Both the Loyola boys and girls basketball teams are venturing out of state to play holiday tournaments. Below is a quick guide to each one (Ramar Evans pictured above).
What: Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest
When: Dec. 27-30
Where: Golden Gate High School, Naples, Florida
Format: 16 teams, bracketed play
What to know: Loyola (5-5) opens the tournament at 8 a.m. (CST) Tuesday against Immokalee (5-6). The Indians, who play in the third highest classification of eight in the state, enter the tournament on a three-game winning streak. Players to watch on Immokalee include Makeal Hais, Izayel Louis Pierre and Hasahnn Reynolds. … The Ramblers are one of two teams in the field not from Florida. Defending tournament champion Ensworth is from Nashville, Tennessee. The Tigers have won the tournament four times (2015, 2013, 2011, 2008). They are on the opposite side of the bracket from Loyola. … According to the Naples Daily News, seven of the teams in the field won 20 or more games last season. Poinciana captured the Class 5A state championship.
They said it: It’s by far the best talent, Team 1 through 16, we’ve had for the Hoopfest since we’ve taken over the last couple of years.” — Golden Gate head coach Greg Anderson
What: Holiday Hoops Classic
When: Dec. 27-30
Where: Red Mountain High School, Mesa, Arizona
Format: 14 teams, modified round robin
What to know: Loyola’s opening opponent, Phoenix’s Xavier, is 10-0 and its average margin of victory is 33.9 points. Players to watch on the Gators include 6-foot-1 junior forward Montana Oltrogge and sophomore point guard Leilani McIntosh. … The Ramblers won the tournament title a year ago. … Loyola is one of three out-of-state teams in the field. The other two are from California.
They said it: “We know we have our work cut out for us, especially on the first day. But we did a good job last year, and we hope to do the same this year and come away with a few wins.” — Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker.
(all times CST)
Tuesday, Dec. 27 — RAMBLERS vs. Xavier (Phoenix, Arizona), 12 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 28 — RAMBLERS vs. Sierra Linda (Phoenix, Arizona), 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 29 — RAMBLERS vs. Desert Ridge (Mesa, Arizona), 7:30 a.m.
Friday, Dec. 30 — TBA
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola