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Holiday Classic Top Seeds and First Round Matchups

2016 HINSDALE CENTRAL HOLIDAY CLASSIC FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS

The first-round matchups for the second annual Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic have been released.  The top four seeds that will play in the event on December 27-30 are:  Bolingbrook, Homewood-Flossmoor, Stevenson and Marian Catholic.  Teams were rated based on pre-season rankings and results from the first week of the season.  Four teams won their Thanksgiving Tournament and fourteen of the sixteen team field had records at or above .500 at the time of seeding.  Schools from fourteen different conferences will participate.  

The opening game of the Holiday Classic will tip-off with Saint Charles East facing Lincoln Park.  The Saints won their own Thanksgiving Tournament and beat Saint Joseph and Saint Charles North in a pair of back-to-back one point thrillers.  Six-foot, five-inch junior and Tournament MVP Justin Hardy was named as the Daily Herald Player of the Week.  Lincoln Park has seven seniors on their roster and defeated highly regarded New Trier last week.

Game two pits Marian Catholic versus Urban Prep Englewood.  Marian Catholic lost a six overtime thriller to Homewood-Flossmoor in the Chicago Heights Classic.  Urban Prep Englewood returns 5-6 dynamo Fred Cleveland II, who set the tournament record for three point baskets at last year’s HCHC.  Spectators will look for the interesting matchup of guards in 5-6 sophomore Fred Cleveland II and Marian’s 5-8 junior Chase Adams in the backcourt.

The 12:30 p.m. game features Maine South meeting Westinghouse.  Hawks coach Tony Lavorato recently won his 300th game at the school.  The Warriors return four starters from last year’s team, which finished third in the Red-West, are led by 6-6 Coreyoun Rushin.

The fourth game of the first day of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic pairs two newcomers to the HCHC in # 1 seed Bolingbrook and Glenbrook North.  Bolingbrook, a top 10 ranked team in Chicagoland, won the Team Soy Capital Decatur Turkey Tournament and features Nebraska recruit Nana Akenten.  Glenbrook North, a long-time north suburban power will rely on three-year starter James Karis.  Spartans coach David Weber is in his 21st year at North.

The bottom half of the bracket starts off with perennial downstate contender Rockford Auburn facing Richards.  Auburn, who placed fourth in last year’s Class 4A state tournament, may have played the state’s toughest schedule during Thanksgiving week facing three highly regarded out of state opponents.  Richards, was the runner-up at the District 218 Thanksgiving Tournament and returns 2015 HCHC All-Tournament Team selection Jaylan Catledge.

Unbeaten number two seed Homewood-Flossmoor, another Top 10 team in the Chicagoland area, will face Saint Viator in game six of the first round competition.  The Vikings won the Chicago Heights Classic and finished second at last year’s HCHC.  Saint Viator will be making their first appearance in the HC Holiday Classic and will feature Marc Clark and Addison Lubert.

The 7:00 p.m. contest matches host Hinsdale Central against Stevenson.  Red Devils coach Nick Latore won his 100th game at the school last week and his team placed fifth in the inaugural HCHC last year.  Stevenson won the Buffalo Grove Thanksgiving Tournament winning each of the four games by 25 points or more.  The Patriots feature Justin Smith, an Indiana University recruit, a returning HCHC All-Tournament Team selection and a strong candidate for Chicagoland Player of the Year.

The final game of the first day matches DePaul Prep and Crete-Monee.  The game will pair two dynamic players in DePaul’s 6-4 Perry Cowan and Crete’s 6-3 Dwayne Rose.  Cowan is one of the top prospects in the class of 2019 and Dwayne, the nephew of New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose, will play for the University of Toldeo next year.  Crete-Monee’s coach Tom Cappel is closing in on his 600th career victory.

The tournament starts on Tuesday, December 27 and will continue for four consecutive days through Friday, December 30.  Each team will be guaranteed four games and eight games will played each day.  Tickets for the event can be purchased at the door and a tournament pass will be available for $25 which is good for all 32 games of the event. More information can be found on the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic website at: www.hcholidayclassic.com.

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