'Tis the Season: Hoops tourneys, classics part of holiday landscape


Center Grove's #42 senior Troy Vorhies draws the foul on Franklin's #40 junior Nicholas King. Center Grove vs Franklin boys basketball (Saba) Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, in Greenwood, Indiana. STAFF PHOTO BY JOE SABA

Snow or no snow, high school basketball takes on a different look during the Christmas holiday.

Girls and boys programs often find themselves participating in a gymnasium foreign to them against teams equally as unfamiliar. Kind of a “We’re playing where?” proposition.

The sound of bouncing basketballs and squealing high-tops will dominate today at Franklin Community High School as coach Walt Raines’ girls squad hosts its 18th annual four-team, four-game event.

The 10:30 a.m. first game features Class 4A sectional rivals Franklin and New Palestine. However, Game 2 pits Indian Creek and Rushville, which haven’t played each other in recent memory, if ever.

Over the years, the Franklin Tournament has remained consistent in format, though programs as far away as Gary Wallace, Clinton Prairie, South Vigo, Seymour and Switzerland County have played a role. In December 2013, the Batesville Bulldogs travel west to join Franklin, Indian Creek and New Palestine.

“When I first started here we played at a holiday tournament in Greenfield with Carmel, Greenfield-Central and Richmond. We were in that for seven years, and I became a little unhappy with it because it always seemed like we drew the toughest team,” said Raines, who is in his 25th season as coach. “At that point Walt Vanderbush was our principal. (Vanderbush) said, ‘OK, let’s help Walt get his own tournament.’”

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