Holiday tournaments provide plenty of prep action

‘Tis the season to catch some holiday high school tournament action.

Seven different varsity teams from Roseville Area High School and Concordia Academy are in action this week in holiday tournaments. Here’s a look at where each school’s teams are headed while school is out.

Roseville Area High School

Most of the tournaments that Roseville teams are headed to are familiar but one squad is going to a new venue.

The Raiders’ boys basketball team has made its way into a high-profile event held in St. Cloud. The Granite City Classic isnít so much a tournament as it is two days of nearly non-stop basketball.

Held on Dec. 27 and 28, the event features seven games each day at two different venues. Day one takes place at St. Cloud Apollo High School before switching to St. Cloud State University for day two.

Roseville has drawn a pair of tough assignments in its first year in the event. The Raiders play the final game of the day (8:30 p.m.) on Dec. 27 against the No. 1 team in the state in Class AAAA in Apple Valley. The defending state champion Eagles are led, of course, by their Duke-bound point guard Tyus Jones. Expect a packed house for that one.

Things don’t get any easier on day two. Roseville, which was ranked ninth in Class AAAA last week, plays the 5:30 p.m. game against fifth-ranked Champlin Park.

Other ranked teams playing in the Granite City Classic include Delano (sixth in Class AAA), Big Lake (10th in Class AAA) and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (No. 1 in Class A).

Roseville is hosting the third-annual Roseville Holiday Girls Basketball Tournament and six of the eight teams from last year’s draw are back again this season.

Besides the Raiders, four other teams are making their third appearance in the touurnament. They are Spring Lake Park, Andover, St. Anthony Village and Burnsville. Chanhassen is in the tournament for the second straight year while Lakeville South and Cambridge-Isanti are making their inaugural appearances.

The tournament runs Dec. 27, 28 and 30. Roseville opens the tournament on the 27th with an 8 p.m. game against Burnsville. Game times for all three days of the event are 2:45, 4:30, 6:15 and 8 p.m.

The Roseville girls hockey team has played in the same holiday tournament for the last 18 years and will make it 19 in a row when it plays in the Kaposia Classic next week. The tournament is hosted by South St. Paul High School and played at Wakota Arena.

Roseville, Hibbing and the host Packers have appeared in every Kaposia Classic and will do so again this year.

The Raiders play the first game of the tournament at noon on Dec. 30. In a little bit of a twist this year, that first game will not only decide which team advances to the semifinals but will also count in the Suburban East Conference standings.

Roseville’s first-round opponent is Mounds View, making its first appearance in the Kaposia Classic. The coaches for both squads agreed to make the tilt a conference game, which allowed them to each schedule an extra non-conference game.

The tournament continues Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 with games at 10 a.m., 12:15, 2:30 and 4:45 p.m.

Other teams in the tournament include Hill-Murray, Lakeville North, Blake and Bloomington Jefferson/Kennedy. All eight teams in the tournament were ranked in the top 20 in their respective classes in last week’s state poll.

Roseville’s boys hockey team also has been playing in the same holiday tournament for a number of years. Once again, the Raiders are entered in the Schwan Cup, held at the National Sports Center’s Super Rink in Blaine.

Playing in the Silver Division, Roseville opens with a familiar foe in Suburban East Conference rival Mounds View on Dec. 26 at 5:30 p.m. The game will count in the conference standings for both teams.

Roseville edged Mounds View 3-2 on Dec. 12 so the Mustangs will be out to even the season series.

A third SEC squad, Stillwater, is also playing in the Silver Division, along with Lakeville South, Hopkins, Centennial, Eastview and Andover.

Centennial is the lone ranked team in the tournament. The Cougars were 16th in last week’s Class AA state poll.

The Schwan Cup continues on Dec. 27 and 28 with all but one game at the Super Rink. The lone game not in Blaine is the championship game, which will be held at Ridder Arena at 5:30 p.m. on the 28th.

Concordia Academy

All three Concordia Academy teams in action next week are heading to familiar places.

The boys basketball team plays in the St. Cloud Cathedral tournament once again. The Beacons have taken part in that event every year since the 2005-06 season.

The tournament runs Dec. 26-28 at St. Cloud Cathedral High School. The Beacons play the first game of the tournament on the 26th at 2 p.m. against Pierz.

The other teams in the tournament are Northfield, Litchfield, Melrose, Mandan (N.D.), Braham and the host Crusaders.

Concordia’s girls basketball team plays in the South St. Paul tournament for the second year in a row and the same four teams are in the event again this year.

The Beacons open the tournament on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. against the host Packers. In the 3 p.m. semifinal, Chisago Lakes faces Prescott (Wisc.). The two first-round winners play for the championship at 7 p.m. on Dec. 28 while the other two teams will battle for third place at 3 p.m.

The Legacy Christian Academy/Concordia Academy co-op boys hockey team wins the award for the longest distance traveled for a holiday tournament. The Lions are playing in the North Shore Holiday Tournament in Silver Bay and Two Harbors.

The eight-team tournament takes place Dec. 26-28 at Rukavina Arena in Silver Bay and Lake County Arena in Two Harbors. Rukavina Arena hosts day one and three of the tournament while day two will take place at Lake County Arena.

The Lions open the tournament on Dec. 26 at 12:30 p.m. against Bagley/Fosston. Also playing in the eight-team tournament are Ely/Tower-Soudan, Mora/Milaca/Hinckley-Finlayson, Moose Lake Area, Robbinsdale Cooper, North Shore and Red Lake Falls.

Concordia Academy boys hockey players have participated in this tournament every year since the 2007-08 season. Back then, the Beacons were part of a co-op team with various other schools from the Tri-Metro Conference.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.

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