcola (2-5) and Okaw Valley (4-6) are in the 34th annual Dietrich Holiday Tournament, while the 14th annual Tri-County Holiday Tournament at Kansas is to include Tri-County (3-8), Martinsville (3-7), WSS (5-4) and A-L-A-H (2-5).
The First Financial Wabash Valley Classic is at Terre Haute North, Indiana and will start Tuesday, as will the Dietrich Holiday Tournament and Vandalia Holiday Tournament. The Tri-County Holiday Tournament will start Wednesday, while the Monticello Holiday Hoopla will start Thursday.
Dieterich Holiday Tournament
Newton is the defending champion, having beaten Dieterich 51-32. The Eagles are the top seed and Dietrich is the second seed in this year's tournament that includes Christ Our Rock Lutheran, the fifth-seeded team, playing Okaw Valley at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, as well as third-seeded Arcola taking on seventh-seeded Oblong at 4 p.m. and Okaw Valley battling Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City, the eighth-seeded team, at 5:30 p.m.
Okaw Valley is in the same pool at Newton, Christ Our Rock Lutheran, and Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City, while Arcola is in a pool with Dieterich, North Clay and Oblong. The eight teams have a combined record of 25-40 (.385) with only Newton and Dieterich having winning records, both 6-3. The Movin' Maroons have won three straight.
"This will be the first year in the last three years that we haven't played Dieterich at 7 p.m. on opening night," said Okaw Valley coach Brooks Inman. "We are looking forward to playing two games in the first day."
Okaw Valley has won four of its last five games, with the lone loss being to Central A&M 52-25. The Timberwolves average 42.7 points per game and allow 51.0. Jared Bunfill leads Okaw Valley in scoring at 10.6 points per game.
"We can be very good defensively at times," said Inman. "In our wins, we have limited teams to 37 points per game."
Inman said the team has been focusing on offensive identity and efficient ways to score.
"We have been played about how we expected for the most part," said Inman. "We have struggled to score at times, which has been puzzling, but we will keep working at it."
Okaw Valley has been without Garrett Fritz and Austin Harshman due to injuries but are hoping to get them back in the New Year.
"I like playing four games in three days against good competition," said Inman of the tournament.
Arcola enters on a five-game losing streak, averaging 42.3 points per game on the season and allowing 49.7. Myles Roberts leads the Purple Riders in scoring at 12.7 points per game.
First Financial Wabash Valley Classic at North Terre Haute, Ind.
Casey-Westfield is one of three Illinois teams in the 16-team tournament, with the other 13 from Indiana.
Terre Haute North, Indiana won last year's title, beating Linton-Stockton 55-42.
The Warriors' only loss was to Cumberland 68-63, and one of the victories was over a team in the tournament, West Vigo, Indiana 64-55. Casey is to play Northview, Indiana at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The championship game is set for 8 p.m. Friday in the four-day, 28-game tournament.
Northview is 1-4. The other teams in the tournament and their records are: Rockville, Indiana (6-2), who have won three straight; Owen Valley, Indiana (2-4) a Class 3A team that was to play at Crawfordsville last Friday; South Vermillion, Indiana (6-3), a Class 3A team; Robinson (3-8), who has lost six consecutive games; Terre Haute North, Ind (3-5), a Class 4A team that has lost three straight; Sullivan, Ind (5-0), a Class 3A team; West Vigo (1-5), a Class 3A team; Edgewood, Indiana (4-3), a Class 3A team; Terre Haute South, Indiana (4-2), a Class 4A team; Shakamak (3-4); Marshall (6-4), a team that has won three straight; Linton-Stockton (5-1), a Class 2A team; Riverton Parke, Indiana (5-2), a team that has won three consecutive games; and Cloverdale, Indiana (6-2), a Class 2A team that enters on a six-game winning streak.
Luke Richards, a 6-6 junior for Casey, averages 18.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.9 blocked shots per game, while Logan Hawker, a 6-4 senior, averages 13.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist per contest. The team averages 72.1 points per game, with 60 being the fewest points scored, a 60-50 win over Robinson, another team in the tournament. The Warriors have allowed an average of 48.6 points per contest and are shooting 52 percent from the field, including 40 percent from beyond the three-point line. Casey averages 28 rebounds, 14.1 assists, 8.8 steals and 3.0 blocked shots per game.
Monticello Hoopla Tournament
The eight-team, two pool play, three-day, 16-game tournament has Neoga taking on Paxton-Buckley-Loda at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The eight teams combine for a 38-21 (.644) record with only two teams with losing records in 1-4 Argenta-Oreana and 2-5 Tuscola.
Monticello, a team coached by Neoga and Lake Land grad Kevin Roy, is 5-0 and is the same pool with Argenta-Oreana, Ridgeview (8-1) and Tuscola.
Other teams in the Gold Pool with Neoga are 9-1 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, whose only loss was to LeRoy (66-34) and who is currently on an eight-game winning streak, as well as Oakwood, a team that is 5-5.
Neoga averages 46.3 points per game and allows 51.4. Caleb Hill leads the Indians in scoring at 10.1 points per game.
Tri-County Holiday Tournament
The eight teams combine for an 18-44 (.290) record, with only WSS having a winning record.
Paris won last year's championship, beating Chrisman 69-61.
Pool A consists of two area teams in Martinsville and Tri-County along with Chrisman (0-7) and Hutsonville/Palestine (1-3).
Pool B also has two area teams in it with WSS and A-L-A-H. The other teams are Paris (2-7) and Westville (2-5).
"I like the fact the tournament is at home and it is good competition," said Tri-County coach David Smith, while WSS first-year coach Austin Robinson, a Neoga graduate, said, "I like that is is a mix of teams we don't see much during the regular season."
The Hatchets are led in scoring by Christian Kessler and Chase Thies at 12.3 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. The team shoots 41 percent from the field, including just 19 percent from beyond the three-point line. WSS averages 22.9 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 4.1 steals per game.
"We had a strong start to the season at 5-2," said Robinson. Their only losses were to Clinton 56-38 and Shelbyville 65-56. "But the loss to Okaw Valley was a major step back for us. We need guys to get back to doing things the right way or the losses will continue."
WSS averages 12.6 turnovers per game.
"We have been working a lot on ball security," said Robinson. "That has been a big issue for us all year, of forcing things that are not available and having way too many turnovers."
Thursday WSS plays the noon game and then the final game of the day at 7:30 p.m.
"Obviously, that is not a great thing, but I know some of the parents of the players are working to help feed the players," said Robinson who added, "If we get back to moving the ball offensively and not forcing turnovers and sit down on the defensive end while communicating with each other, we'll have an opportunity to play well."
Tri-County beat Martinsville 62-51 in the Tri-County Thanksgiving Tournament and A-L-A-H beat the Bluestreaks 54-40 Nov. 28.
"We have good team speed and depth," said Smith of the strengths of his team. "We have been working on improving our rebounding and ball security."
The Titans average 50.9 points per game and allow 53.7. They are entering the tournament on a seven-game losing streak, with six of the games decided by 10 points or less. Cody Richardson leads the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game.
"Our underclassmen have been stepping up," said Smith. "I have 11 seniors, but two juniors have been solid."
Smith feels Paris, Westville and Tri-County are the top teams in the tournament.
"We are pretty healthy for the most part," said Smith. "We should be getting a key contributor back from a football injury soon. If we get back to just playing ball and not worrying so much about everything else, we will be a tough team to beat."
The Bluestreaks average 42.4 points per game while allowing 57.2. They are led by last year's all-tournament team player Dalton Rollings, who averages 14.9 points per game.
The Knights average 45.1 points per game and allow 56.6, with Kobe Wells and Will Cohan averaging 12.1 and 10.6 points per contest.
There will be trophies awarded for first and second place, as well as a five-member all-tournament team and one most valuable player. There will also be a 30-point mercy rule in the fourth quarter.
Vandalia Holiday Tournament
Shelbyville is in Pool B along with Flora, South Central, Vandalia junior varsity and Father McGivney out of Glen Carbon.
Pool A consists of Effingham St. Anthony, Vandalia, Pana, Patoka and Ramsey.
The Rams are 8-1 with an average of 65.1 points per game, while allowing 51.4. The lone loss was to PORTA/Ashland-Chandlerville Central on Friday 76-48.
Shelbyville is led by last year's all-tournament team player, Malcolm Miller, a 6-5 junior, who averages 26.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, four assists, 3.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Turner Pullen, a 6-3 senior, averages 14.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and steals per game, as well as 1.2 blocked shots per game. As a team, the Rams were shooting 43 percent with an average of 34.5 rebounds, 16.3 assists, 12.2 steals and 2.7 blocked shots per game.
The Rams have played one other team in the tournament in Pana and won 75-62.
Flora is 6-2, and the only two losses were to Marshall (50-35) and Okawville (52-42). South Central is 3-4, while Father McGivney, a team coached by former Shelbyville standout Rich Beyers, is 1-7.
Vandalia is 5-4, Pana 3-4, Patoka 0-5 and Ramsey is 2-6. Effingham St. Anthony, the defending Class 1A state champions, is coached by Stewardson-Strasburg grad Cody Rincker. The Bulldogs won last year's tournament 75-48 over Pana. St. Anthony is 8-2, with the only losses coming to Dieterich (68-62) and Highland (63-57).
Pool play is to be Tuesday through Thursday with the championship set for 8 p.m. Friday.
Arthur Okaw Christian Holiday Classic
The 13th annual tournament will be played at two different places, including the new AOC gym, as well as both gyms at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond.
The tournament includes 16 teams from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin in the three-day, 27 game tournament.
Arthur Okaw Christian, 5-3, is to start the tournament in its own gym against Portage Christian School of Portage, Indiana at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The Conquering Riders are led by Benjamin Lee, Trevor Beachy, Oliver Binion and Ian Lowry, with averages of 13.3, 12.8, 12.1 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. AOC averages 57.6 points per game and allows 54.3.
Other teams in the tournament are: the A-L-A-H junior varsity; Calumet Christian Academy of Griffith, Indiana; Defender Ministry Homeschool of Hiawatha, Iowa; Families Faith Christian Academy of Channahon; Galesburg Christian School; Galilean Christian Academy of Liberty, Kentucky; Morning Star Academy of Bettendorf, Iowa; Mountain Top Academy of Horicon, Wisconsin; New Jerusalem Baptist of Indianapolis; and Wabash Valley Homeschool of Terre Haute, Indiana.