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High School Sports: Carroll teams preparing for holiday tournament action

With schools closed until the new year, Carroll teams can now utilize the remainder of their break to stay active in some holiday tournament action.

For some, that means road trips to different gyms, but for those who are playing locally, it presents a fine opportunity for out-of-town visitors to watch their relatives and friends play.

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"For me, I've always liked to stay local," Manchester Valley girls basketball coach Heather DeWees said. "Quite honestly, it's selfish on my part because I get to stay home and spend more time with my family and the kids don't have to go far and spend time on buses. They can spend time with their families and I enjoy staying local for that reason."

DeWees' Mavericks are hosting their own holiday tourney, which begins today and includes girls and boys divisions. Man Valley and Westminster are in the boys field; and MV is the lone county girls team playing.

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The Mavericks won this tourney, formerly the North Carroll Holiday Hoops Tournament, last year with a 50-26 victory over Middletown.

 Francis Scott Key girls basketball coach Jennifer Gosselin had heard about those classic “worst-to-first” kind of seasons, but only from afar.

The Mavs are 5-0 (3-0 in Carroll play), but that won't diminish their time away from necessary practice. DeWees said the Mavs were set for practice on Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, prior to the start of today's tournament slate.

"We want to play as many a change of schedule as possible," DeWees said. "It's good to see other faces and that's what makes playing fun is to play different teams and see different levels of competition. We want to be as diverse as possible and be ready to play anybody at any time. I think I've always enjoyed playing other teams and it's good for the kids to experience that as well because it makes them better basketball players in the long run."

Francis Scott Key's girls basketball team, also undefeated this season, travels to Milford Mill Academy for this year's tournament. The Eagles are off to their first 5-0 start in 15 years. South Carroll's girls are playing in the Holly and Hoops tournament at Notre Dame Prep beginning today.

Winters Mill is hosting the Winters Mill Holiday Classic, an eight-team tournament starting today. The Falcons are the only Carroll girls team involved, but WM and Francis Scott Key's boys are participating.

Century has its Holiday Hoops Classic tipping off tonight, with the Knights taking on Severna Park in one of the semifinals.

Liberty hosts a boys tourney that starts Tuesday and includes South Carroll and the host Lions.

These tournaments also give athletes a chance to stay loose until the regular season picks back up in a few weeks.

Liberty, Manchester Valley, South Carroll, and Westminster are all competing in this year's Duals at Westminster wrestling event. The two-day tournament fields 18 teams this year, and SC coach Bryan Hamper said it should get his kids out of their comfort zone to wrestle this year's quality of opponents.

"The great thing about break tournaments is that the kids can focus solely on wrestling and they can shift their focus on the preparation of eating right and maintaining their weight to compete," Hamper said. "It's a good way to kind of get rejuvenated to fuel up for the posteason and to peak at the end of the year."

South Carroll finished 10-0 in last year's Duals, good for first place. Jamar Williams won the event's Most Outstanding Wrestler award for the upper weight classes as a junior. Williams, a senior, reached his 100th career win last week and improved to 100-3 all-time.

Williams (182 pounds) fellow senior Joey Thomas (126) are each going after a third consecutive state championship.

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"The Westminster duals are a good first tournament where all of our guys are healthy," Hamper said. "It's great competition that's been added to the field, there's some Pennsylvania teams and other good private and public teams. There's 18 total this year so it's great competition and a great way to get 10 matches in over break to get quality mat time."

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Today's Games

Boys Basketball

Knights Holiday Hoops Classic

Wootton vs. Marriotts Ridge, 5:30

Century vs. Severna Park, 7:30

Man Valley Holiday Hoops Tournament

Ben Franklin vs. Hereford, 5

Fallston vs. Manchester Valley, 7

Winters Mill Holiday Mixer

Francis Scott Key vs. Tuscarora (Va.), 4

Winters Mill vs. Howard, 8:30

Mt. Vernon Holiday Tournament

Gerstell at Mt. Vernon (Va.), TBD

Girls Basketball

Howard High School Tournament

South River vs. City, 5:30

Liberty vs. Howard, 7

Manchester Valley Holiday Hoops Tournament

Westminster vs. Middletown, 1

Marriotts Ridge vs. Man Valley, 3

Milford Mill Tournament

Francis Scott Key vs. Duval, 4:30

Notre Dame Prep Tournament

South Carroll vs. Dunbar, 11 a.m.

Vernon Brown Memorial Tournament

Orange Division: Century vs. Towson, 5

Orange Division: Fallston vs. Dulaney, 7

Winters Mill Holiday Tournament

Aberdeen vs. Coppin Academy, 1

Glenelg vs. Gaithersburg, 2:30

Centennial vs. Mercy, 5:30

C. Milton Wright vs. Winters Mill, 7

Wrestling

Francis Scott Key Jeff Yingling Memorial Christmas Tournament

Century, FSK, Gerstell at FSK tourney, 10 a.m.

Duals at Westminster

Liberty, Man Valley, SC, Westminster at Duals, 10 a.m.



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