High school holiday tournaments are going full bore Friday, all across the state, and featuring just about every sport and every team.
One of the largest in New Hampshire, of course, is the Noyes Volkswagen Holiday Boys’ Basketball Tournament at Keene State College. It kicked off this morning at Spaulding Gymnasium, and features 16 teams representing five states. All six local teams are in the field and eight games are scheduled each day, Friday through Sunday.
The tournament is split into two eight-team divisions. The White Division, generally for teams with smaller enrollments, will play the first four games of the day; then the Red Division takes over starting at 4 p.m. The local highlight is a day-ending double-header featuring ConVal Regional High against Conant High at 7 p.m., followed by Keene High vs. Monadnock Regional High at 8:30.
Meanwhile, less than a mile from Spaulding Gym, a daylong girls’ hockey jamboree is being held Friday at Keene ICE. It includes two local teams (Keene-Fall Mountain and ConVal-Conant) and eight teams in all representing 15 schools. That’s because many high school teams combine more than one high school.
The tournament is set up in a jamboree format, with each team playing three time-shortened games. It started at 9 a.m. and the last game is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. There are 12 games in all, and each will last about 40 minutes, with the ice being resurfaced after every two games.
Elsewhere on the ice, the Keene boys kicked off their holiday tournament at Conway Arena in Nashua Thursday with a 4-3 win over Nashua South-Pelham. The eight-team, three-day tournament is also being played under shortened time — two 20-minute halves instead of three 15-minute periods. Keene plays again Friday at 2:30 p.m. against Nashua North, and the championship is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.
Thursday, the Birds got goals from Ben Brown, Ethan Russell, Jerred Tattersall and Joe Walsh. Assists went to Zach Mooers (2), Walsh, Russell, Tattersall and Brown. Jacob Russell earned the win in goal with 12 saves, and Walsh took the hard hat for his hard work and game winner. Keene outshot North 32-15.
Several area girls’ basketball teams are in action Friday. Fall Mountain Regional is hosting the MG Sports Holiday Basketball at The Den, featuring the Wildcats and Hinsdale High, along with Stevens High of Claremont, Mascoma Valley, Hillsboro-Deering and Littleton. In Friday action, Hinsdale plays Stevens at 1 p.m., followed by the host Wildcats against Littleton at 2:30.
At Manchester Central, the eight-team Doug Chandler Christmas Tournament starts Friday with Conant taking on Manchester West at 1 p.m. Also, ConVal plays host to Central at 4 p.m. and Monadnock wraps up the day against Manchester Memorial at 6 p.m.
Not to be left out, Keene State College is also in action this weekend after a couple of weeks off. The Owl men are in Wooster, Ohio, for the E.M. “Mose” Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic/Great Lakes Invitational and take on the host team Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Wooster is 7-1 and claims to have the best record in all of Division III in the 2000s: 501-105. KSC will play again Sunday against John Carroll.
The KSC women travel further West, all the way to Las Vegas, for the D3 Hoops Classic. Once there, on Sunday the Owls will play Amherst College, just an hour’s drive from Keene. Amherst is ranked sixth in the country.
Also of note, the annual Minickiello Holiday Wrestling Tournament hosted by Keene High is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 4.