Based on team seeding, the most likely participants to make this year’s final in the David Lash Holiday Classic are Winston-Salem Prep and Reagan. The Phoenix, who won the tournament a year ago, is the No. 1 seed and a solid pick to win back-to-back titles.
Whether or not the 13 teams in the tournament live up to their seeding is yet to be determined. The Lash Classic winner earns annual bragging rights as the best in junior varsity basketball in Forsyth County.
This year’s tournament started yesterday with the play-in game between Walkertown and Carver. All games will be played at Carver, with the exception of two games to be played at Winston-Salem Prep on Dec. 20. The semifinal round is set for Dec. 21 with the third-place and championship final scheduled for Dec. 22.
Second-seeded Reagan, undefeated at 6-0, could end up being Prep’s prime challenger. Forsyth Country Day, seeded third, is sure to be in the mix and so will No. 4 seed East Forsyth.
Reynolds, who started the season with four consecutive wins, is this year’s dark-horse squad. The Demons are more than capable of pulling off a few surprises by tournament’s end.
The formula for winning hasn’t changed any for Winston-Salem Prep (3-0). Coach Bill Tibbs doesn’t have to rely on a core group of players to log heavy minutes. On most nights, the Phoenix will go 11-deep and wear down the opposition.
“We’re still learning to play together,” Tibbs said. “But I’m especially looking forward to seeing how much more they’ll grow by this time next month.”
Hard work and dedication to playing stifling defense has keyed Reagan’s success so far. Coach Willie Harrison acknowledged that even though the season is still young, he’s seen enough to convince him that the Raiders can more than hold their own every night out.
“So much depends on how they continue to work every day they come to practice,” Harrison said. “This team could have an excellent season. It’s all a matter of how well they can take what we do in practice and have that carry over to game situations.”
Reynolds doesn’t have any so-called marquee players, according to Coach Mike Coker. What the Demons do have, he explained, is a scrappy group that has developed a passion for playing tough defense.
“We go out and hustle and battle for everything we get,” he said. “We’re working on developing some depth so we don’t lose too much when we go to our bench.”