Two of the larger annual area holiday basketball tournaments were shut down over a month ago due to the threat of Covid-19: the Hitchcock’s Challenge in Alachua and the Kingdom of the Sun at Vanguard High School in Ocala. Typically, there would be as many as eight games per day at each event and the tournaments would extend over a four-day period.
Despite the cancellation of these two premier tournaments, several area holiday tournaments have taken place on a smaller scale this week.
Bronson High School is hosting the three-day Eagle Invitational Holiday Classic Shootout. It’s one of the larger holiday tournaments this year with a total of 12 games. The final day of the round robin tournament is today at Bronson High School.
The Newberry girls will face Cedar Key this afternoon at 3 p.m., followed by Bronson and Lafayette (Mayo) at 4:30 p.m. Tonight at 6 p.m., the Newberry boys will play Union County at 6 p.m., followed by Bronson and Williston at 7:30 p.m.
Yesterday the Newberry girls defeated Bronson 49-44. The Lady Panthers bounced back from a 62-30 loss to Lafayette on Monday. The Williston boys defeated Union County 55-38, while the Newberry boys defeated the host Bronson Eagles, 63-56.
On Monday, the Newberry boys lost to Williston, 64-54, and the Bronson boys lost to Union County, 46-40. The host Eagles led by one at the half but were outscored 28-21 in the second half.
At the Jarvis Williams Christmas tournament in Palatka, the P.K. Yonge boys basketball team defeated Gainesville High (GHS), 53-46, on Tuesday. GHS trailed by nine at the half, but they took the lead in the fourth quarter.
Daryus Boyd gave the Hurricanes a 44-43 advantage on a layup with just under four minutes to play. However, the Blue Wave outscored the Hurricanes 10-2 the rest of the way to improve to 5-2.
GHS, which dropped to 4-4, will play Crescent City this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
Columbia (Lake City) is playing West Nassau (Callahan) for 5th-place today at the Battle at The Villages. The Tigers bounced back from a loss against nationally ranked Orlando Christian Prep on Monday to defeat Gaither (Tampa), 48-44, on Tuesday.
On Friday, St. Francis Catholic Academy will host the Premier Basketball Holiday Showcase (Jan. 1-3). Area teams St. Francis Catholic, P.K. Yonge, Santa Fe, Eastside, and The Rock are among the teams participating.
For more information or tickets to the tournament, visit www.FloridaGetDown.org.