It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
No, not Christmas and Santa Clause, but the Minden Holiday Classic.
The 25th Annual Gibsland Bank & Trust Holiday Classic tips off Wednesday at three locations around the city of Minden with 20 boys teams and 20 girls teams ready to battle for the coveted tournament’s title.
This year’s field features teams from Webster, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Lincoln and Red River Parish, as well as newcomer to the boys field, Camden, Arkansas.
The girls field features teams from those same parishes, plus Montgomery High School from Grant Parish and tournament veterans, El Dorado, Arkansas.
For the third consecutive season, the Minden Recreation Center will host games in addition to Webster Junior High and Minden’s home court, The Palace.
Here is a look at every single first round game.
3:30 – Lakeside vs. Homer (Girls)
4:50 – Mansfield vs. Ruston (Girls)
6:10 – Homer vs. Lakeside (Boys)
7:30 – Airline vs. Mansfield (Boys)
8:50 – Minden vs. Doyline (Girls)
Webster Jr. High
3:30 – Red River vs. Evangel (Girls)
4:50 – N. Webster vs. Red River (Boys)
6:10 – N. Webster vs. Montgomery (Girls)
7:30 – Woodlawn vs. Parkway (Boys)
8:50 – Haughton vs. Calvary (Boys)
3:30 – Haughton vs. Haynesville (Girls)
4:50 – Neville vs. Haynesville (Boys)
6:10 – Loyola vs. Southwood (Girls)
7:30 – Evangel vs. Plain Dealin (Boys)
8:50 – Jonesboro-Hodge vs. Loyola (Boys)
This year marks the Silver Anniversary of the tournament’s inception and Minden boys head coach Alan Shaw, one of the two men who put the first tournament together, believes this year’s edition will be the best yet.
“The tournament is loaded with lots of good ball teams on both the boys and girls side,” Shaw said. “I expect we’ll see some of these teams in the top 28 this year. For $5 you can see as many ball games as you want everyday. We probably give the best deal of anybody. This tournament is well-known and put on in a quality fashion and I think that’s what has made it so special.”