Boys Basketball: Unwrapping the holiday hoops schedule

The holiday season’s glut of tournaments has already begun, but there’s still plenty of action to look forward to in the final few days of 2014. A brief look at the events where some of the Delco schools will be celebrating the winter break:

– The highlight, for profile and length, is the 10th annual Jameer Nelson Classic, hosted by Widener University, which covers two days: Monday, Dec. 29 and Tuesday Dec. 30. The tournament, which also features a girls game between Mo’ne Davis’ Springside Chestnut Hill and Atlantic Christian of New Jersey, brings together many of the best teams in the area. Chester takes on Plymouth Whitemarsh at 7 Monday night in a meeting of District One titans, while Archbishop Carroll takes on defending PIAA Class AA champs Constitution in a recently-added District 12 tilt at 8:30. Tuesday’s headliner is a stellar doubleheader featuring three Delco teams. Carroll and Haverford School square off at 7, followed by Chester and Neumann-Goretti in the nightcap at 8:30. A full schedule of games can be found here.

– Of the tournaments already underway, two include title games featuring Delco teams Saturday. Marple Newtown, off a win over Bishop Shanahan Friday, will take on Phoenixville Saturday afternoon for the title of its holiday tournament, while Garnet Valley tangles with Polytechnic in the finale of its Varsity Club Tournament at 8.

– Four Delco teams will meet Saturday in the Play for Gray Day Coaches vs. Cancer tournament at Haverford High in support of Brian Donoghue, whose story we told last year. Cardinal O’Hara takes on Springfield in the opener at 5:45, followed by Haverford and Bonner-Prendergast in the nightcap of 7:30. (That’s where I’ll be Saturday evening.)

– For an under-the-radar intriguing matchup Saturday, might I suggest Academy Park vs. Episcopal Academy in the Kobe Bryant Classic at Chestnut Hill College, a game that will certainly be the former’s stiffest test to a 7-0 start to the season.

– The only tournament in Delco that starts Saturday, following the Saturday-Monday schedule, is the Penncrest Holiday Tournament, which opens with Sun Valley taking on Penncrest at 7:30. The title game is Monday at the same time. Calvary Christian and West Chester Henderson round out the field there.

– The big day for tournaments in Delco is Monday, studded by the tip off of three tourneys that conclude the following day. Ridley plays host to Interboro in its holiday tournament Monday night for the right to play the winner of Cardinal O’Hara and South Philadelphia Tuesday at 7:30. That’s the same time as the title game of the Steve Juenger Tournament at Haverford, which features the Fords, Academy Park, Church Farm and Pope John Paul II, with a possible all-Delco final looming. And three Philly schools – New Media, Parkway and Collegium Charter – head to Radnor for the Walt Katuzny Tournament.

– It’s going to be a busy weekend for Penn Wood, which travels to the Charm City Holiday Classic in Baltimore to take on Evangel Saturday night at 8:30 and St. Frances Sunday evening at 6:15 before returning Monday to take on Wissahickon in the Scholastic Play-by-Play at Chestnut Hill College at 2.

– Speaking of out-of-state trips, Haverford School trucks it to Cape Henlopen, Del., for the Slam Dunk to the Beach to take on New Jersey power Roselle Sunday afternoon, then Our Savior New American Monday before Tuesday’s date with Carroll.

– For some, the holidays are a chance to hit the road. That’s why Upper Darby will be headed to the State College Kiwanis tournament, where it opens with Loyalsock at 4:30 Monday for the right to play the winner of Bethlehem Freedom and State College. Springfield ventures to the William Allen Tournament, where they open with Wilkes Barre GAR. The winner gets the victor of the hosts and Sankofa Academy.

For all the holiday tournament coverage, follow us on Twitter @DelcoSports and check out the basketball page on GameTimePa.com.

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