With the area basketball season now complete, school officials have an eye toward next season already.
St. Bede Academy is scaling back its Lady Bruins Christmas Classic from 10 teams to eight. There will be now 16 games played over three days all over before Christmas rather than 25 over five days.
Each team will play four games instead of five.
Athletic director Tom McGunnigal said it was looked from an economical standpoint for both the Academy and its guests and their travel expenses as well as taking a break over the holidays.
“We looked at the setup of time and expense we had been working with for the past number of years and the school felt that we should cut it back in some way,” he said. “We have reduced the total number of games from 25 to 16 – so we save paying 9 games for officials; it is less time that our gym is occupied and therefore available for our other basketball teams during Christmas break; it is one less day of travel for all of our schools so they are saving bus expense; and it is more time for everyone to be at home celebrating the holidays or travelling to celebrate the holidays with family.
“That final reason may be the most important one in the whole scheme of things.”
Returning teams for the 2014 event will be St. Bede, Princeton, Mendota and LaMoille/Ohio along with Eureka, Fieldcrest, Kewanee and Seneca. Chillicothe IVC and Henry will not be returning.
Hall is facing some reshuffling with its long-running Colmone Classic pre-Christmas boys tournament. Hall athletic director Eric Bryant St. Bede, newcomer Quest Academy and more lately, Bureau Valley, have all dropped out.
Mooseheart, the 2014 Class 1A State champ, has committed for next season, Bryant said. The Ramblers will join holdovers Hall, Mendota, Stark County and Fieldcrest.
Another 2014 state finalist, Providence St. Mel, is considering to join the 2014 field as are Joliet Catholic, St. Anne, and Chicago Latin, Bryant said.
Both the Storm and Bruins opted to play two additional nonconference games rather than continue at the Colmone and will not seek other tournament sights.
“This allows for me to try to balance the schedule home and away and also see some different people,” BV athletic director Jeff Ohlson said.
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