By ERIC X. VICCARO
All four local varsity basketball teams will be in action next week during holiday-themed tournaments.
The Valle Catholic boys will play host to their own Warrior Classic Tournament from Dec. 28-30.
The Valle Catholic girls will travel to the Second Annual First State Community Bank Girls’ Christmas Tournament. Kingston and West County are serving as dual hosts.
Both the Ste. Genevieve boys and girls will be competing at the 65th Annual Bob Sechrest, Jr. Central Christmas Tournament in Park Hills.
Unlike other states, Missouri doesn’t have a “dead period” for games or practices during a holiday break. Coaches can even conduct a practice on Christmas day if he or she so desires.
“It’s a relief, and a reward, for the girls,” said Valle Catholic girls’ basketball coach Brian Bauman regarding the opportunity to play holiday basketball. “It gives us a chance to compete.”
In both Texas and Kansas, there is a five-day moratorium on practices and games during the holiday period. The break is even longer in Iowa, sometimes more than an entire week.
In Tyler Search’s home state of Illinois, the state athletic association there currently isn’t allowing any basketball due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Search said he talked to the boys before the season began, expressing how important it is to value this time together.
“I told them, ‘Don’t take it for granted,” the coach commented.
The Valle Catholic boys have drawn the third seed, facing Saxony Lutheran of Jackson in the opening round at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 28.
Other first-round match-ups are: No. 1 Seckman versus No. 8 St. Paul Lutheran of Farmington, No. 2 St. Vincent against No. 7 Kingston and No. 4 Fox against No. 5 West County.
The third-place game is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30, with the championship to follow about 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Valle Catholic girls were seeded sixth at the First State Community State Bank Tournament — taking on Valley Caledonia in the opening round at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at Kingston.
Valle Catholic or Valley Caledonia will face DeSoto in the second round, and Bauman reported the Warriors are guaranteed to play four games next week.
Other first-round games feature No. 8 Bunker versus No. 9 Crystal City, No. 5 Kingston against No. 12 Bismarck and No. 7 Hillsboro versus No. 10 Viburnum.
West County has been seeded No. 1, with Perryville No. 2 and Jefferson R-7 No. 4.
The third-place game is set for 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, with the championship to follow at 3 p.m. at West County High School in Frankclay.
Admission prices for both of Valle Catholic’s tournaments are $3 for adults and $2 for students.
Ste. Genevieve R-II school district athletic director Dr. Jeff Nix reported admission for the Park Hills Central Tournament is $5 across the board.
The girls will open up against No. 7 Potosi at noon on Saturday, Dec. 26.
The Dragons will face either Steelville or Fredericktown in either the consolation or championship bracket.
Other teams are No. 1 host Park Hills Central, No. 4 South Iron, No. 5 Arcadia Valley and No. 8 Festus.