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December 19, 2012

Hoops tourneys highlight break

Local squads get in some action during downtime

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

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Hoops tourneys highlight break
Greg Esler and his Warren De La Salle basketball team, pictured last season, are one of several local squads who will be playing in competitions during the holiday break.

Local basketball teams like to take advantage of the holiday break to get in some games against competition they might not normally have the opportunity to face during the school year in the form of tournaments and showcases.

Warren De La Salle’s team will take a trip to the west side of the state for a two-day tournament Dec. 27-28. Their possible opponents are Lowell, Greenville and host Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Pilots coach Greg Esler called the host Cougars “one of the best teams in the state.”

“We go on holiday trips to build team chemistry and also have some fun,” Esler said. “Of course, we go to win the tournament and to continue to improve.”

Teams that win on the first day of the competition will play in the championship the following day. Esler said participating in an event like this helps the Pilots in preparation for games down the road, such as defending their league title.

“This experience will, hopefully, get us ready to defend our title,” he said. “We are going for six straight (Catholic High School League) Central Division championships.”

At press time, the Pilots, another highly regarded squad, were 3-0 overall.

Closer to home

If you can’t make the trip across the state to see De La Salle, don’t fret. There are plenty of other more nearby options to satisfy your hoops hunger this holiday.

As for varsity boys teams, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North will host its Crusader Classic competition, which also includes Utica Stevenson. Grosse Pointe North and Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse will take on some tough teams at Detroit Renaissance. And several local teams, including Fraser, Mount Clemens, Harper Woods, Warren Woods Tower and Warren Cousino are slated to be in action at a large showcase at Beverly-Hills Detroit Country Day.

On the girls side, Grosse Pointe South and Cousino will be in action at Country Day; Mount Clemens is scheduled to play at Rochester, and Roseville will be at Southgate Anderson.

Plenty of other teams will be in action, as well. Contact your local school or the hosts for more tournament information, including schedules.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.