For nearly three decades, the Junior Orange Bowl Classic has served as a solid midseason test for South Florida’s top basketball teams.
Teams dreaming of making it to Lakeland can gauge their skills against some top-level talent from around the country in the 28th annual edition of the holiday tournament that runs from Wednesday through Friday at Miami Palmetto High.
A pair of Miami-Dade County unbeaten teams highlights the boys’ field.
South Miami (11-0) takes on McArthur (11-6) at noon Wednesday in the only Miami-Dade vs. Broward matchup in the quarterfinal round and a rematch of their 2015 Class 8A state semifinal won by the Mustangs.
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Mater Academy (12-0) is off to a great start in its first season under veteran coach Shakey Rodriguez, and hopes to keep it going against Cincinnati powerhouse Oak Hills (4-1) at 1:30 p.m.
The boys’ tournament continues in the evening with much-improved Palmetto (9-2), which is coming off a victory in the Publix Challenge of the Kreul Classic, taking on Chicago’s St. Rita of Cascia (5-3) at 6:30 p.m. Coral Gables (6-5) wraps up the day with a game against Baltimore power Mount St. Joseph (9-0) at 8 p.m.
The girls’ side features four playoff regulars taking on out-of-state competition.
Nova (8-3) opens the tournament at 9 a.m. against Wilson High (9-1) from Florence, South Carolina. The Titans are looking to make their first trip to state since 2013 this season after falling short for the first time in six years last Febraury.
South Broward, the team that eliminated Nova last season, is off to a 14-1 start and is a favorite to reach state again this season. The Bulldogs will take on Birmingham’s Center Point High (11-5) at 3:30 p.m.
Rivals Ferguson (9-4) and Miami High (9-1) are also competing against out-of-state juggernauts.
Ferguson, which advanced to state for the first time last year, plays Illinois powerhouse Homewood-Flossmoor (7-1) at 10:30 a.m.
Miami High, winners of three state championships in the past 11 seasons, faces Long Island Lutheran (2-1) at 5 p.m.
Wednesday’s quarterfinals – Girls: Nova vs. Wilson (SC), 9 a.m.; Ferguson vs. Homewood-Flossmoor (IL), 10:30 a.m.; South Broward vs. Birmingham Center Point (AL), 3:30; Miami High vs. Long Island Lutheran (NY), 5; Boys: South Miami vs. McArthur, noon; Mater Academy vs. Cincinnati (OH) Oak Hills, 1:30; Palmetto vs. Chicago St. Rita of Cascia, 6:30; Coral Gables vs. Baltimore (MD) Mt. St. Joseph, 8; Thursday’s consolation games: 9 a.m.; Semifinals - Girls: 3:30 and 5; Boys: 6:30 and 8; Friday’s consolation games: 9 a.m.; Finals - Girls: 6:30; Boys: 8.
Florida Christian is set to once again host the Adidas Holiday Slam Wednesday through Friday at its home gym.
In addition to the host Patriots, Ferguson, St. Brendan, Booker T. Washington, Killian, Champagnat Catholic and Calusa Prep will be competing against some of the state’s best including Gainesville The Rock and Orlando Christian Prep.
BOYS’ BASKETBALL: TOC Tournament in Atlanta: Doral Academy 45, Johnson-Savannah 41: DA: Santos 13, R. Perez 12, Cobas 6, Nuñez 6, K. Perez 6, Ayesa 2. JS: Ngumezi 10, Em. Bowles 9, El. Bowles 8, Williams 8, Sams 3, Sanders 2, Jones 1. Half: 27-27. 3-Ptrs: Em. Bowles 3, Santos 3, R. Perez 2, Sams. Rebounds: Cobas 12.
Hollywood Christian New Year’s Classic: Dr. Krop 66, Greater Miami Academy 58: DK: Cornet 2, O’Conner 19, McKalla 6, Lee 5, Barber 14, Rajschmir 4, Thompson 2, Villejeune 1, Joseph 12. GMA: Cabollero 12, Bautista 6, Bryon 2, S.Garcia 18, D.Bautista 2, C.Garcia 5, Anderson 2. 3-Ptrs: O’Conner 3. Rebounds: Barber 8, Rajschmir 8. Assists: Barber 5.
Hitchcock Classic at Sante Fe High School in Alachua: Archbishop McCarthy 81, Newberry 59: AM (6-2): Enriquez 4, Avila 15, J.Taylor 14, Jones 6, Jameau 5, Cucalon 10, Guelce 4, Smith 2, S.Taylor 10, Nesselt 2, Hunter 2, Alcime 4, Volmar 3. NB: Robinson 5, Smith 5, Mitchen 4, McCray 10, Scott 3, Ford 1, Curtis 2, Stackhouse 3, Turner 6, Gurner 3, Hurden 15. Half: AM 32-24. 3-Ptrs: Avila 2, J.Taylor, S.Taylor, Volmar, Robinson, Smith (NB), Scott, Turner, Guner. Rebounds: S.Taylor 6, Jameau 6. Assists: Jones 3. Blocks: Jameau 5.
Westminster Christian Under Armour Holiday Tournament: American 71, Westwood Christian 49: AMER (11-2): Enriquez 6, Narvaez 10, Diaz 12, Harris 19, Vilchez 12, Hall 4, Labaut 2 St Louis 3, Howard 3. WC (9-4): Shriver 2, Mejjas 7, Ferheta 2, Beauteros 10, Guthurie 9, Duwanna 12, Atempe 6. Half: AMER 38-23. 3-Ptrs: Diaz 2, Narvaez 2, Guthrie 2, St Louis. Rebounds: Narvaez 7, Enriquez 7, Howard 7. Assists: Harris 6. Steals: Narvaez 4. Blocks: Harris 3.