The reprieve from classes over the Christmas holidays is a welcome break for students and their teachers. But for basketball teams whose season straddles these holidays, an extended vacation from competition is not necessarily beneficial. So the Underwood’s Christmas Classic Friday and Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum and Brownwood High School is exactly what participating high school players and coaches had on their list to Santa.

It’s a chance for teams to continue to improve before district play either begins or resumes, depending on schedules, in January. For teams like Early, which had athletes still playing football while other schools were already shooting hoops, it’s an opportunity to make up for lost time in this winter sport.

The 12-team boys-only basketball tournament will feature some two dozen games with teams like Granbury, Killeen Shoemaker, Wichita Fall and Arlington Sam Houston. But local squads will be showcased, with Brownwood, Early, Bangs and Goldthwaite among those planning to participate. And those games will be held around afternoon games matching Howard Payne University and UT-Perminan Basin. The men will play Friday, and the women will play Saturday, both at 3 p.m.

Many fans of these teams have this week between Christmas and New Year’s off, so this is one tournament where attendance will be larger than it might be otherwise. That means more visitors figure to be coming to town, and they are always welcome.

You don’t have to be a fan of a particular team playing this week; even casual observers of high school basketball will find something to enjoy at this weekend’s tournament.

Shopping the post-Christmas sales can be exhausting. Taking in a basketball game is just the ticket.

Brownwood Bulletin