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Sports

Basketball: Previewing the holiday tournaments for Wheaton North, WW South, Glenbard West, Glenbard South and St. Francis

Holiday basketball tournaments are the symbolic halfway point of the season for boys and girls teams. As players get set for a busy stretch of games at the tournaments, here’s the outlook for several area schools, including Glenbard South, Glenbard West, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South.

BOYS

Glenbard South

Tournament: Glenbard West Holiday Classic

Location: 670 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn

Tournament dates: Dec. 23, 26 to 28

What to watch: The Raiders (4-5) return to Glenbard West for the second year. Glenbard South is coming off a win over IC Catholic Prep and plays Riverside-Brookfield on Dec. 22 before diving into pool play the next day. The Raiders play Leyden at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 23, Glenbard West at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 26 and Lake Park at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 27. The tournament concludes on Dec. 28.

Glenbard West

Tournament: Glenbard West Holiday Classic

Location: 670 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn

Tournament dates: Dec. 23, 26 to 28

What to watch: The host Hilltoppers (4-4), who come in off a 63-55 loss to Oak Park-River Forest, start action in the eight-team tournament at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 23, then play Glenbard South – a team the Hilltoppers beat 56-50 at Thanksgiving – at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 26. Glenbard West, led by Evan Taylor, wraps up pool play at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 27 against Leyden. The championship game is slated for 7:45 p.m. Dec. 28.

St. Francis

Tournament: Glenbard West Holiday Classic

Location: 670 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn

Tournament dates: Dec. 23, 26 to 28

What to watch: The Spartans (3-7) bounced back from a six-game losing streak to beat Marmion 65-61 and Wheaton Academy 58-43 last week. John Detloff and St. Francis start pool play at Glenbard West at 3 p.m. Dec. 23, then get a tough matchup with Ethan Schuemer and Willowbrook at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 26 before wrapping up pool play at 3 p.m. Dec. 27 against Glenbard North.

Wheaton North

Tournament: Jack Tosh Holiday Classic

Location: York High School, 355 W. St. Charles Road, Elmhurst

Tournament dates: Dec. 26 to 30

What to watch: Deng Reng and the Falcons (3-5) stopped a five-game skid last week with close wins over Neuqua Valley and Metea Valley, and they get a 10-day layoff before starting play at the 32-team Tosh at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 26 against Downers Grove South. The Mustangs are coming off a big win over Downers Grove North. A matchup with Schaumburg or St. Ignatius would be next for Wheaton North. Naperville North and Hinsdale South are among other teams to watch in the event. The championship is at 6 p.m. Dec. 30.

Wheaton Warrenville South

Tournament: State Farm Classic

Location: Bloomington-Normal area

Tournament dates: Dec. 27 to 30

What to watch: The Tigers, second to Joliet Central in the large school bracket of last year’s event, are the top seed in the large school bracket this year. Jake Healy, Parker Robinson, Chase Stebbins and WW South (8-0) are off to a perfect start going into the holidays, but should be tested at the tournament. North Lawndale, Joliet Central and Rock Island round out the top four seeds. The Tigers open with Plainfield South at 9:30 p.m. Dec 27, with the championship slated for 8:30 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Shirk Center in Bloomington.

GIRLS

Glenbard South

Tournament: Bill Neibch Falcon Classic

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

Tournament dates: Dec. 26 to 29

What to watch: The Raiders (9-1) are rolling, winners of nine straight games after a 44-22 win over Riverside-Brookfield on Dec. 19. Maggie Bair-led Glenbard South gets one more conference game, against Fenton, before an early wake-up call at 9 a.m. Dec. 26 against Hinsdale Central. Glenbard South, seeded third, could face sixth-seeded Bartlett in the second round, with second-seeded Palatine also on the Raiders’ side of the bracket. Host Wheaton North is the top seed. The championship is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29.

Glenbard West

Tournament: Riverside Brookfield Girls Holiday Classic

Location: 160 Ridgewood Road, Riverside

Tournament dates: Dec. 26 to 30

What to watch: The Hilltoppers (8-3), led by Katelyn Heller and Taylor Huff, are on a hot stretch of late, winners of four in a row after a 64-57 win over Oak Park-River Forest on Dec. 15. They’ll get a lengthy layoff before starting pool play at Riverside-Brookfield at 2 p.m. Dec. 26 against Hope. Pool play games the following two days are against Morton and Jones.

St. Francis

Tournament: Holiday Cage Classic

Location: Lisle High School, 1800 Short St., Lisle

Tournament dates: Dec. 27 to 30

What to watch: The Spartans (4-6) are in an unusual spot as head coach Melissa Taylor is moving to Phoenix for a career change. St. Francis opens at Lisle at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 27 against Illiana Christian. The championship game is at 8 p.m. Dec. 30.

Wheaton North

Tournament: Bill Neibch Falcon Classic

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

Tournament dates: Dec. 26 to 29

What to watch: The Falcons (8-1) beat St. Charles East in overtime to win last year’s tournament championship and are the top seed for this year’s event. Aside from a loss to Mother McAuley on Dec. 12, it’s been smooth sailing so far for Hannah Swider, Nikki Baird and Wheaton North, who wrap up pre-holiday play at Wheaton Warrenville South on Dec. 21. Wheaton North opens tournament play at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26 against Willowbrook. Eighth-seeded Elk Grove, fourth-seeded Glenbrook South and fifth-seeded West Aurora are in the way of a return to the championship game, which is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29.

Wheaton Warrenville South

Tournament: State Farm Classic

Location: Bloomington-Normal area

Tournament dates: Dec. 27 to 30

What to watch: The Tigers (10-2) are the fourth seed in a tough large-school bracket at the event held at various sites. Unbeaten Peoria Richwoods is the top seed, followed by Morton and Springfield. Jayla Johnson and WW South start play at 8 p.m. Dec. 27 against Chatham Glenwood. The championship is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Dec. 30 at Illinois Wesleyan’s Shirk Center.

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