Here we go - Let the Christmas games begin

Friday, December 26, 2003

Take those gifts back next week. Put the leftovers in the fridge for another day.

Today's all about basketball.

Sixteen high school boys basketball teams today set out on the path that will lead one of them to a championship in the 59th annual Southeast Missourian Christmas Tournament. First up: Charleston and Chaffee at 9 a.m. Seven games follow.

Top-seeded Charleston joins Scott City as the tournament's only unbeaten teams, but it's an unpredictable field with a long list of possibilities.

Can the Bluejays win their third championship in a row?

Can one of the field's smallest schools repeat the feats of Advance in 2000 or Scott County Central in 1990?

Can a team from the bottom half of the bracket make a surprise run into the finals?

First things first: A tough opening round schedule today. After Charleston's opening game, Central plays Oak Ridge at 10:30 a.m., then it's Scott City vs. Oran at noon, Jackson vs. Leopold at 1:30 p.m., Bell City vs. Meadow Heights at 4:30, Advance vs. Woodland at 6, Scott County Central vs. Kelly at 7:30 and Notre Dame vs. Delta at 9.

Get there early, grab a snack and get ready for four days of the best basketball of the year.

-- Jamie Hall

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