The Centralia Holiday Tournament and the Mater Dei Holiday Tournament are two Christmas classics.
This marks the 75th Centralia Holiday Tournament and the 56th year of Christmas basketball at Mater Dei.
Centralia has been able to maintain the traditional 16-team bracket. The event runs Dec. 28-30.
Centralia and Mount Vernon are the only teams from the Southern Illinoisan’s coverage area. Salem is the only other team from the region. The 2017 event also features Alton, Belleville West, Cahokia and O’Fallon from Metro East.
There are three Chicago-area teams – Mundelein Academy, Evanston Township and Marist. The 2017 field also includes three teams from Tennessee.
The tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 28 with Mundelein facing Mount Vernon. Centralia meets Salem at 7:45 p.m.
The championship game is slated for 9 p.m. Dec. 30.
At Mater Dei, the tournament is a 10-team pool-play event.
Briarcrest of Florida is the first seed, followed by Highland, Breese Central, Sacred Heart-Griffin, Nashvile, Okawville, Mater Dei, Mascoutah, Carlyle and Metro East Lutheran.
Pool play begins Dec. 27 and continues through Dec. 29. Championship action is the following day.
Pool A consists of Highland, Central, Okawville, Mascoutah and Carlyle. Pool B is Briarcrest, Sacred-Heart Griffin, Nashville, Mater Dei and Metro East Lutheran.
Breese Central is the defending champion. The Cougars defeated Nashville in the title game last year.