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Medina Christmas Classic arrives Friday

December 26, 2018

All of a sudden, the Eric Medina Memorial Basketball Tournament is no longer just a tiny holiday get-together for the high school teams.

Apparently, the word is out that Pasadena ISD has put together another nicely-run tournament, but unlike the McDonald’s Texas Invitational, the Medina Memorial Christmas Classic, set for Dec. 28-29, arrives when teams desperately need to see games.

The post-Christmas tournament scene used to be dominated in these parts by a tournament in Alvin called the Noon Lions Club Holiday Classic, an event that ran for some 20 years before it became extinct just a few years ago.

Another reason teams hunger for a tournament right now is the UIL’s mandatory five-day break from games and practices. So all the teams in the Medina Christmas Classic had to be sure they were idle for at least five days before Friday’s tipoffs.

Very likely, teams mapped it out so they could get in one practice on Dec. 27 before starting the tournament.

The tournament has gotten so big that four facilities have been reserved. Pasadena, Sam Rayburn, Dobie and Phillips Field House will be the venues. Phillips will be the site for Saturday’s two championship games, set for 3 and 4:30 p.m.

There’s two title contests because there’s now a Gold and Platinum division where 16 teams will dwell in each.

In the Gold Division, Pasadena, Sam Rayburn, Dobie, Aldine MacArthur, Scarborough, Fort Bend Christian, Goose Creek Memorial, Jersey Village, Westwood, Mickey Leland, Friendswood, Hastings, Northside, Galveston Ball, Stratford and Houston Heights will compete.

Action in the Platinum Division will feature the teams of Pearland Dawson, Lamar, North Shore, The Village, Kinkaid, Westside, Milby, Clear Creek, Ridge Point, Clear Brook, Bellaire, Beaumont United, Cy Lakes, Alief Taylor, Spring and Cinco Ranch.

Pasadena will oppose MacArthur at the Bob Barfield Sports Complex with tipoff arriving at 9 a.m. Sam Rayburn will host Friendswood on the Texans floor at 9 and Dobie meets Houston Heights at noon on Dobie’s floor.

At those four sites, games will be unfolding at 9, 10:30 and noon., followed by a second game for all the teams at 1:30, 3 and 4:30.

Saturday’s semifinals will unfold at 10:30 on Dobie’s two floors and at noon for the Platinum teams. Phillips will get one semifinal game and Dobie the other.

Sam Rayburn and Pasadena will host the consolation finals come Saturday.

ravery@hcnonline.com

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