Area teams hit the road during holiday break
If there's one thing synonymous with the holiday season, it's holiday tournaments. Liberty, Freedom and Bethlehem Catholic's boys' basketball teams will be making treks out of the area this week, as they gear up for out-of-area competition.
Liberty finds themselves in the most prestigious tournament on Dec. 27 and 29 when they take part in the Primetime Christmas Shootout at Trenton Catholic Academy (NJ).
The tournament features some of New Jersey's top schools, along with two teams from Australia making the trek. Liberty took part in the tournament last year and head coach Chad Landis is happy to play in it again.
"I hope familiarity helps this year," Landis said. "It opened our eyes to what type of competition we were going up against last year. We return a lot of our guys from last year's team, so it should make a difference."
The Hurricanes beat Octorara last year, but lost to Rancocas Valley (NJ) in their two-game slate. The same type of schedule applies for the Hurricanes this year, as they open with Rancocas Valley again on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
They will then play either Lakewood (NJ) or Arch Bishop Carroll on Saturday.
Freedom heads off to the Coatesville tournament on Dece. 27 and 28. The Patriots were supposed to take place in the Williamsport tournament this season, but that tournament was canceled a week before the season.
Coatesville's tournament features the hosts, along with St. Vincent Pallotti's (MD) and Cheltenham. Freedom opens with St. Vincent Pallotti's at 6 p.m. on Thursday and hope to find themselves in the 7:30 p.m. finals the next night.
"Once the Williamsport tournament fell apart, we could have went with an easier tournament but we wanted to play good teams," said head coach Joe Stellato. "We wanted to face a challenge and not take the easy way out."
Bethlehem Catholic is taking part in the Robert H. Griffith Holiday Tournament at York Vo-Tech on the 27th and 28th as well. The Hawks open with Southwestern at 7:30 p.m.
"This tournament is a good fit for us," said Hawks head coach Mike Frew. "Being together on the road gives our team a chance to really come together and have fun.
"As this team continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how we compete on the road."
York Suburban and York Catholic square off in the other tournament match-up. Southwestern won the tournament a year ago and the Hawks are looking to dethrone them of their title.
The consolation and championship game is set for 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively the following night.