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Holiday tournaments GALORE in San Diego

As far as holiday destinations go, let's face it: you can do a lot worse than San Diego.

America's Finest City has historically been a destination for basketball teams from across the country during the post-Christmas period, as the region has played host to a number of holiday tournaments, most notably, the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic.

This year, The Holiday Classic returns, as does Holiday Hoops at the Mount, which makes its return after a two-year hiatus, as well as no fewer than two other tournaments that will host teams from Southern California and beyond.

Here's your primer on the post-Christmas action, including locations, websites and the skinny on the events.

The Holiday Classic Presented by SB LIVE

Dates: Dec. 27-30, 2022

Divisions: National, American, Senators, Governors, Mayors

The skinny: One of the top prep basketball tournaments in the country, this year's installation of The Holiday Classic has five full divisions (90 teams) for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 16-team national division features local powers St. Augustine, San Ysidro and the host Falcons; four undefeated teams (6-0 Archbishop Mitty, 10-0 Dougherty Valley, 5-0 St. Edward (OH) and 8-0 St. John's (DC)); Las Vegas power Coronado; Pacific Northwest powers O'Dea Catholic and Eastside Catholic; OC power JSerra Catholic (11-1); LA CIty Section power Fairfax; a strong Nor Cal contingent including Concord De La Salle, Monterey Trail and Bishop O'Dowd; and Arizona standout program Centennial.

St. Augustine, Carlsbad, Santa Fe Christian and Rancho Buena Vista will host the American, Senators, Governors and Mayors divisions, respectively. For more information on teams, schedules, brackets and players to watch, visit the tournament website.

Holiday Hoops at the Mount

Dates: Dec. 27-30

Location: All Games at Mt Carmel HS

The Skinny: The Mt. Carmel Tournament is back after a three-year hiatus. After no tournament in 2020, last year's tournament was abruptly canceled when nearly one third of the 16-team field pulled out due to COVID outbreaks. This year, the field looks very competitive and a nice mix of midlevel San Diego teams - Mira Mesa, San Marcos, Rancho Bernardo, Canyon Crest, Maranatha, Westview, San Pasqual, Madison and Mt. Carmel - a pair of SD teams in need of a few wins - Escondido and Grossmont - and some very good out-of-town teams, including Sonora, El Toro and El Dorado of Orange County, San Luis Obispo and Lathrop schools.

Gold Crown Holiday Tip Off

Dates: Dec. 27-30, 2022

Locations: Bonita Vista, Olympian, Grossmont, San Diego and Victory Christian

The Skinny: The Gold Crown event is a big one on the girl's side, but the boys event includes a solid local contingent, headlined by Lincoln, Bonita Vista, Olympian, Patrick Henry and Rock Academy. Several out of area teams are in the field, including McFarland from north of Bakersfield and Nevada teams Clark, Virgin Valley and Shadow Ridge. Temecula Valley is the 10th team in the field. Games will be hosted and various local sites.

The Aztec Holiday Classic

Dates: Dec. 27-30, 2022

All games at Montgomery High

Schedule: Below

The Skinny: In it's 40th year, the Aztec Holiday Tournament has been one of the more unheralded events in the region, and this year's field is a solid one, led by the host Aztecs and Eastlake, both rivals in the Mesa League. Look out for Helix, which has had a solid start to the season, as well as Valhalla, which has made it to the semifinals and won one of its non league tournaments. Hilltop, Mt Miguel, Southwest and Foothills Christian round out the field.

Chula Vista Spartans Holiday Classic: Information TBA

Several San Diego programs will be out of town at various events:

The Classic at Damien

Team: San Diego

The Skinny: The Classic at Damien has rapidly become a premier basketball tournament nationwide during the post-Christmas period, and San Diego heads north to participate in the Bronze Division.

Desert Holiday Classic

Teams: Orange Glen, Hoover, Calipatria, Calexico, Palo Verde Valley, Brawley

The Skinny: Palm Springs has also been a hoops epicenter during the Holiday period, as the Desert Holiday Classic hosts eight divisions of teams.

Cathedral Catholic will participate in the Punahou Basketball Invitational in Hawaii


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