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Holiday Classic features several heavyweight teams

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Tourney runs Thursday through Saturday

By Bobby Brockman

 

Five teams from the Fifth Region tournament highlight the field for the 18th annual Campbellsville High School Holiday Classic, sponsored by Campbellsville University.
Covington Holmes broke host Campbellsville’s two-year championship streak by downing Blackburn (Australia) 63-53 for the title last December in Paul J. Coop Gymnasium.
Joining the Eagles in this year’s field are region rivals Bethlehem, Central Hardin, Elizabethtown and Marion County.
Outside the region, the extremely strong eight-team field consists of Monroe County, Mason County and Shelby County.
Monroe County is making its sixth trip to the Holiday Classic, including the last four. The Falcons lost in the third-place game last season.
Shelby County is making its second trip to the Classic as the Rockets fell to Elizabethtown 69-65 in one of the better title tilts in 2004.
This will be perennial 10th Region power Mason County’s first trip to Campbellsville.
From the Fifth Region guests, E-town also won the 2007 championship over Taylor County and the 2001 crown against Campbellsville giving the Panthers three championships in their lone three appearances.
Central Hardin won the championship in 2006, downing Allen County-Scottsville 74-71, and dropped the third-place games to Taylor County in 2001 and to Campbellsville in 1999.
Marion County finished third in last year’s tournament and finished third in their only other appearance in 1996.
This will be the first Classic appearance by Bethlehem.
Only four non-Fifth Region teams have captured Classic championships — Madison Central in 2005, Jefferson County teams Iroquois in 1997 and Eastern in the inaugural tourney of 1995 and Holmes last December. (The only Most Valuable Player, not from the championship team, was Taylor County’s Jeffrey Gumm in 2002.)

First-day pairings
Thursday, Dec. 27

4:00    Bethlehem vs. Monroe County
5:30    Elizabethtown vs. Mason County
7:00    Campbellsville vs. Central Hardin
8:30    Marion County vs. Shelby County

Friday, Dec. 28
4:00    Game 2 loser vs. Game 4 loser
5:30    Game 1 loser vs. Game 3 loser
7:00    Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner
8:30    Game e 2 winner vs. Game 4 winner

Saturday, Dec. 29
12:00    Seventh-place game
1:30    Fifth-place game
6:00    Third-place game
7:30    Championship game

Players to watch at the Holiday Classic
Jordan Cooper-Livers    Bethlehem
Bradley Bates    Campbellsville
Troy Squires    Central Hardin
Dominique Harding    Elizabethtown
Zane Najdawi    Elizabethtown
Nic McDonald    Elizabethtown
Latrelle Irvin    Marion County
Shawn Johnson    Mason County
Steven Chambers    Mason County
Chad Wilson    Monroe County
Michael Barry    Shelby County

Year-by-year Holiday Classic champions
2011    Covington Holmes
2010    Campbellsville
2009    Campbellsville
2008    Campbellsville
2007    Elizabethtown
2006    Central Hardin
2005    Madison Central
2004    Elizabethtown
2003    Campbellsville
2002    Campbellsville
2001    Elizabethtown
2000    Campbellsville
1999    Marion County
1998    Campbellsville
1997    Iroquois
1996    North Hardin
1995    Eastern

Year-by-year Holiday Classic MVPs
2011    Dontel Rice, Covington Holmes
2010    Jordan Percell, Campbellsville
2009    Bryton Taylor, Campbellsville
2008    Bryton Taylor, Campbellsville
2007    Darius French, Elizabethtown
2006    Andre Miller, Central Hardin
2005    Aaron Morris, Madison Central
2004    Todd Atcher, Elizabethtown
2003    Robert Rich, Campbellsville
2002    Jeffrey Gumm, Taylor County
2001    Dwight Rudd, Elizabethtown
2000    Austin Newton, Campbellsville
1999    Marlis Scott, Marion County
1998    Petie Spaulding, Campbellsville
1997    Quintin Bailey, Iroquois
1996    Dontaie Smith, North Hardin
1995    Antwan Taylor, Eastern