Dec 18, 2012 5:51 PM by Andrew Masuda

Mission Prep's Christmas Classic brings star-studded field to town

One of the nation's premier high school basketball tournaments is about to return to the Central Coast. Mission Prep's 14th annual Christmas Classic opens on Wednesday.

The host Royals are busy preparing this week to welcome in some of the finest competition they will face and see this season. Top squads from Utah, Washington, Colorado and Pennsylvania will try to dethrone three-time defending National Division champion Taft.

The Royals, Righetti and San Luis Obispo will compete in the Elite Division bracket against some of the top teams from California like Campbell Hall, Mission Hills and Marin Catholic. Atascadero and St. Joseph will each play one challenge game.

"This gives local teams the opportunity to play against some of the best in the state and some of the best in the country. It's something these kids will never forget," said Mission Prep head coach and organizer Terrance Harris.

All told, more than one dozen NBA players like Jrue Holiday and DeMar DeRozan, along with hundreds of Division I athletes have dazzled fans at the Classic in years past. Once again some of the top prospects in the nation will be on hand this week, including Campbell Hall sophomore Aaron Holiday (younger brother of Jrue), 8th ranked Bishop Montgomery's Lamond Murray Junior (son of former NBA star Lamond Murray) and Seattle Prep's D.J. Fenner, the top recruit in the state of Washington, who is averaging 30 points per game.

"I'm so excited .It's the only time of the year you get to play against the best of the best. I'm just looking forward to it, the high competition, there are a lot of athletes out there," added Mission senior Connor Woolpert, who said he expected the Royals to be extremely competitive this week.

The action starts with eight challenge games on Wednesday at Mission Prep and San Luis Obispo High School.

Bracket play opens Thursday and runs through Saturday. The schedule for the first two days is listed below. All games are at Mission Prep unless otherwise noted.

2pm Thunder Ridge (CO) vs Mission Hills
3:30 pm Taft vs Righetti
5 pm Campbell Hall vs Atascadero
5 pm Grandview (CO) vs Miramonte (@ SLO High)
6:30 pm Brighton (UT) vs San Luis Obispo (@ SLO High)
6:30 pm La Verne Lutheran vs Marin Catholic
8 pm Bishop Montgomery vs Mission Prep

10 am Campbell Hall vs Miramonte
11:30 am Grandview (CO) vs La Verne Lutheran
1 pm Bishop Montgomery vs Brighton (UT)
2:30pm Taft vs Seattle Prep (WA)
4 pm Mission Hills vs Righetti
5:30 pm San Luis Obispo vs La Verne Lutheran
7 pm Mission Prep vs Marin Catholic
8:30 pm Thunder Ridge (CO) vs Imhotep Charter (PA)



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