our of Johnson County’s boys basketball teams plan to be gone for at least a fraction of their holiday break.
Indian Creek and Greenwood Christian Academy are spending
a good portion of today in the Monrovia High School gymnasium as part of the Bulldogs’ inaugural four-team holiday tournament.
Meanwhile, this evening marks what is believed to be the first meeting between Whiteland and Scottsburg — coach Matt Wadsworth’s team making the 70-mile drive south to battle the 7-2 Warriors.
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These excursions, beneficial as they may be, precede Franklin Community taking part in the 12-team Carroll Shootout scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Three different high school gymnasiums will be utilized the first day with all Saturday competition taking place at Carroll. As part of Pool D, Franklin plays its two Friday games at East Noble High School, located in Kendallville — 30 miles north of Fort Wayne.
Among the other programs competing are Marion, Munster, Carroll, Hamilton Southeastern, Homestead, Columbia City and Merrillville.
“This was something we kind of
inherited, but I do try to enjoy these tournaments,” said first-year Franklin coach Brad Dickey, whose Tipton teams were 9-3 at the annual holiday tournament at Richmond the three seasons he took the Blue Devils there.
“We’re driving up early Friday morning with 5 a.m. being our plan and then spending the night on Friday. We have a lot of kids who play AAU basketball, and this is kind of like that.”
Among the benefits of this tourney, as well as the one at Monrovia, is the team camaraderie built through adhering to an itinerary, bus rides there and back, eating meals together, etc., coaches said.
Coaches also point to the significance of players learning how to play two games in a relatively short period of time.
Greenwood Christian discovered this last year after capturing the program’s first sectional title.
The following week the Cougars channeled their emotions into a 65-62 semifinal victory against Indianapolis Metropolitan at the Class A Martinsville Regional but dropped a 66-65 thriller to Clay City in the championship game that evening.
“Obviously, we want to play against good teams, and there are good teams in this (Monrovia) tournament. And it allows us to see how a regional shakes out,” Greenwood Christian coach Jamie Satre said.
“To play two games in a day lets your players kind of get the cobwebs out in the morning and then be motivated to come back and play in the evening. Our players are looking forward to it.”
The Monrovia venue is rare in that it also allows the four junior varsity teams to participate in the school’s auxiliary gym.
It could also serve as momentum changers for the varsity teams from Indian Creek and Greenwood Christian Academy.
The Braves have lost two straight after a 4-0 start, while Satre’s program is attempting to halt a six-game losing skid — the program’s longest since the start of the 2008-09 season.
“The plus to this tournament is you don’t have a long layoff between (regular-season) games,” Indian Creek coach Derek Perry said. “This helps keep the kids fresh and in rhythm.”
HITTING THE ROAD
Whiteland (4-4) at Scottsburg (7-2), 7:30 p.m.
Greenwood Christian Academy (1-6) vs. Monrovia (1-6), 10 a.m.
Indian Creek (4-2) vs. Bethesda Christian (1-5), Noon
Consolation, 6 p.m.
Championship, 8 p.m.
*Franklin Community (2-4) vs. Carroll (6-1), 10 a.m.
*Franklin Community vs. Munster (5-3), 2 p.m.
Franklin games TBA
*At East Noble H.S.