12-25-23 roundup: Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, High school basketball

By Richard Walker

It’s hard to believe that what is now such a common holiday tradition wasn’t even a regular event until the 1970s.

So this week when high school basketball tournaments dominate the area’s sports landscapes, keep in mind an area team isn’t even believed to have participated in a holiday tournament until 1955.

And it took another 20 years or so for those events to be commonplace.

That historic 1st tournament appearance came in 1955 when the current Bojangles Coliseum had just opened and was then called the Charlotte Coliseum.

A Charlotte Observer photo from the 1955 Charlotte Invitational game between Gastonia Ashley and Raleigh.

Called the “Charlotte High School Invitational,” it also was called “the first … pre-Christmas tournament ever held in the state” for high school teams by The Charlotte Observer. (Further research shows that Hickory hosted a 5-year Kiwanis Tournament from 1947 to 1951 and old Fallston High of Cleveland in 1949 and old North Brook High of Lincoln County in 1951 competed with Hickory-area teams in that event.)

In the 1955 held at the brand new Charlotte Coliseum, Gastonia’s old Ashley High was was invited as part of the 4-team field that included Charlotte Central (now Garinger), Durham (Durham School of the Arts) and Raleigh (now Raleigh Broughton).

Ashley was only 10 months removed from its 1st appearance in the state finals – it lost to Asheville – while Central, Durham and Raleigh were Class 3A state powers and in the highest classification of the N.C. High School Athletic Association.

Ashley would lose both games – to Raleigh in the opening round and to Durham in the consolation round – while Raleigh would claim the tournament title with a 2-0 record finished off with a 51-42 victory over Central in the championship game.

The Charlotte Coliseum that season would host Belmont Abbey, Davidson and North Carolina “home” games and would later would become the “home” venue for UNC Charlotte basketball and several professional teams, among them the minor league Charlotte Checkers hockey team (it remains their home), the ABA’s Carolina Cougars, Arena Football League Charlotte Rage and Cobras.

The venue also has hosted several NCAA tournament games, notably the opening round victory of eventual 1982 NCAA champion North Carolina with former Ashbrook star James Worthy and future NBA All-Stars Worthy, Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins on its roster.

The coliseum has also seen its name changed to Independence Arena, Cricket Arena and, finally, Bojangles Coliseum.

Since the NCHSAA limited teams to 20 regular season games until the 1970s, holiday tournaments didn’t truly take hold in the area until that decade.

Locally, the Cleveland County Holiday Classic started in 1971 and a tournament has been held by one of the four county high schools all but 5 years ever since; This year, Kings Mountain and Crest are both hosting holiday tournaments.

Cherryville held its 1st holiday tournament in 1973 and has held a tournament in 31 years since then, including this season. And in 7 of the years Cherryville didn’t hold a tournament, its teams competed in a countywide tournament from 1974 to 1980.

From 1985 to 1991, The Charlotte Observer sponsored an early-season tournament at Belmont Abbey’s Wheeler Center that included Gaston County schools.

Lincoln County’s two longest-running tournaments are ongoing, as the East Lincoln Winter Jam has been held every year since 1990 and the Peoples Bank Holiday tournament every year since 2003.

Here are the 2023 holiday tournament pairings that have been made available to CarolinasSportsHub.com:

(If you know of any others, please email their schedule and site to 22Richard [email protected])


-Bud Black/Dennis Tate Holiday Classic at Cherryville HS
(Wednesday, Dec. 27)
Girls- Highland Tech vs. Piedmont CC, 3 p.m.
Boys- Highland Tech vs. Piedmont CC, 4:30 p.m.
Girls- Cherryville vs. Thomas Jefferson, 6 p.m.
Boys- Cherryville vs. Thomas Jefferson, 7:30 p.m.
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Girls 3rd place, 3 p.m.
Boys 3rd place, 4:30 p.m.
Girls 1st place, 6 p.m.
Boys 1st place, 7:30 p.m.

-Crest Christmas Classic at Crest HS
(Wednesday, Dec. 27)
Girls- Chesnee, S.C. vs. Hendersonville, 3 p.m.
Boys- Chesnee, S.C. vs. Hendersonville, 4:30 p.m.
Girls- Burns vs. Crest, 6 p.m.
Boys- Burns vs. Crest, 7:30 p.m.
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Girls- Burns vs. Hendersonville, 3 p.m.
Boys- Burns vs. Hendersonville, 4:30 p.m.
Girls- Chesnee, S.C. vs. Crest, 6 p.m.
Boys- Chesnee, S.C. vs. Crest, 7:30 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 29)
Girls- Burns vs. Chesnee, S.C., 3 p.m.
Boys- Burns vs. Chesnee, S.C., 4:30 p.m.
Girls- Crest vs. Hendersonville, 6 p.m.
Boys- Crest vs. Hendersonville, 7:30 p.m.

-East Lincoln Winter Jam at East Lincoln HS
(Wednesday, Dec. 27)
Boys- Bessemer City vs. Christ the King, 1 p.m. (new gym)
Girls- Concord Robinson vs. East Meck, 1 p.m. (old gym)
Boys- Concord Robinson vs. Fort Mill, S.C. Comenius Knights, 2:30 p.m. (new gym)
Girls- Central Cabarrus vs. Bessemer City, 2:30 p.m. (old gym)
Girls- West Cabarrus vs. North Gaston, 4 p.m. (new gym)
Boys- Lake Norman Charter vs. SouthLake Christian, 5:30 p.m. (new gym)
Girls- East Lincoln vs. Lake Norman Charter, 7 p.m.
Boys- East Lincoln vs. North Gaston, 8:30 p.m. (new gym)
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Boys- LNC-SLC loser vs. CR-FMCK loser, 1 p.m. (new gym)
Girls- EL-LNC loser vs. CC-BC loser, 2:30 p.m. (old gym)
Boys- BC-CTK loser vs. EL-NG loser, 2:30 p.m. (new gym)
Girls- CR-EM loser vs. WC-NG loser, 2:30 p.m. (old gym)
Boys- LNC-SLC winner vs. CR-FMCK winner, 5:30 p.m. (new gym)
Boys- BC-CTK winner vs. EL-NG winner, 8:30 p.m. (new gym)
(Friday, Dec. 29)
Girls- 7th place, 10 a.m. (new gym)
Girls- 5th place, 11:30 a.m. (new gym)
Boys- 7th place, 1 p.m. (new gym)
Boys- 5th place, 2:30 p.m. (new gym)
Girls- 3rd place, 4 p.m. (new gym)
Boys- 3rd place, 5:30 p.m. (new gym)
Girls- 1st place, 7 p.m. (new gym)
Boys- 1st place, 8:30 p.m. (new gym)

-Peoples Bank Holiday Tournament at North Lincoln HS
(Wednesday, Dec. 27)
Girls- Bandys vs. Cramer, 9 a.m.
Boys- Bandys vs. Cramer, 10:30 a.m.
Girls- Ashbrook vs. Lincolnton, noon
Boys- Ashbrook vs. Lincolnton, 1:30 p.m.
Girls- Forestview vs. West Lincoln, 3 p.m.
Boys- Forestview vs. West Lincoln, 4:30 p.m.
Girls- North Lincoln vs. Christ the King, 6 p.m.
Boys- North Lincoln vs. East Gaston, 7:30 p.m.
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Girls- Bandys-Cramer loser vs. Ashbrook-Lincolnton loser, 9 a.m.
Boys- Bandys-Cramer loser vs. Ashbrook-Lincolnton loser, 10:30 a.m.
Girls- Forestview-West Lincoln loser vs. North Lincoln-Christ the King loser, noon
Boys- Forestview-West Lincoln loser vs. North Lincoln-East Gaston loser, 1:30 p.m.
Girls- Bandys-Cramer winner vs. Ashbrook-Lincolnton winner, 3 p.m.
Boys- Bandys-Cramer winner vs. Ashbrook-Lincolnton winner, 4:30 p.m.
Girls- Forestview-West Lincoln winner vs. North Lincoln-Christ the King winner, 6 p.m.
Boys- Forestview-West Lincoln winner vs. North Lincoln-East Gaston winner, 7:30 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 29)
Girls- 7th place, 9 a.m.
Boys- 7th place, 10:30 a.m.
Girls- 5th place, noon
Boys- 5th place, 1:30 p.m.
Girls- 3rd place, 3 p.m.
Boys- 3rd place, 4:30 p.m.
Girls- 1st place, 6 p.m.
Boys- 1st place, 7:30 p.m.


-Mountaineer Classic at Kings Mountain HS
(Wednesday, Dec. 27)
No. 3 Providence Day vs. No. 6 Charlotte Lab Prep, 3 p.m.
No. 4 Gaston Day vs. No. 5 Washington, D.C. Ballou, 4:30 p.m.
No. 2 Shelby vs. No. 7 East Rutherford, 6 p.m.
No. 1 Kings Mountain vs. No. 8 Palisades, 7:30 p.m.
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
3-6 loser vs. 2-7 loser, 3 p.m.
4-5 loser vs. 1-8 loser, 4:30 p.m.
3-6 loser vs. 2-7 loser, 6 p.m.
4-5 loser vs. 1-8 loser, 7:30 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 29)
7th place, 3 p.m.
5th place, 4:30 p.m.
3rd place, 6 p.m.
1st place, 7:30 p.m.

-Bobcat Classic at Bluffton, S.C. HS
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
South Point vs. Jacksonville, Fla. Episcopal, 4:30 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 29)
(Saturday, Dec. 30)

-Phenom New Year’s Bash at Chambers HS
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Gaston Christian vs. Mallard Creek, 4:30 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 29)
(Saturday, Dec. 30)


-Lexington, S.C. River Bluff HS tournament
(Thursday, Dec. 21)
Huss vs. Easley, S.C., 3:30 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 22)
Huss vs. Blacksburg, S.C., 6 p.m.
(Saturday, Dec. 23)
Huss vs. West Columbia, S.C., Airport, noon

-Lindberg Moody Classic at Rock Hill, S.C. Northwestern HS
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Lincoln Charter vs. Kershaw, S.C. North Central, 11 a.m.
Northwestern, S.C. vs. Lewisville, S.C., 1 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 29)
3rd place, 10 a.m.
1st place, 1 p.m.

-Copperhead Classic at Fort Mill, S.C. Catawba Ridge HS
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Marvin Ridge vs. Fort Mill, S.C., noon (main gym)
South Point vs. Dutch Fork, S.C., 2 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
York Prep, S.C. vs. Catawba Ridge, S.C., 4 p.m. (main gym)
Palisades vs. Broome, S.C., 6 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
(Friday, Dec. 29)
MR-FM loser vs. SP-DF loser, 2 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
YP-CR loser vs. Pal-Bro loser, 6 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
MR-FM winner vs. SP-DF winner, noon (main gym)
YP-CR winner vs. Pal-Bro winner, 4 p.m. (main gym)
(Saturday, Dec. 30)
7th place, 2 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
5th place, 6 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
3rd place, noon (main gym)
1st place, 4 p.m. (main gym)

-Rock Hill, S.C. Events Center tournament (games also played at Clover HS)
(Thursday, Dec. 28)
Huss vs. West Charlotte, 3 p.m.
(Friday, Dec. 29)
Huss vs. TBD, 3 p.m.
(Saturday, Dec. 30)
Huss vs. Clover, S.C., 4 p.m.









Pro football

The 2023 Carolina Panthers’ schedule:

Sept. 10 at Atlanta (L 10-24)
Sept. 18 New Orleans (L 17-20)
Sept. 24 at Seattle (L 27-37)
Oct. 1 Minnesota (L 13-21)
Oct. 8 at Detroit (L 24-42)
Oct. 15 at Miami (L 21-42)
Oct. 22 OFF WEEK
Oct. 29 Houston (W 15-13)
Nov. 5 Indianapolis (L 13-27)
Nov. 9 at Chicago (L 13-16)
Nov. 19 Dallas (L 10-33)
Nov. 26 at Tennessee (L 10-17)
Dec. 3 at Tampa Bay (L 18-21)
Dec. 10 at New Orleans (L 6-28)
Dec. 17 Atlanta (W 9-7 )
Dec. 24 Green Bay (L 30-33)
Dec. 31 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Jan. 7 Tampa Bay, TBD










Pro basketball

Here is the Charlotte Hornets’ 2023-24 regular season schedule:

Wed. 25 ATLANTA (W 116-110)
Fri. 27 DETROIT (L 99-111)
Mon. 30 BROOKLYN (L 121-133)
Wed. 1 at Houston (L 119-128)
Sat. 4 at Indiana (W 125-124)
Sun. 5 at Dallas (L 118-124)
Wed. 8 WASHINGTON (L 116-132)
Fri. 10 at Washington (W 124-117)
Sun. 12 at New York (L 107-129)
Tue. 14 MIAMI (L 105-111)
Fri. 17 MILWAUKEE (L 99-130)
Sat. 18 NEW YORK (L 108-122)
Mon. 20 BOSTON (W 121-118, OT)
Wed. 22 WASHINGTON (W 117-114)
Sun. 26 at Orlando (L 117-130)
Tue. 28 at New York (L 91-115)
Thu. 30 at Brooklyn (W 129-128)
Sat. 2 MINNESOTA (L 117-123)
Wed. 6 at Chicago (L 100-111)
Fri. 8 TORONTO (W 119-116)
Mon. 11 MIAMI (L 114-116)
Wed. 13 at Miami (L 104-115)
Fri. 15 NEW ORLEANS (L 107-112)
Sat. 16 PHILADELPHIA (L 82-135)
Mon. 18 at Toronto (L 99-114)
Wed. 20 at Indiana (L 113-144)
Sat. 23 DENVER (L 95-102)
Tue. 26 at LA Clippers 10:30 p.m.
Thu. 28 at L.A. Lakers 10:30 p.m.
Fri. 29 at Phoenix 9 p.m.
Mon. 1 at Denver 9 p.m.
Tue. 2 at Sacramento 10 p.m.
Fri. 5 at Chicago 8 p.m.
Mon. 8 CHICAGO 7 p.m.
Wed. 10 SACRAMENTO 7 p.m.
Fri. 12 at San Antonio 10 p.m.
Sun. 14 at Miami 6 p.m.
Wed. 17 at New Orleans 8 p.m.
Fri. 19 SAN ANTONIO 7 p.m.
Sat. 20 PHILADELPHIA 7 p.m.
Mon. 22 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Wed. 24 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Fri. 26 HOUSTON 7 p.m.
Sat. 27 UTAH 7 p.m.
Mon. 29 NEW YORK 7 p.m.
Wed. 31 CHICAGO 7 p.m.
Fri. 2 at Oklahoma City 8 p.m.
Sun. 4 INDIANA 6 p.m.
Mon. 5 L.A. LAKERS 7 p.m.
Wed. 7 TORONTO 7 p.m.
Fri. 9 at Milwaukee 8 p.m.
Sat. 10 MEMPHIS 7 p.m.
Mon. 12 INDIANA 7 p.m.
Wed. 14 ATLANTA 7 p.m.
Thu. 22 at Utah 9 p.m.
Fri. 23 at Golden State 10 p.m.
Sun. 25 at Portland 9 p.m.
Tue. 27 at Milwaukee 8 p.m.
Thu. 29 MILWAUKEE 7 p.m.
Fri. 1 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Sun. 3 at Toronto 6 p.m.
Tue. 5 ORLANDO 7 p.m.
Fri. 8 at Washington 7 p.m.
Sat. 9 BROOKLYN 7 p.m.
Mon. 11 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Wed. 13 at Memphis 8 p.m.
Fri. 15 PHOENIX 7 p.m.
Sat. 16 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Tue. 19 at Orlando 7 p.m.
Sat. 23 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Mon. 25 at Cleveland 7 p.m.
Wed. 27 CLEVELAND 7 p.m.
Fri. 29 GOLDEN STATE 7 p.m.
Sun. 31 LA CLIPPERS 6 p.m.
Mon. 1 BOSTON 7 p.m.
Wed. 3 PORTLAND 7 p.m.
Fri. 5 ORLANDO 7 p.m.
Sun. 7 OKLAHOMA CITY 6 p.m.
Tue. 9 DALLAS 7 p.m.
Wed. 10 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Fri. 12 at Boston 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 14 at Cleveland 1 p.m.









College basketball

Results and schedule for area men’s college basketball:

(Friday, Dec. 29)
Charlotte at Stetson

(Saturday, Dec. 30)
Belmont Abbey at Carson-Newman
Davidson at Ohio U.
Gardner-Webb at VCU
Queens at Duke

(Tuesday, Jan. 2)
Charlotte at SMU

(Wednesday, Jan. 3)
Cleveland CC vs. Florida State Jacksonville (at Cape Fear CC)
Dayton at Davidson

(Thursday, Jan. 4)
Virginia State at J.C. Smith

(Saturday, Jan. 6)
Bluefield State at J.C. Smith
Cleveland CC at Cape Fear CC
Florida Atlantic at Charlotte
High Point at Gardner-Webb
Queens at Kent State

(Monday, Jan. 8)
Gaston College at Lees-McRae JV

(Tuesday, Jan. 9)
Rhode Island at Davidson

(Wednesday, Jan. 10)
Charleston Southern at Gardner-Webb
Florida Gulf Coast at Queens
Tulsa at Charlotte

(Thursday, Jan. 11)
Gaston College at Spartanburg Methodist

(Friday, Jan. 12)
Stetson at Queens

(Saturday, Jan. 13)
Bryant and Stratton at Cleveland CC
Charlotte at UTSA
Davidson at George Washington
Presbyterian at Gardner-Webb

(Sunday, Jan. 14)
Brunswick CC at Gaston College










College football

Here is the full 2023 college football bowl schedule:

Myrtle Beach Bowl: Ohio U. vs. Georgia Southern – Ohio U. 41-21
Dec. 16, Conway, S.C., ESPN, 11 a.m.

New Orleans Bowl: Jacksonville State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette – Jacksonville State 34-31 (OT)
Dec. 16, New Orleans, La., ESPN, 2:15 p.m.

Cure Bowl: Appalachian State vs. Miami (Ohio) – Appalachian State 13-9
Dec. 16, Orlando, Fla., ABC, 3:30 p.m.

New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Fresno State – Fresno State 37-10
Dec. 16, Albuquerque, N.M., ESPN, 5:45 p.m.

LA Bowl: UCLA vs. Boise State – UCLA 35-22
Dec. 16, Inglewood, Cal., ABC, 7:30 p.m.

Independence Bowl: Texas Tech vs. California – Texas Tech 34-14
Dec. 16, Shreveport, La., ESPN, 9:15 p.m.

Famous Toastery Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion – Western Kentucky 38-35 (OT)
Dec. 18, Charlotte, Jerry Richardson Stadium, ESPN, 2:30 p.m.

Frisco Bowl: Marshall vs. Texas-San Antonio – Texas-San Antonio 35-17
Dec. 19, Frisco, Tex., ESPN, 9 p.m.

Boca Raton Bowl: South Florida vs. Syracuse – South Florida 45-0
Dec. 21, Boca Raton, Fla., ESPN, 8 p.m.

Gasparilla Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Central Florida – Georgia Tech 30-17
Dec. 22, Tampa, Fla., ESPN, 6:30 p.m.

Birmingham Bowl: Duke vs. Troy – Duke 17-10
Dec. 23, Birmingham, Ala., ABC, noon

Camellia Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State – Northern Illinois 21-19
Dec. 23, Montgomery, Ala., ESPN, noon

Armed Forces Bowl: James Madison vs. Air Force – Air Force 31-21
Dec. 23, Fort Worth, Tex., ABC, 3:30 p.m.

Idaho Potato Bowl: Utah State vs. Georgia State – Georgia State 45-22
Dec. 23, Boise, Id., ESPN, 3:30 p.m.

68 Ventures Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama – South Alabama 59-10
Dec. 23, Mobile, Ala., ESPN, 7 p.m.

Las Vegas Bowl: Northwestern vs. Utah – Northwestern 14-7
Dec. 23, Las Vegas, Nev., ABC, 7:30 p.m.

Hawaii Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. San Jose State – Coastal Carolina 24-14
Dec. 23, Honolulu, Hi., ESPN, 10:30 p.m.

Quick Lane Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Minnesota
Dec. 26, Detroit, Mich., ESPN, 2 p.m.

First Responder Bowl: Texas State vs. Rice
Dec. 26, Dallas, Tex., ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Kansas vs. UNLV
Dec. 26, Phoenix, Ariz., ESPN, 9 p.m.

Military Bowl: Tulane vs. Virginia Tech
Dec. 27, Annapolis, Md., ESPN, 2 p.m.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. West Virginia
Dec. 27, Charlotte, Bank of America Stadium, ESPN, 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Bowl: Louisville vs. Southern California
Dec. 27, San Diego, Cal., Fox, 8 p.m.

Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Dec. 27, Houston, Tex., ESPN, 9 p.m.

Fenway Bowl: Boston College vs. SMU
Dec. 28, Boston, Mass., ESPN, 11 a.m.

Pinstripe Bowl: Miami (Fla.) vs. Rutgers
Dec. 28, Bronx, N.Y., ESPN, 2:15 p.m.

Pop-Tarts Bowl: N.C. State vs. Kansas State
Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla., ESPN, 5:45 p.m.

Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Arizona
Dec. 28, San Antonio, Tex., ESPN, 9:15 p.m.

Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. Kentucky
Dec. 29, Jacksonville, Fla., ESPN, noon

Sun Bowl: Oregon State vs. Notre Dame
Dec. 29, El Paso, Texas, CBS, 2 p.m.

Liberty Bowl: Iowa State vs. Memphis
Dec. 29, Memphis, Tenn., ESPN, 3:30 p.m.

Cotton Bowl: Ohio State vs. Missouri
Dec. 29, Arlington, Tex., ESPN, 8 p.m.

Peach Bowl: Penn State vs. Mississippi
Dec. 30, Atlanta, Ga., ESPN, noon

Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Maryland
Dec. 30, Nashville, Tenn., ABC, 2 p.m.

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Georgia
Dec. 30, Miami Gardens, Fla., ESPN, 4 p.m.

Arizona Bowl: Toledo vs. Wyoming
Dec. 30, Tucson, Ariz., 4:30 p.m.

ReliaQuest Bowl: Wisconsin vs. LSU
Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla., ESPN2, noon

Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Tennessee
Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla., ABC, 1 p.m.

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Liberty
Jan. 1, Glendale, Ariz., ESPN, 1 p.m.

(College Football Playoff)
Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. Alabama
Jan. 1, Pasadena, Cal., ESPN, 5 p.m.

Sugar Bowl: Washington vs. Texas
Jan. 1, New Orleans, La., ESPN, 8:45 p.m.

CFP championship game
Jan. 8, Houston, Tex., ESPN, 8 p.m.