Christmas tournament action on tap

Lexington’s Jasmine Carter dumps off a pass during a recent game. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

High school basketball fans will have the opportunity to catch plenty of the sport beginning the day after Christmas when the annual NewBridge Bank Christmas Classic gets under way at Ledford.

There will be six first-round games starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Semifinals and consolations will be played on Thursday. Two consolation games will be played Friday before the two championship contests.

Formerly a tournament that stretched over five or six days and concluded on New Year’s Eve, the NewBridge Christmas Classic became a three-day tournament in 2011.

“It’s the same amount of games and people have the time to do other things,” said longtime tournament director Donald Palmer.

Central Davidson, West Davidson, Lexington, North Davidson, East Davidson, South Davidson, Ledford and Southeast Guilford will compete in a full, eight-team girls bracket.

The six-team boys bracket includes Central Davidson, West Davidson, East Davidson, South Davidson, Ledford and Southeast Guilford.

Thomasville’s boys are playing in the Sheetz Classic at Southwest Guilford and North Davidson’s boys are playing in the Frank Spencer Classic in Winston-Salem. The Thomasville girls, who played in the Mary Garber Holiday Classic, and the Lexington boys are idle next week.

In first round action at the NewBridge tournament on Wednesday, Lexington’s girls play Southeast Guilford at 1 p.m., Ledford’s girls and North Davidson play at 2:30 p.m., South Davidson’s girls play Central Davidson at 4 p.m., the South Davidson boys face Central Davidson at 5:30 p.m., the West Davidson girls play the East Davidson girls at 7 p.m. and the West Davidson boys play the East Davidson boys at 8:30 p.m. Ledford’s boys and Southeast Guilford’s boys have first-round byes. Ledford will play in the 8:30 p.m. semifinal game on Thursday.

On Thursday, there will be girls’ consolation games at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., a girls’ semifinal game at 4 p.m., a boys’ semifinal game at 5:30 p.m., a girls’ semifinal game at 7 p.m. and a boys’ semifinal game at 8:30 p.m.

On Friday, there will be boys’ consolation games at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., the girls’ championship game at 6:30 p.m. and the boys’ championship game at 8 p.m.

North Davidson’s boys face Starmount in the first round of the Pepsi Cola bracket of the Frank Spencer at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at East Forsyth. That tournament also runs through Friday at East Forsyth and Joel Coliseum.

Thomasville will face High Point Central at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Sheetz Classic. That tournament runs through Saturday at Southwest Guilford.

Palmer is holding out hope that the NewBridge tournament can regain some of the county teams it has lost over the years. Thomasville pulled out nine years ago, citing the tournament’s length and playing the same teams it played in the regular season. North’s boys are in the Frank Spencer for the second year in a row but Palmer said he had a conversation with Black Knights co-athletic Mark Holcomb about returning.

“He said there was a possibility they could return next year,” Palmer said.

Holcomb confirmed that.

“There’s a chance,” he said. “We let our coaches decide. If there’s a tournament they want to go to, we let them.”

The groundwork could be there for a Thomasville return in the future since the tournament has been shortened.

“It’s good that it’s three days,” said Thomasville athletic director Woody Huneycutt. “Next year Central Davidson will be in another conference so it wouldn’t be like having another conference tournament. It’s up to our coaches where they want to play. We let them decide.”

Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or