Over the years, the Lash-Chronicle Holiday Tournament has blossomed as an early-season showcase for junior varsity basketball in the Triad. The tournament opens first-round games on Dec. 14, followed by the quarterfinals (Dec. 20), semifinals (Dec. 21) and championship game (Dec. 23).
Carver High School will serve as the main site for this year’s tournament, which is in its 22nd year. Aside from games at Carver, two quarterfinal-round games will be played at Winston-Salem Prep on Dec. 21.
“The Lash-Chronicle is a great opportunity for young players,” said Coach Rodney White, an assistant Parkland varsity coach who coached junior varsity at East Forsyth for two seasons. “It’s a tournament that has a lot of competition and there’s always a good crowd that comes out to watch the games. At East, our kids were always excited about playing in it. And I feel sure that it’s like that for the other teams. Every year, we circled the date (of the tournament) on our calendars and it was always one of our team goals to win it. It’s like a mini-Frank Spencer Classic.”
Seedings and pairings for this year’s Lash-Chronicle event will be finalized on Saturday (Dec. 7). The tournament field includes: Forsyth Country Day, Lexington, Walkertown, North Forsyth, West Forsyth, East Forsyth, Parkland, Mount Tabor, Reynolds, Reagan, Atkins, Carver, Winston-Salem Prep and Glenn.
“From the very start, the interest in this tournament has continued to grow,” said Robert Wynn, who has served as the L-C coordinator since the tournament’s inception in 1992. “We started out with eight teams. As the school system added more high schools, we expanded to accommodate them. We had 19 schools that sent in applications to play in this year’s tournament. But we had to keep the field to 14 (teams) in order to stay within the dates and times that have already been set for the tournament.”
There are no clear-cut favorites as to which team is most likely to win this year’s Lash-Chronicle title. West Forsyth is the defending tournament champ. However, if recent history is any indication, it would be difficult to look past Winston-Salem Prep as a bonafide tournament championship contender.
The Phoenix junior varsity has become a viable feeder system for Winston-Salem Prep’s varsity program, which has won back-to-back Class 1-A state titles. Two years ago, the Phoenix junior varsity won this tournament and advanced to last year’s final, where it lost to West Forsyth.