For over 60 boys and girls high school basketball teams across the state, the holidays are no time to rest.
Forty-four boys teams and 17 girls teams are participating in holiday tournaments across the country — including Bingham and Pleasant Grove, who opened tourney play in California on Wednesday night.
Most teams are competing instate, with only six boys teams venturing out of state.
Among them are two of the state’s top-ranked teams — No. 2 Davis and No. 3 Orem. The Darts will be in Gillette, Wyo. participating in the always-challenging Energy Classic, while Orem is in Myrtle Beach, S.C. participating in the prestigious Beach Ball Classic, the same tournament Lone Peak advanced to the championship game of last season.
Orem faces Scott County, Ky. in its Thursday opener at 3:15 p.m. The Cardinals are ranked eighth in Kentucky according to MaxPreps. With a victory, the Tigers would likely face Christ Presbyterian, Tenn. in the quarterfinals, a team ranked No. 20 nationally according to MaxPreps.
Locally, the Jordan Holiday Tournament at Jordan High and the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic in Cedar City are the top tournaments to watch.
Sixteen boys teams will take part in the fifth-annual Jordan Holiday Tournament, which will be contested over four days at Juan Diego and Jordan. It will be a true tournament format, with the championship game being held at Jordan on New Year’s Eve at 5:30 p.m.
All teams are guaranteed four games.
Multiple Deseret News Top 20 teams are participating in the tournament, including No. 7 Sky View, No. 9 American Fork, No. 17 Jordan and No. 20 East. Only three of the tournament’s 16 teams have losing records.
The tournament gets underway at noon Thursday with American Fork facing Copper Hills.
The Jordan Tournament had been a two-day, four-team tournament the previous four years, but a scheduling rule change by the UHSAA allowed Jordan to expand the tournament.
The Steve Hodson Cancer Classic features 11 boys team and nine girls teams, with games being played at Cedar and Canyon View High School this Thursday through Saturday. This is the fourth year of the tournament to honor Hodson, a basketball coach who passed away from cancer in October 2009.
Last year the tournament raised $8,000 to help two families in the Cedar City area who were dealing with cancer.
Other boys tournaments going on in Utah this Friday and Saturday are the Cowboy Classic at Kanab, the Blue/Gold Tournament at Enterprise and the Wayne Holiday Classic at Wayne High.
Wayne and Enterprise are also hosting girls tourneys.
In addition to Orem and Davis, four other teams boys teams are out of state this week — all in California.
Highland and Mountain View are participating in the San Diego Surf N’ Slam, while Bingham is at the Holiday Classic in San Diego and Pleasant Grove is participating in the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.