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Holiday tourneys proving grounds for Montini, Willowbrook

Holiday basketball tournaments are nearing and area girls teams will have something to prove. Willowbrook and Montini have ambitions of winning their tournaments while Addison Trail hopes to get a confidence boost at Riverside Brookfield. Glenbard East played Glenbard North Thursday but will not be in action again until Jan. 7.


Tournament: Bill Neibch Holiday Classic

Location: Wheaton North High School, 701 W. Thomas Road, Wheaton

First game: 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 23 vs. Glenbrook South

What to watch: The undefeated Warriors head into Wheaton North with something to prove. Despite being the only undefeated team in the bracket, Willowbrook received the No. 3 seed behind Hersey and Downers Grove North.

Molly Krawczykowski has been a dominant player for the Warriors, but Olivia Domin and Sam Schmidt, among others, have also contributed to Willowbrook’s early season success.

The first round opponent is Glenbrook South, a traditionally strong program that is going through a bit of a down year. The Titans enter tourney play with a losing record after winning regional titles in three of the past four seasons.

The Warriors will face either Hinsdale Central or Elgin in the second game. The championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 28.


Tournament: Montini Christmas Tournament

Location: 19W070 16th St., Lombard

First game: 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23 vs. Oak Park-River Forest

What to watch: Coach Jason Nichols has done well to build a program at Montini, but he has also done well to build a loaded tournament.

It’s unquestionably the best field of teams for a girls basketball tournament in the Chicago area. Both finalists in Class 4A from last year, Marian Catholic and Rolling Meadows, are back after meeting in this tournament last year. Batavia, Neuqua Valley, Trinity, Fremd and Huntley join Montini as teams expecting deep playoff runs.

Montini is loaded yet again and will attempt to defend its tournament title from a year ago. Three Division I recruit seniors, Kelly Karlis, Kateri Stone and Sara Ross, lead the Broncos.

Addison Trail

Tournament: Riverside Brookfield Holiday Classic

Location: 160 Ridgewood Rd., Riverside

First game: 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 23 vs. McHenry

What to watch: The Blazers open with a pool cross-over game against McHenry before playing two pool games after Christmas.

AT will play St. Ignatius on Thursday and Argo on Dec. 27, with both games taking place at 11 a.m. St. Ignatius has a quality team and will be a tough opponent, but the Argo game is winnable for the Blazers.

The tournament closes Dec. 28 with placement games.

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