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Nick Stevens

Big match-ups headline opening day of Holiday Invitational

Published: 2013-12-26 00:21:00
Updated: 2013-12-26 12:37:41


Dec 26, 2013

Devin Booker of Moss Point (Miss) vs. Pascagoula. (Photo Courtesy: Mike Kittrell/GulfLive.com)

Devin Booker of Moss Point (Miss) vs. Pascagoula. (Photo Courtesy: Mike Kittrell/GulfLive.com)

In 1963, Edward Pola and George Wyle wrote a Christmas song that was recorded for the first time by singer Andy Williams. Since, musicians and artists have put their own spin on the song.

I'm talking about the Christmas song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

The Holiday Invitational didn't start for another nine years after the song was written, but their is certainly meaning the exists between the song and the tournament. What started as a local basketball tournament has turned into one of the top national high school basketball tournaments in the country, and quite honestly, it is one of the best times of the year.

Speaking as someone who grew up a basketball fan on Tobacco Road, being able to drive a few minutes and step into a gym where a number of future ACC players, other Division I players, and some of the top area teams are playing is incredible.

This will be my eighth season covering the Holiday Invitational, but having the privilege of being involved in such a prestigious tournament has been an honor the last three years, and I hope it is something that continues for years to come.

One of the most memorable fields for me was in 2008. I often tell the story of how hundreds of people were outside Holliday Gymnasium at Broughton High School trying to get in to see John Wall and the Word of God Holy Rams win the title. I was actually offered $50 to let someone in the backdoor that night. I, of course, did not accept it, but it shows just how popular this tournament can be.

I have no doubt this year will be just as good, and I fully expect sellout crowds each day.

Today we tip off the 42nd HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational, and if you haven't heard already, the field is loaded. Among the many Division-I players we have eight five-star players and six four-star players, making up some of the top teams in the state and the nation.

The girls field won't disappoint either. There is a lot of talent from different levels of girls basketball in North Carolina – teams that played for regional and state titles last year, players who are Division-I prospects, and even several Division-I recruits.

Tickets are $12. They're good for the entire day, and they're only available at the door. All tickets are general admission, so get there early. Once the gym fills up, the doors will be locked.

Here's a look at the schedule for Day 1:

Girls @ Cary Academy

11:00 AM - Hillside vs. Chapel Hill
12:30 PM - Broughton vs. Dudley
2:00 PM - West Craven vs. Cary
3:30 PM - Riverside vs. West Forsyth

Boys @ Broughton

10:00 AM - Wilbraham & Monson (MA) vs. Middle Creek (Summit Bracket)
11:30 AM - Apex vs. Moss Point (MS) (Shavlik Randolph Bracket)
1:00 PM - Broughton vs. Kinston (Shavlik Randolph Bracket)
2:30 PM - Garner vs. Wheeler (GA) (Shavlik Randolph Bracket)
4:00 PM - Sanderson vs. Carlisle (VA) (Summit Bracket)
5:30 PM - Trinity Christian vs. Hammond School (VA) (Summit Bracket)
7:00 PM - Clayton vs. Lake Highland Prep (FL) (Shavlik Randolph Bracket)
8:30 PM - HCYA (TX) vs. Word of God (Summit Bracket)

Follow Nick Stevens on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT

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  1. ZachMayoHSOT: Anyway, big thanks to @NCCoachesAssn, UNCG and everyone else for putting on a great three days of sports. One of the good weeks on the job.
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:03 AM
  2. ZachMayoHSOT: I think in an all-star game with 4 seconds left, you go for the win and throw to the endzone. But hey, I'm no coach. http://t.co/zIDzltHIxm
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 9:00 AM
  3. HSOTGNRC: CLAYTON: Interview: Nick Christiansen, Clayton http://t.co/RniouTLWYl
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:23 AM
  4. HSOTCap8: LEESVILLE: Interview: Malcolm Hitchcock, Leesville Road http://t.co/gI8SLEwR8p #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 3:10 AM
  5. HSOTBigEast: SOUTHERN NASH: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie http://t.co/OXciiTgJ6y #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:53 AM
  6. HSOTBigEast: SOUTHERN NASH: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 23, 2014) http://t.co/Y9RaM68uXa #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:53 AM
  7. HSOTGNRC: SOUTHEAST RALEIGH: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 23, 2014) http://t.co/XjKr3gZAz9
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:45 AM
  8. HSOTGNRC: SOUTHEAST RALEIGH: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie http://t.co/PsVPtxK5nY
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:45 AM
  9. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Just finished a feature on @LeesvillePride's East All-Star Malcolm Hitchcock (@intangiblechild). See it Thursday on @H
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:08 AM
  10. NickStevensHSOT: Just finished a feature on @LeesvillePride's East All-Star Malcolm Hitchcock (@intangiblechild). See it Thursday on @HighSchoolOT. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:07 AM
  11. HSOTPAC6: EAST CHAPEL HILL: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 23, 2014) http://t.co/HMSZG7aOWb
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:26 AM
  12. HSOTPAC6: EAST CHAPEL HILL: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie http://t.co/rH64gyqnA4
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:26 AM
  13. HSOTBigEast: FIKE: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie http://t.co/OXciiTgJ6y #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:26 AM
  14. HSOTBigEast: FIKE: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 23, 2014) http://t.co/Y9RaM68uXa #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:26 AM
  15. HSOTSWAC: PANTHER CREEK: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie http://t.co/fzrNTUUdoF
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:21 AM
  16. HSOTSWAC: PANTHER CREEK: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 23, 2014) http://t.co/9lNZFYSjB3
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:21 AM
  17. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: The West finishes All-Star week with a 3-1-1 record over the East. Only East win was in men's soccer. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:15 AM
  18. HSOTSWAC: FUQUAY-VARINA: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie http://t.co/1gwpEpiOYC
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:15 AM
  19. HSOTSWAC: FUQUAY-VARINA: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 23, 2014) http://t.co/ScRIZNsSS0
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:15 AM
  20. ZachMayoHSOT: The West finishes All-Star week with a 3-1-1 record over the East. Only East win was in men's soccer. #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:15 AM
  21. HSOTCap8: LEESVILLE: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie http://t.co/Avhs2rwEN1 #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:10 AM
  22. HSOTCap8: LEESVILLE: East-West All-Star Football Game (July 22, 2014) http://t.co/3UclfoATyF #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 1:10 AM
  23. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: FINAL STORY: Last-second field goal leaves East-West football game in tie. http://t.co/0O9UhFBuRM
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:15 AM
  24. HighSchoolOT: PHOTOS: The East-West All-Star Football Game ended in a 10-10 tie: http://t.co/p0Y2hWlb4M #HSOT
      — Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:07 AM
  25. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: This is the second tie in All-Star Game history, the first since 1962. #HSOT
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:52 PM
  26. HighSchoolOT: ALERT: East all-star football ties West, 10-10 http://t.co/3SBzaSut1D
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:37 PM
  27. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Wow. Huge last-minute West drive has the all-stars down to the East 18. 14 seconds to go, West trails 10-7.
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:33 PM
  28. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Lots of West fans packing up. East has the ball on W25 with 1:55 left, leading 10-7. #HSOT
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:24 PM
  29. HighSchoolOT: FB: East All-Stars 10, West 7 with 4:02 to play. #HSOT
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:16 PM
  30. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: 38-yard run by Kenneth Purvis (Central Cabarrus) gets the West down to the E15. 6:13 left in the game.
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:13 PM
  31. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Timeout West. East ball 4th & 2 on own 20. East showing punt. East leads 10-0 with 9:21 left in 4Q. #HSOT
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:05 PM
  32. HighSchoolOT: FB: East All-Stars 10, West All-Stars 0 after three quarters. No points, four punts in 3Q. #HSOT
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 9:59 PM
  33. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: First play of the second half is a 22-yard run from Diquon Cox (Richmond). He has 60 in the game. #HSOT
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 9:38 PM
  34. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: We have 4 people on the sidelines with two TV cameras and a still camera, and a writer in the box. We've got this game…
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 9:30 PM
  35. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Diquon Cox (Richmond) led the East with 38 rushing yards in the first half. Marcelias Sutton (James Kenan) had 10, Radja …
      — Wednesday, July 23, 2014 9:30 PM
  36. HighSchoolOT: RT @SRHSathletics: Special teams and line backer http://t.co/ugOopCcojv
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  37. HighSchoolOT: RT @SRHSathletics: Half time show http://t.co/jacOUV00mD
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  38. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: And here's your grand finale... Always a fun part of the all-star game. Enjoy. #HSOT http://t.co/6BnKtcyBzp
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  39. HighSchoolOT: FB: East All-Stars lead the West, 10-0 at halftime. #HSOT
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  40. HighSchoolOT: You can find running updates from the East-West football game HERE: http://t.co/zD37z3SYQ7
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