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Holiday hoops tournament canceled for second consecutive year

Monitor staff
Published: 11/25/2021 9:00:28 AM
Modified: 11/25/2021 9:00:12 AM

For the second consecutive year, the annual Capital Area Holiday Tournament has been canceled.

Merrimack Valley athletic director Kevin O’Brien said that he and the tournament’s seven other participants were unanimous in the decision to cancel this year’s tournament earlier this month.

NHTI has traditionally been the host site for the tournament, but with stringent protocols in place by the state, O’Brien and the seven other athletic directors from the tournament’s participants decided against playing.

“We could have (played),” O’Brien said. “But it would look nothing like how it traditionally has.”

Part of the charm of the annual holiday tournament is that it brings together students, alumni and extended families from across the region. That ability to reconnect would be near impossible given the current protocols – no more than 100 total people in the gym, no congregating before or after games, and social distancing.

Aside from Merrimack Valley, other schools that play in the tournament include Concord, Bow, Pembroke, John Stark, Kearsarge, Bishop Brady and Hopkinton.

In the tournament’s last successful run back in 2019, Bow boys and Brady girls won titles behind 63-45 and 61-50 victories, respectively. That year was the first title victory for the Falcons and the fourth consecutive for the Giants.

While the tournament was canceled, there is a slight return to the status quo for basketball across the state. Teams have already held tryouts and are able to play their first games starting on Dec. 10. Opening games for each of the participants and location are listed below.

All games are scheduled for Dec. 10 unless noted otherwise.

Concord vs. Pinkerton: boys home; girls away.

Bishop Brady: boys at Bow; girls at Manchester West on Dec. 13.

Bow: boys vs. Bishop Brady; girls vs. Souhegan on Dec. 14.

John Stark vs. Pelham: boys away; girls home.

Merrimack Valley vs. Sanborn: boys away; girls home.

Pembroke vs. Lebanon: boys home; girls away.

Hopkinton vs. Newport: boys home; girls away.

Kearsarge vs. Mascoma Valley: boys home; girls away.

Matt Parker bio photo

Matt Parker is a sports reporter at the Monitor and started in August 2021. He is an Ohio native and relishes being from the Buckeye state. A proud graduate of Ohio University located in Athens, Ohio, he served as the sports editor for the student-run newspaper, The Post, from 2019-20. When not at a game or chasing around a coach, you can catch him playing his guitars or looking for the next Peanuts memorabilia piece to add in his growing collection.

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