The Hartley High School boys basketball team will compete Monday and Tuesday in the Grandview Holiday Classic in what will be the last two games before 2010.

The Hartley High School boys basketball team will compete Monday and Tuesday in the Grandview Holiday Classic in what will be the last two games before 2010.

The Hawks will open the tournament against Wellington on Monday. If they win, they would play the winner of Monday's game between Grandview and Northridge in the championship game.

Though it is only four teams large and two games deep, coach Randy Kortokrax said the Grandview Holiday Classic will give him and the coaching staff a good opportunity to evaluate the team and determine what lineup they'll use going forward.

Entering the season, Kortokrax was not sure exactly what kind of team he had so he planned to rotate the starting lineup through the first six games.

"Would it be better for us to have a set rotation right now? Probably. But that would not make us a better team down the road," Kortokrax said. "We've come a long way, but the guys just need to get some more game experience."

Hartley picked up two big wins last week. The Hawks defeated Columbus Academy 60-54 last Saturday in a non-league game and St. Charles 42-37 last Friday.

The Hawks overcame a 28-21 halftime deficit and outscored Columbus Academy 24-16 in the fourth quarter. Kendal Sherrod led Hartley with 16 points and Geoffrey Whiteside had 13 points.

Hartley held off a late rally from St. Charles, which pulled within two points at 35-33 with roughly four minutes remaining in the game. Hartley led 21-9 at one point and 28-11 at halftime.

The Cardinals outscored Hartley 26-14 in the second half, but it wasn't enough.

"That's the first adversity we've faced this season and I thought the guys did a good job of handling it," Kortokrax said. "We had the big lead, but we came out flat after halftime. But I was glad to see when (they cut our lead to two points) that we didn't panic. We worked it around and got some baskets."

•The wrestling team faces its toughest test of the season when it travels to the Marion Harding Invitational on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Coach Kevin Petrella said he would like to see the Hawks finish third, which would be an improvement over how they finished last year at the event, as well as an improvement over how the Hawks have finished in previous multiple-team competitions this season.

"We want to bring some hardware home this year," Petrella said. "Since I've been around the program, we've only brought home a couple of sets of hardware, and that's what we're trying to do at Marion-Harding."

That won't be an easy task. With over 20 teams expected to be there, including Division I power Lakewood St. Edward, the competition will be tough.

"It's going to be a great gauge for us. Being able to perform well at this tournament will help out our confidence," Petrella said. "This is where we'll be able to see where the guys are at."

In addition to hoping to wrestle well against the tough competition, the Hawks are looking for an improved performance over how they did at the same event last year.

"We did OK there last year, but we left a lot of matches out there that could've been won," Petrella said.

Last Friday and Saturday, the Hawks competed at the New Albany Invitational and Petrella had mixed emotions about how they performed. Hartley finished eighth behind champion Jonathan Alder, though the Hawks did have a chance to finish as high as fifth. Hartley did receive a lot of good individual performances, however. Chris Fusco, Brandon Hoffman and Drake Jones all won their individual pools and Evan Jackson and Jarrod Zang took second.

"It's kind of a unique format there. I thought we did pretty well individually, but we lost both of our duals. So there were some mixed feelings about it," Petrella said. "We finished ahead of Canal Winchester and Hamilton Township, as well as a couple of other Division II teams that were ranked ahead of us (in the coaches poll), so that was good to see at least.

Hartley's Brandon Hoffman (right) battles New Albany's Ryan Cao in their match at 145 pounds during the New Albany tournament last Saturday.