What consistently has been central Ohio's best place to find strong smaller-school high school boys basketball competition over the holiday break in recent years turns 10 this season.

What consistently has been central Ohio's best place to find strong smaller-school high school boys basketball competition over the holiday break in recent years turns 10 this season.

The Bobcat Holiday Classic, which Grandview has been the host of since 2007, features one team that reached a Division IV state semifinal last season in Wellington and two that won district championships in Grandview (Division III) and Johnstown (Division II).

The fourth team in the field is Centerburg, which lost to Grandview in a district final a year ago and will face the Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, in one of the first-round matchups.

The two-day, four-game tournament provides a trophy for the winning team and honors an MVP for each team.

The Bobcat Holiday Classic is one of several events that will take place in central Ohio gyms during the holiday break.

"This year's competition is as good as it's been when you consider that Wellington won the regional in Division IV and Johnstown won district in Division II," Bobcats coach Ray Corbett said. "We've got Centerburg, and that's going to be quite a challenge."

Other area boys tournaments during the holiday break will be held at Briggs, Gahanna Christian, Heath, Newark, Pickerington North and Thomas Worthington.

After Jason Bates took over as Pickerington North coach for the 2014-15 season, an event known as We are Pickerington was held that featured the boys and girls teams of both North and Pickerington Central.

After the teams from Central elected not to participate last season, the event was changed to the Pickerington North Holiday Invitational and included boys and girls games.

This year's event has the same name but now features five boys games, with a tripleheader Thursday, Dec. 22, and the other two the next day.

Division I regional runner-up Cleveland Benedictine, Division IV district champion Africentric and two teams from Toledo -- Bowsher and Woodward -- are in the nine-team field.

"I love the field," Bates said. "It's a good mixture. You've got good local teams but also teams from other places in Ohio like Cleveland and Toledo."

*GIRLS EVENTS -- The best area places to watch multiple girls teams in action during the holiday break likely will be DeSales, Teays Valley and Watterson.

The Watterson Christmas Classic features three games apiece Tuesday, Dec. 27, and Wednesday, Dec. 28, with Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, New Albany and the host Eagles among the six-team field.

Also competing will be Cincinnati Mother of Mercy. The Bobcats are coached by Mary Jo Huismann, who has more than 600 career victories and has led the program to three state runner-up finishes.

"(Mother of Mercy) had been here a few years back and we had an opening this year," Watterson coach Tom Woodford said. "It's great to have a legend like Mary Jo Huismann coming here."

DeSales plays host to the Roosters Holiday Classic on Dec. 27 and 28. The event also includes Beechcroft, Barberton and Cincinnati Colerain.

Teays Valley will be host to the Jeff Sheets Holiday Classic, which features four games Dec. 27 and five games Dec. 28.

The best matchup in the event might be the opening game, which pits Amanda-Clearcreek against Jonathan Alder at 3 p.m. Dec. 27. Both teams were district semifinalists a year ago and are off to strong starts.

*TRAVEL PLANS -- Florida has been a go-to destination for many years for area teams over the holidays, and the Pickerington Central girls will travel there to compete in the Naples Holiday Shootout from Dec. 28-30.

Several boys teams, as well as the Eastmoor Academy girls, also will be traveling out of state.

Dublin Jerome, Groveport and Upper Arlington all are participating in the Pennsylvania-Ohio Christmas Tournament, which will be held Dec. 27-29 in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bethel Park.

All three central Ohio teams will play two varsity and two junior varsity games in the event.

"I don't really know much about (the teams we're playing), but I know the gym we're playing in looks pretty nice," Jerome coach Jamie Pearson said. "I'm big on hanging out together as a team. When you travel together for three and a half hours, it's like preparation for the tournament. For us this year, Pittsburgh worked out."

The Eastmoor girls and Northland boys both are playing in the Motor City Roundball Classic, which will be held Dec. 27 and 28 at Detroit Renaissance.

The Eastmoor boys also will be traveling during the holiday break. The Warriors and Beechcroft both are competing in the Ohio vs. New York Classic at Queens (New York) Teaching.

The event's other participant is Brooklyn (New York) Boys & Girls.

"(The trip is) exciting, and we're going to be playing on my birthday, Dec. 28," Beechcroft coach Humphrey Simmons said.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Hoops for the holidays

BOYS

Bobcat Holiday Classic

•Where: Grandview

•Schedule: Dec. 27 – 6 p.m.: Johns-town vs. Wellington; 7:30 p.m.: Grandview vs. Centerburg; Dec. 28 – 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:30 p.m.: Championship

Bruin Classic

•Where: Briggs

•Schedule: Dec. 27 – 6:40 p.m.: Columbus Academy vs. Whetstone; 8:40 p.m.: Briggs vs. Westland; Dec. 28 – 6:40 p.m.: Consolation; 8:40 p.m.: Championship

Brunswick Holiday Hoops Tournament

•Where: Brunswick

•Schedule: Dec. 29 – 6 p.m.: Marysville vs. Parma Padua; 7:30 p.m.: Brunswick vs. Macedonia Nordonia; Dec. 30 – 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:30 p.m. Championship

Buccaneer Christmas Classic

•Where: Buckhannon (W.Va.) Buckhannon-Upshur

•Schedule: Dec. 28 – 6:15 p.m.: Bronx (N.Y.) Preston vs. Buckhannon-Upshur; 8 p.m.: Grove City Christian vs. Landover (Md.) Capitol Christian; Dec. 29 – 6:15 p.m.: Consolation; 8 p.m.: Championship

Deep South Classic

•Where: Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 28 – 3 p.m. Olentangy Liberty vs. Marietta (Ga.) Walton; Dec. 29 – 4:30 p.m. or 6 p.m.: Liberty vs. Brunswick (Ga.) or Lawrenceville (Ga.) Mountain View; Dec. 30 – 1:30 p.m.: Seventh-place game; 3 p.m.: Fifth-place game; 4:30 p.m.: Third-place game; 7:30 p.m.: Championship

First Federal Holiday Showcase

•Where: Berlin Hiland

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 29 – 7:45 p.m.: Whitehall vs. Hiland; Dec. 30 – 6 p.m.: Whitehall vs. New Concord John Glenn

Gahanna Christian Christmas Tournament

•Where: Gahanna Christian

•Schedule: Dec. 29 – 6 p.m.: Gahanna Christian vs. Liberty Christian; 7:30 p.m.: Berne Union vs. Utica; Dec. 30 – 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:30 p.m.: Championship

Gateway Holiday Classic

•Where: Mount Sterling (Ky.)

•Schedule (local team only):

Dec. 27 – 4 p.m.: Worthington Kilbourne vs. Stanford (Ky.) Lincoln County; Dec. 28 – 2 p.m. or 6 p.m.: Kilbourne vs. Lexington (Ky.) Christian or Richmond (Ky.) Madison Central; Dec. 29 – Noon: Seventh-place game; 2 p.m: Fifth-place game; 4:30 p.m.: Third-place game; 7:30 p.m.: Championship

Heath Holiday Tournament

•Where: Heath

•Schedule: Dec. 29 – 6 p.m.: Linden-McKinley vs. Warsaw River View; 7:50 p.m.: Heath vs. East Knox; Dec. 30 – 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:50 p.m.: Championship

Motor City Roundball Classic

•Where: Detroit Renaissance

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 27 – 9 p.m.: Northland vs. Macomb (Mich.) Dakota; Dec. 28 – 2:20 p.m.: Northland vs. Goodrich (Mich.)

Newark Holiday Tournament

•Where: Newark

•Schedule: Dec. 28 – 6 p.m.: Olentangy vs. Cincinnati Elder; 7:30: Newark vs. Logan; Dec. 29 – 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:30 p.m.: Championship

New York vs. Ohio Classic

•Where: Queens (N.Y.) Teaching

•Schedule: Dec. 27 – 1 p.m.: Eastmoor Academy vs. Brooklyn (N.Y.) Boys & Girls; 3 p.m.: Beechcroft vs. Queens Teaching; Dec. 28 – 1 p.m.: Beechcroft vs. Brooklyn Boys & Girls; 3 p.m.: Eastmoor vs. Queens Teaching

Pennsylvania-Ohio Christmas Tournament

•Where: Bethel Park (Pa.)

•Schedule (local teams only): Dec. 27 – Noon: Dublin Jerome vs. Munhall (Pa.) Steel Valley; 1:30 p.m.: Groveport vs. Bethel Park; Dec. 28 – Noon: Groveport vs. Beaver Falls (Pa.) Blackhawk; 3 p.m.: Jerome vs. Bethel Park; 1:30 p.m.: Upper Arlington vs. Steel Valley; Dec. 29 – Noon: Groveport vs. Steel Valley; 1:30 p.m.: Upper Arlington vs. Bethel Park

Pickerington North Holiday Invitational

•Where: Pickerington North

•Schedule: Dec. 22 – 4 p.m.: Beechcroft vs. Cleveland Benedictine; 6 p.m.: St. Charles vs. Toledo Woodward; 8 p.m.: Pickerington North vs. Marion-Franklin; Dec. 23 – 6 p.m.: Africentric vs. Westerville North; 8 p.m.: Pickerington North vs. Toledo Bowsher

Thomas Worthington Holiday Tournament

•Where: Thomas Worthington

•Schedule: Dec. 29 – 6 p.m.: Reynoldsburg vs. Olmsted Falls; 7:30 p.m.: Thomas Worthington vs. Toledo Woodward; Dec. 30 – 6 p.m.: Consolation; 7:30 p.m.: Championship

Tuscarawas Central Catholic Holiday Shootout

•Where: New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic

•Schedule (local teams only): Dec. 29 – 2:45 p.m.: Hartley vs. Alliance Marlington; 4:30 p.m.: Harvest Prep vs. Hannibal River; 8 p.m.: Ready vs. Tuscarawas Central Catholic; Dec. 30 – 2:45 p.m. Hartley vs. Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin; 4:30 p.m.: Harvest Prep vs. Marlington

GIRLS

Braggin' Rights Classic

•Where: Cincinnati Winton Woods

•Schedule (local teams only): Dec. 27 – Noon: Northland vs. East Cleveland Shaw; 6 p.m.: Worthington Kilbourne vs. St. Louis Career Academy; 7:30 p.m.: Africentric vs. Jacksonville (Fla.) Potters House Christian; Dec. 28 – 1 p.m.: Mifflin vs. Garfield Heights Trinity; 7:40 p.m.: Kilbourne vs. Jacksonville (Fla.) Potters House Christian; Dec. 29 – 5:20 p.m.: Westerville North vs. St. Bernard Roger Bacon

Jeff Sheets Holiday Classic

•Where: Teays Valley

•Schedule: Dec. 27 – 3 p.m.: Amanda-Clearcreek vs. Jonathan Alder; 4:30 p.m.: Dublin Jerome vs. Grove City; 6 p.m.: Dublin Scioto vs. Lancaster; 7:30 p.m.: Olentangy Orange vs. Teays Valley; Dec. 28 – 1:30 p.m.: Jonathan Alder vs. Circleville; 3 p.m.: Hilliard Davidson vs. Amanda-Clearcreek; 4:30 p.m.: Jerome vs. Gahanna; 6 p.m.: Orange vs. Lancaster; 7:30 p.m.: Grove City vs. Teays Valley

Kemba Holiday Hoops Classic

•Where: West Chester Lakota West

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 28 – 1:15 p.m.: Centennial vs. Toledo Central Catholic; Dec. 29 – 2:45 p.m.: Centennial vs. Canton GlenOak

Magic City Mayhem

•Where: Barberton

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 30 – 7:30 p.m.: Olentangy vs. Akron Manchester

Motor City Roundball Classic

•Where: Detroit Renaissance

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 27 – 7:20 p.m.: Eastmoor Academy vs. Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day; Dec. 28 – 2:20 p.m.: Eastmoor vs. Ypsilanti (Mich.) Arbor Prep

Naples Holiday Shootout

•Where: Naples (Fla.)

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 28: 8 a.m.: Pickerington Central vs. Kinkaid (Texas); Dec. 29 – 9:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m.: Pickerington Central vs. Winter Haven (Fla.) or Morgan Park (Ill.); Dec. 30 – 9:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. or 5 p.m.: Pickerington Central vs. TBD

Newark Holiday Tournament

•Where: Newark

•Schedule: Dec. 27 – 6 p.m.: Columbus South vs. Nelsonville-York; 7:30 p.m.: Newark vs. Dayton Chaminade Julienne; Dec. 28 – 3 p.m.: Columbus South vs. Zanesville Maysville; 4:30 p.m.: Newark vs. Nelsonville-York

Roosters Holiday Classic

•Where: DeSales

•Schedule: Dec. 27 – 12:45 p.m.: DeSales vs. Cincinnati Colerain; 4:15 p.m.: Beechcroft vs. Barberton; Dec. 28 – 12:45 p.m.: Consolation; 4:15 p.m.: Championship

Wadsworth Invitational

•Where: Wadsworth

•Schedule (local team only): Dec. 28 – 4:30 p.m.: Reynoldsburg vs. Rocky River Magnificat; Dec. 29 – 7:30 p.m.: Reynoldsburg vs. Wadsworth

Watterson Christmas Classic

•Where: Watterson

•Schedule: Dec. 27 – 1:30 p.m.: Hilliard Darby vs. New Albany; 3 p.m.: Hilliard Bradley vs. Cincinnati Mother of Mercy; 4:45 p.m.: Watterson vs. Cincinnati Seton; Dec. 28 – 1:30 p.m.: New Albany vs. Mother of Mercy; 3 p.m.: Bradley vs. Seton; 4:45 p.m.: Watterson vs. Darby

Yule Classic

•Where: Liberty Union

•Schedule: Dec. 28 – 7:30 p.m.: Buckeye Valley vs. Worthington Christian; 9:30 p.m.: Hartley vs. Liberty Union; Dec. 29 – 7:30 p.m.: Hartley vs. Buckeye Valley; 9:30 p.m.: Worthington Christian vs. Liberty Union