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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.)
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
2006 Central Hardin
2005 Madison Central
1999 Marion County
1996 North Hardin
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