Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Today starts the countdown to the best high school basketball tournament of the season.
The STOP-DWI holiday classic is celebrating 20 years this season, and again they tip things off at the Charlie Howland Memorial luncheon.
There is a greater message to the games, even if the games themselves are pretty great.
We take a look at this year's tourney in the action sports spotlight.
Every tournament director everywhere will try and convince you this is the BEST FIELD EVER...but Rick Westfall of the STOP DWI Holiday classic makes a convincing case.
" You have Mt. Vernon coming, which is the NY State High School champion, and the federation tournament. You have Christ the King coming from the city that was federation champion in NYC and Mt. Vernon and Christ the King played for the Federation title. It went into overtime and Mt. Vernon beat them, by I think 1 point. They're missing one guy, both teams. So they're coming back with almost everybody. "
It plays out in the national division that Mt. Vernon and Christ the King could meet again in the tournament finals.
Unless one of them gets tripped up, by say maybe the new entry to the national field, Seton Catholic Central.
" When Chris Sinicki turned in his application for the regional division, he had a little note there that said, call me, I want to talk about the nationals. So we talked and I said, yeah Chris, let's put you in the nationals, you'll be the last game of the night, bring in a lot of people and make me happy that you put on a good show. "
The host Binghamton Patriots are back in the regional division, along with 7 other area teams, all looking forward to getting back inside the Veterans Memorial Arena.
Seth Thomsen says, " There's nothing like it. It's really incredible when you run out there on a bigger court for a big game. "
Trenton Benton adds, " I like the floors. And playing in front of all those people. "
The tournament kicks off at the 3-Point and Slam Dunk Contest at Binghamton High School at 3:30pm on Tuesday, December 27th. With games at the Arena the following 3 days.