Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
Beautiful Christmas lights aren't the only things worth beholding this week.
There is also eye-catching hoops action to be enjoyed.
A day after the gifts have been opened, the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic kicks off at Cascade Christian High and Phoenix High. The action starts Thursday and wraps up Saturday.
The main eight-team event features some teams with good resumes, including three defending state champions (Class 4A North Valley boys, 4A Mazama girls and 3A Valley Catholic girls). Five teams have just one loss.
The other teams in the boys unlimited bracket are Valley Catholic (which advanced to the state semifinals last year), Cascade Christian (which lost to Valley Catholic in the 3A quarterfinals), Ashland (3-3), Dayton (3-2), Santiam Christian (1-2) and Phoenix (2-3).
The other squads in the girls bracket are Cascade Christian (2-4), Ashland (2-4), Dayton (2-3), Illinois Valley (2-2), Santiam Christian (1-2) and North Valley (3-2).
The event also feature a varsity division that will slate smaller schools and lower-level teams in a round-robin format.
Last year, North Valley beat Dayton, 57-33, in the unlimited division championship tilt. JJ Chirnside and Cameron Lyon scored 16 points for the Knights, who would go on to have an undefeated year.
The Challenger boys topped Santiam Christian, 53-38, to capture third place at the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic in 2012.
On the girls side, Skyline Conference rival Mazama downed Phoenix, 56-30, in the girls unlimited title game last winter.
Play begins on the boys side Thursday with North Valley (4-1) facing Santiam Christian at 5:15 p.m. at Phoenix, Dayton playing Mazama at 5:15 p.m. at Cascade Christian, Cascade Christian (4-1) taking on Ashland at 7 p.m. at Cascade Christian and Phoenix challenging Valley Catholic (5-1) at 8:45 p.m. at Phoenix.
In the girls bracket, Dayton plays Mazama (3-1) at 3:30 p.m. at Cascade Christian, Illinois Valley faces Santiam Christian at 3:30 p.m. at Phoenix, Valley Catholic (5-1) goes up against North Valley at 7 p.m. at Phoenix and Cascade Christian and Ashland square off at 8:45 p.m. at Cascade Christian.
All championship games will be played at Cascade Christian, while all consolation will be held at Phoenix.
Keep up with the action online at www.facebook.com/ChristmasClassic.
Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email email@example.com. Find him online at www.twitter.com/dljcards or facebook.com/danjonesmt