Between 2006 and 2010, the DeSales High School boys basketball program produced three collegiate players in Elijah Allen, Alex Kellogg and Nick Kellogg and made three Division II state tournament appearances.
Even though the Stallions lost in a district semifinal each of the past two seasons, coach Blair Albright believes that previous success has served the program well at the national level.
DeSales will participate in the Mike Kehoe Great Eight Classic from Dec. 27-29 in Jefferson City, Mo. The Stallions previously have competed in holiday tournaments in Florida and Virginia.
"It's one of those things where we're still kind of reaping the rewards of some of the groups that were really successful in the past," Albright said. "We're still getting phone calls from people who are making it worth our while to go. This year our (athletics director) got a call from the Great Eight (Classic) and we know what kind of experience it can be. I'm a big believer in that it does (as much) for your team off the court (as) it does on it."
DeSales is one of four area basketball teams that will be traveling out-of-state during the holiday break. The others are the Centennial and Worthington Kilbourne boys teams and the Olentangy Liberty girls squad.
It will be the first travel experience for the Liberty girls team, which will compete in the KSA Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28, 29 and 31 at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
Last season, the Patriots doubled their win total from the 2010-11 season when they went 10-12 despite enduring injuries to several key players.
"These seniors have had to go through a lot of adversity," Liberty coach Ron Florey said. "We have five seniors, and when you look at rosters around the area, for the most part, senior classes are very small because people just quit. We felt like they worked hard and are deserving."
The Centennial boys team will compete in the eight-team Murray Bank Laker Classic from Dec. 27-29 at Murray (Ky.) Calloway County. The Stars participated in a holiday tournament in Kentucky in 2009 and in Indiana last winter.
"These trips mean a lot because you can correct a lot of things away from home," Stars coach Roosevelt Osborne said. "It just makes the team closer because it's us against the world."
The Kilbourne boys team will compete in the eight-team Gateway Holiday Classic from Dec. 27-29 at Mount Sterling (Ky.) Montgomery County.
Wolves coach Tom Souder got to know Montgomery County first-year coach Happy Osborne in the 1990s when Souder was an assistant at Eastern Kentucky University and Osborne was coach at Georgetown (Ky.) College.
•GIRLS SHOWCASES -- The Pickerington North Holiday Classic, which has been in existence since 1986 under various names, is among the girls holiday tournaments involving area teams.
Northland and Olentangy will join North in its eight-team event, which runs Dec. 27-29. Also participating are two teams from the Dayton area, one from Toledo, one from Pittsburgh and one from Philadelphia.
There are six central Ohio holiday events being held Dec. 27 and 28: the Gahanna Cage Classic, the Watterson Christmas Classic, the Mike Burbridge Holiday Invitational at Westland, the Worthington Holiday Invitational at Kilbourne, the Yule Holiday Classic at Liberty Union and the Lady Cats Holiday Classic at North Union.
All eight teams participating in the Watterson Christmas Classic are from the area.
"We've had schools from Cincinnati and Cleveland in the past, but this is the second year in a row it's all local schools," Watterson coach Tom Woodford said. "The good thing about having all local schools is that it brings in a nice crowd."
Eight of the 10 teams participating in the Yule Holiday Classic are from central Ohio, and all four teams in both the Gahanna Cage Classic and Worthington Holiday Invitational are from the area.
Three of the four teams competing in both the Mike Burbridge Holiday Invitational and Lady Cats Holiday Classic are local.
•NEW TO THE SCENE -- Now in its seventh year, the Bobcat Classic at Grandview is the area's longest-running boys holiday tournament. Joining the host Bobcats on Dec. 29 and 30 are Heath, Horizon Science Academy and Wellington.
Among the new events are the Newark Holiday Tournament and the Granville Kiwanis Holiday Hoops for boys, the Warrior Classic at World Harvest for boys and girls and the Worthington Holiday Invitational for girls.
Newark will be joined in its event Dec. 28 and 29 by Canal Winchester, Westerville South and Liberty Township Lakota East.
"We got the two extra games this year and I just thought it would be a good experience," Newark coach Jeff Quackenbush said. "We'll get to see some area teams that we don't normally get to play and get a team from Cincinnati, which is good experience."
The Worthington Holiday Invitational consists of Kilbourne, Thomas Worthington, Beechcroft and Tree of Life. According to Kilbourne coach Steve Palmer, Kilbourne and Thomas will rotate being the host school.
Joining host Granville in the Granville Kiwanis Holiday Hoops on Dec. 28 and 29 are CCL rivals Hartley and St. Charles and Duncan Falls Philo. Hartley and St. Charles will not face each other in the event.
The Warrior Classic, which runs Dec. 27 and 29, will feature two four-team boys brackets and two four-team girls brackets.
Hoops for the Holidays
*Schedule: Dec. 29 -- 6 p.m.: Heath vs. Wellington; 8 p.m.: Grandview vs. Horizon Science Academy; Dec. 30 -- 6 p.m.: Consolation; 8 p.m.: Championship
*Where: Yellow Springs
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 5:30 p.m.: Marion-Franklin vs. Lockland; 7 p.m.: Cincinnati Clark Montessori vs. Yellow Springs; Dec. 29 -- 5:30 p.m.: Clark Montessori vs. Marion-Franklin; 7 p.m.: Lockland vs. Yellow Springs
FAIRFIELD CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
*Where: Fairfield Christian
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 8 p.m.: Fairfield Christian vs. New Lexington; Dec. 28 -- Crooksville vs. Northridge; Dec. 29 -- 4 p.m.: Consolation; 8 p.m.: Championship
FIRST FEDERAL HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
*Where: Newark Catholic
*Schedule: Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Big Walnut vs. Johnstown; 8 p.m.: Newark Catholic vs. Ready; Dec. 29 -- 6 p.m.: Consolation; 8 p.m.: Championship
GATEWAY HOLIDAY CLASSIC
*Where: Mount Sterling (Ky.) Montgomery County
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 2 p.m.: Flemingsburg (Ky.) Fleming County vs. Lexington (Ky.) Lafayette; 4 p.m.: Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater vs. Frankfort (Ky.) Franklin County; 5:30 p.m.: Grayson (Ky.) East Carter vs. Montgomery County; 7:30 p.m.: Covington (Ky.) Holy Cross vs. Worthington Kilbourne; Dec. 28 -- 2 p.m.: Fleming County-Lafayette loser vs. Edgewater-Franklin County loser; 3:30 p.m.: East Carter-Montgomery County loser vs. Holy Cross-Kilbourne loser; 6 p.m.: Fleming County-Lafayette winner vs. Edgewater-Franklin County winner; 7:30 p.m.: East Carter-Montgomery County winner vs. Holy Cross-Kilbourne winner; Dec. 29 -- Noon: Seventh-place game; 2 p.m.: Fifth-place game; 4:30 p.m.: Third-place game; 7:30 p.m.: Championship
GILEAD CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY CLASSIC
*Where: Gilead Christian
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 1 p.m.: Marion Home Schoolers vs. Williamstown (W.Va.) Wood County Christian; 3:30 p.m.: Whetstone vs. Orrville Kingsway Christian; 6 p.m.: Gilead Christian vs. Mansfield People's Baptist; Dec. 28 -- 1 p.m.: Kingsway Christian vs. Wood County Christian; 3:30 p.m.: People's Baptist vs. Marion Home Schoolers; 6 p.m.: Gilead Christian vs. Whetstone
GRANVILLE KIWANIS HOLIDAY HOOPS
*Schedule: Dec. 28 -- 3 p.m.: Hartley vs. Duncan Falls Philo; 7 p.m.: Granville vs. St. Charles; Dec. 29 -- 3 p.m.: Philo vs. St. Charles; 5 p.m.: Granville vs. Hartley
*Where: Marietta College
*Schedule (local team only): Dec. 28 -- 7:45 p.m.: St. Clairsville vs. Upper Arlington; Dec. 29 -- 4 p.m.: Upper Arlington vs. Vincent Warren Local
MIKE KEHOE GREAT EIGHT CLASSIC
*Where: Jefferson City (Mo.)
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 4 p.m.: Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge vs. Louisville (Ky.) Male; 5:30 p.m.: Mexico (Mo.) vs. Memphis (Tenn.) Lausanne Collegiate; 7 p.m.: Jefferson City vs. DeSales; 8:30 p.m.: Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias vs. Little Rock (Ark.) Central; Dec. 28 -- 4 p.m.: Rock Bridge-Male loser vs. Mexico-Lausanne Collegiate loser; 5:30 p.m.: Jefferson City-DeSales loser vs. Helias-Central loser; 7 p.m.: Rock Bridge-Male winner vs. Mexico-Lausanne Collegiate winner; 8:30 p.m.: Jefferson City-DeSales winner vs. Helias-Central winner; Dec. 29 -- Noon: Seventh-place game; 1:30 p.m.: Fifth-place game; 6:30 p.m.: Third-place game; 8 p.m.: Championship
MURRAY BANK LAKER CLASSIC
*Where: Murray (Ky.) Calloway County
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 2:30 p.m.: Memphis (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian vs. Hopkinsville (Ky.); 4:15 p.m.: Centennial vs. Union City (Tenn.); 6 p.m.: Alamo (Tenn.) Crockett County vs. Calloway County; 7:45 p.m.: Fulton (Ky.) City vs. Paducah (Ky.) Tilghman; Dec. 28 -- 2:30 p.m.: Crockett County-Calloway County loser vs. Fulton City-Tilghman loser; 4:15 p.m.: Evangelical Christian-Hopkinsville loser vs. Centennial-Union City loser; 6 p.m.: Crockett County-Calloway County winner vs. Fulton City-Tilghman winner; 7:45 p.m.: Evangelical Christian-Hopkinsville winner vs. Centennial-Union City winner; Dec. 29 -- 12:30 p.m.: Seventh-place game; 2:15 p.m.: Fifth-place game; 4 p.m.: Third-place game; 6 p.m.: Championship
NEWARK HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
*Schedule: Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Canal Winchester vs. Liberty Township Lakota East; 7:30 p.m.: Newark vs. Westerville South; Dec. 29 -- 2 p.m.: Consolation; 4 p.m.: Championship
*Where: World Harvest
*Schedule (bracket one): Dec. 27 -- 1 p.m.: Springfield Emmanuel Christian vs. Grove City Christian; 2:30 p.m.: Bowerston Conotton Valley vs. Gahanna Christian; Dec. 29 -- 11:30 a.m.: Consolation; 5:30 p.m.: Championship; (bracket two): Dec. 27 -- 7 p.m.: Mifflin vs. Worthington Christian; 8:30 p.m.: Harvest Prep vs. Xenia Christian; Dec. 29 -- 2:30 p.m.: Consolation; 8:30 p.m.: Championship
BRAGGIN' RIGHTS CLASSIC
*Where: Cincinnati Walnut Hills
*Schedule (local teams only): Dec. 27 -- 5:30 p.m.: Olentangy Orange vs. Walnut Hills; Dec. 28 -- 5 p.m.: Orange vs. Kitchener (Ontario) St. Mary's
FAIRFIELD CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
*Where: Fairfield Christian
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 6 p.m.: Columbus International vs. Fairfield Christian; Dec. 28 -- Crooksville vs. West Jefferson; Dec. 29 -- 2 p.m.: Consolation; 6 p.m.: Championship
FAIRFIELD UNION HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
*Where: Fairfield Union
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 6 p.m.: Lakewood vs. Watkins Memorial; 7:30 p.m.: Fairfield Union vs. Thornville Sheridan; Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:30 p.m.: Championship
GAHANNA CAGE CLASSIC
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 6 p.m.: Eastmoor Academy vs. New Albany; 7:45 p.m.: DeSales vs. Gahanna; Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:45 p.m.: Championship
KSA HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
*Where: Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
*Schedule: Dec. 28 -- 9:45 a.m.: Medford (N.J.) Shawnee vs. Kings Park (N.Y.); 10 a.m.: Chatham (Ontario) John McGregor vs. Olentangy Liberty; 9:45 a.m.: Sarnia (Ontario) Northern CIVS vs. Bardstown (Ky.) Nelson County; 10 a.m.: Egg Harbor Township (N.J.) vs. Portsmouth; Dec. 29 -- 11:30 a.m.: Shawnee-Kings Park loser vs. John McGregor-Liberty loser; 11:45 a.m.: Northern CIVS-Nelson County loser vs. Egg Harbor-Portmouth loser; 11:30 a.m.: Shawnee-Kings Park winner vs. John McGregor-Liberty winner; 11:45 a.m.: Northern CIVS-Nelson County winner vs. Egg Harbor-Portsmouth winner; Dec. 31 -- 8 a.m.: Championship; 8:15 a.m.: Third-place game; 9:45 a.m.: Fifth-place game; 10 a.m.: Seventh-place game
LADY CATS HOLIDAY CLASSIC
*Where: North Union
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 6 p.m.: Bexley vs. Marysville; 8 p.m.: Marion Harding vs. North Union; Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Consolation; 8 p.m.: Championship
LADY VIKING HOLIDAY CLASSIC
*Where: Teays Valley
*Schedule: Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Jonathan Alder vs. Westerville South; 7:30 p.m.: Hilliard Davidson vs. Teays Valley; Dec. 29 -- 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:30 p.m.: Championship
MIKE BURBRIDGE HOLIDAY INVITATIONAL
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 4 p.m.: Central Crossing vs. Cleveland Martin Luther King; 6 p.m.: Westland vs. Walnut Ridge; Dec. 28 -- 4 p.m.: Martin Luther King vs. Walnut Ridge; 6 p.m.: Dublin Scioto vs. Westland
MPR-UNITED DAIRY HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
*Where: Martins Ferry
*Schedule: Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Pickerington Central vs. Shadyside; 8 p.m.: Martins Ferry vs. Steubenville; Dec. 29 -- 2 p.m.: Consolation; 4 p.m.: Championship
PICKERINGTON NORTH HOLIDAY CLASSIC
*Where: Pickerington North
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 3 p.m.: Centerville vs. Olentangy; 4:45 p.m.: Northland vs. Pittsburgh Seton-LaSalle Catholic; 6:30 p.m.: Fairborn vs. Philadelphia Ryan; 8:15 p.m.: Pickerington North vs. Toledo Start; Dec. 28 -- 3 p.m.: Centerville-Olentangy loser vs. Northland-Seton-LaSalle Catholic loser; 4:45 p.m.: Fairborn-Ryan loser vs. North-Start loser; 6:30 p.m.: Centerville-Olentangy winner vs. Northland-Seton-LaSalle Catholic winner; 8:15 p.m.: Fairborn-Ryan winner vs. North-Start winner; Dec. 29 -- 3 p.m.; Seventh-place game; 4:45 p.m.: Fifth-place game; 6:30 p.m.: Third-place game: 8:15 p.m.: Championship
*Where: World Harvest
*Schedule (bracket one): Dec. 27 -- 10 a.m.: Grove City Christian vs. Mifflin; 11:30 a.m.: Gahanna Christian vs. Licking Heights; Dec. 29 -- 10 a.m.: Consolation; 4 p.m.: Championship; (bracket two): Dec. 27 -- 4 p.m.: Xenia Christian vs. Worthington Christian; 5:30 p.m.: Brookhaven vs. Whitehall; Dec. 29 -- 1 p.m.: Consolation; 7 p.m.: Championship
WATTERSON CHRISTMAS CLASSIC
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 2:30 p.m.: Centennial vs. Dublin Jerome; 4 p.m.: Canal Winchester vs. Dublin Coffman; 5:45 p.m.: Hartley vs. Hilliard Bradley; 7:30 pm.: Hilliard Darby vs. Watterson; Dec. 28 -- 2:30 p.m.: Canal Winchester vs. Centennial; 4 p.m.: Hartley vs. Darby; 5:45 p.m.: Coffman vs. Bradley; 7:30 p.m.: Jerome vs. Watterson
WORTHINGTON HOLIDAY INVITATIONAL
*Where: Worthington Kilbourne
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 6 p.m.: Thomas Worthington vs. Tree of Life; 8 p.m.: Beechcroft vs. Kilbourne; Dec. 28 -- 6 p.m.: Beechcroft vs. Tree of Life; 8 p.m.: Kilbourne vs. Thomas Worthington
YULE HOLIDAY CLASSIC
*Where: Liberty Union
*Schedule: Dec. 27 -- 12:30 p.m.: Grove City vs. Fisher Catholic; 2:15 p.m.: Amanda-Clearcreek vs. Franklin Heights; 4 p.m.: Newark Catholic vs. Delaware; 5:45 p.m.: Proctorville Fairland vs. Ready; 7:30 p.m.: Liberty Union vs. Nelsonville-York; Dec. 28 -- 12:30 p.m.: Amanda-Clearcreek vs. Grove City; 2:15 p.m.: Franklin Heights vs. Fisher Catholic; 4 p.m. Newark Catholic vs. Nelsonville-York; 5:45 p.m.: Ready vs. Delaware; 7:30 p.m.: Liberty Union vs. Fairland