tournaments, tournaments, tournaments
To qualify to be included in this category, the tournament must have been running for at least ten years.  Submit your tournament story to Bill Gaffey at wgaffey@pa.net


We list the year the event started.


1998:  Ligonier Valley Boosters Holiday Basketball Tournament.  A girls-only tournament for 10 years, intra-district rival Laurel Valley has won the championship three times.  Besides host Ligonier, Blacklick Valley has the most appearances, with six.  In its 11th year in 2008, the tournament expands to include a boys’ bracket, which will also feature the Rams of Laurel Valley. (Credit: Doug Kurtz)

1997: The A-K Valley (Allegheny - Kiski)  Cager Classic  founded by Gary Miller with the help of Glenn Mills and Doug Scholl. The Cager Classic has evolved into one of the  premier basketball all-star events (boys and girls) in western PA.   Each player selected is required to submit an essay on a given topic.  The event  is held at Highlands High School gymnasium  and is televised by the local Comcast broadcasting network.  Scholarships are awarded to the MVP's of each of the four squads and to each of the boy and girl essay winners.
Find info at   www.cagerclassic.com

1997: Jack Schott Memorial Holiday Tournament. 2012 marks the 16th Annual Tournament, in honor of a former scorekeeper and assistant coach. The 2012 dates are December 28 and 29, 6pm/7:30pm game times both nights. 12/28 matchups 6:00pm North Penn vs. Conwell Egan Catholic; 7:30pm Masterman vs. Holy Ghost Prep. December 29th: Consolation game 6:00pm/Championship 7:30pm.   (Credit: Jim Stewart)

1995:  The Stellar Construction ''Catch A Rising Star'' boys summer basketball tournament.  For four days, Cedar Beach becomes ''Basketballtown'' with players, coaches and lawn chair-carrying fans converging on West Allentown to watch a 64 team boys tournament.  Story HERE

1992: The Pennsylvania vs Maryland Senior High School All-Star Series.  Featuring top senior players from Pennsylvania playing top senior players from Maryland.  This series started at the Hersheypark Arena in 1992; in 2007 it was played at Steelton-Highspire High School.  History and scores HERE

1991: The Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament at Kennett High School is always held the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

1988: 19th annual Dean Patterson Great Chevy Shootout Bishop McCort’s Lady Crushers  tripped the Lady Marauders, 46-42, in the girls’ division championship game. (12/30/07). Had Guilfoyle won, the Lady Marauders would have gone all of 2007 without losing. The Lady Marauders won the Class A state title last season and their only loss in 32 games was to Delone Catholic in the finals of the Great Chevy Shootout, and that was in December, 2006.
(Jim Lane, Altoona Mirror)

1983: The Annual McDonald's High School Basketball Classic,  held in Erie  at the Gannon University Hammermill Center.  They always feature a top-notch field; in 2007 it was St. Edward, Lakewood (Ohio),  Solon (Ohio), Westchester, Los Angeles, (Calif), and for the 24th consecutive year  Erie Cathedral Prep.  It's usually about the second weekend in January.    (email  McDonaldsClassic@AOL.com)

1977: The Mid-State Roundball Classic started at Bishop McDevitt  in Harrisburg.  It moved over to Susquehanna Twp. High School in 2002.  It is played at the end of the season and features all-star games that include both boys and girls from Central Pennsylvania.

1977: 30th Annual UPJ Mountain Cat Basketball Tournament Central Cambria won the title over defending champion Hollidaysburg with a 61-48 victory on Dec 16, 2007.  The Red Devils got an MVP performance from junior Jordan Miller, who scored a game-high 32 points against the Golden Tigers after putting up 25 against Johnstown on opening night.

1975: DuBois Area Holiday Tournament.  The DuBois Area Holiday Tournament is a boys tournament – which began in 1975. Three schools – Brockway, Brookville and DuBois have competed in every tournament. During the 37th event in 2012, Central Tech defeated DuBois Area 73-53 in the championship contest while Brockway defeated Brookville 56-40 in the consolation game.
(Pamela Murdock – Athletic Director,  DuBois Area High School,  1/2/13)

1974: The Friday Night Pizza Tournament.  Started in 1974 in St. Mary's in Northwestern Pennsylvania is held every Friday during the summer at the outdoor basketball courts at Memorial Park.  It celebrated its 31st year in 2005.  Three man teams enter  in a double elimination tournament playing up to 7 points.  Prizes (usually pizzas) go to the winners.

1974: Triangle Club Holiday Tournament: Norristown has now won the tournament 21 times since its 1974 inception.  They recorded a 74-64, overtime win over Central Dauphin.  (Norristown Times Herald, 12/29/12)

1974: The Annual Perry County Girl's Tournament.  Started in 1974, it features Greenwood, West Perry, Susquenita, and Newport, all  four schools in Perry County.   It opens the season for these teams.  Shannon Dyer, the coach at Susquenita said in 2006, " the PeCo Tournament is probably the most nerve wracking.  You really don't know what to expect.  This early in the season, it comes down to which team's players show up ready to play."  (John Alvanitakis, Perry County Times, 11/30/06)

1973: the Annual Triangle Club Holiday Basketball Tournament  in West Norristown.   Norristown breezed past Upper Merion, 84-51, to claim the 2006 championship  in the 33rd year for the event.  Norristown has won the Triangle Club title three consecutive years and 12 out of the last 15 times.  (Jason Shandler, Norristown Times Herald)

1971: Windber Area Athletic Boosters Association Tournament
Windber will host the longest continuous running tip-off tournament in the state on Friday November 30, 2007, the Windber Area Athletic Boosters Association Tournament’s 36th annual event for girls.  The three-time defending tournament champion Bishop McCort girls did not return this season.   (CORY ISENBERG,  Johnstown Tribune Democrat)

1971: Shaler Area Basketball Boosters Jr. High Tournament, 37 years as of Feb 2008.  This true SCHOOL team Jr. High Tournament has been going on since 1971. The tournament is set up for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade boys, as well as 8th grade girls.
It is a single-elimination tournament and gives out team trophies to the top 4 teams in each division.
(No Freshman playing Varsity or JV are permitted to play, so the true 9th grade teams compete)
http://www.sasd.k12.pa.us/SAHS-Login.aspx?id=4106  (Jake Sieber 412-648-9972).

1971: Peter Turonis/Pennstar Classic Tournament. Matt Tanner coveted this opportunity to celebrate the holidays with a championship.Helping to get No. 3 Mid Valley off to a fast start, Tanner paced the team to a 59-26 win over host Carbondale Area on Friday night in the 41st Peter Turonis/Pennstar Classic Tournament.  (Scranton Times, 12/29/12)

1968: McGrane Holiday Basketball Tournament, the 44th Annual: Freshman, Junior Varsity & Varsity Divisions playing in 2012 includes  Lake Lehman, Hanover Area, Holy Redeemer and Pittston Area.   (Credit: James Higgins)

1967: Annual Shady Side Christmas Tournament.  In 2008 (12/27/08) at the 41st tournament, Baldwin sophomore guard Robbie Zewe, hit six 3-pointers in the opening 16 minutes and finished with seven treys and a game-high 23 points in the Baldwin Highlanders' 71-52 victory over the Riverside Panthers.

1966: Boswell Jaycees Basketball Tournament.  Intense defense and sizzling outside shooting helped the North Star girls’ basketball team pull away in the second half for a 66-48 victory over Forest Hills Thursday night in the opener of the 41st annual Boswell Jaycees Basketball Tournament on December 28, 2007.  (CORY ISENBERG,  Johnstown Tribune Democrat)


 

   Sonny Vaccaro

1965: The Dapper Dan Roundball Classic.  Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA. In 1965, Sonny Vaccaro (Trafford) and Pat DiCesare originated the Roundball Classic that at one time was the premier all-star basketball game in the country.  16,649 fans attended the 1979 game at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, the high water mark for the Roundball.  The game started to fade into history in 1986 when the decision was made to no longer have a Pennsylvania team, but instead offer a national format with teams representing North, South, East, and West. The game folded in 1992.  Vaccaro went on to became a high powered Nike executive,  probably best known for  signing Michael Jordan to his first sneaker deal.

1964:  The North Penn Holiday Tournament in its 48th year in Blossburg, Pa in 2012. Teams this year are N. Penn. Liberty, Canton and Galeton in boys. Belleville replaces Galeton in the girls. Girls Dec 27 and 29. Boys 28 and 29.  (Credit: Pete Hall)

1960: The Albert C. Donfrio Basketball Classic in  Conshohocken started in 1960 as a single-elimination tournament played at The Fellowship House of Conshohocken; it features most of the best high school players in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area, and often draws players from as far away as North Jersey and New York.

1959: the 53rd year for the tournament in 2012.   In 2006; Under the direction of veteran Coach Bob Donovan, the Lady Bucks advanced to the title tilt with a 51-48 victory. Wallenpaupack will play upstart Western Wayne, which KO’d Forest City by a score of 50-35.  (Kevin Edwards, The Wayne Independent)

1959: The Windber Rotary Tournament
held in Windber started about 1959 and they claim to be the longest running boys holiday tournament in Pennsylvania.  The tournament always features the best teams in the Johnstown Area.  Westmont Hilltop won the 2006 title 71-52 over host Windber.  “This is the classiest tournament around and we love coming here,” Westmont coach Dave Roman Jr. said. “The kids know all the history here, so this is special.” 
(Cory Isenburg, Johnstown Tribune Democrat)

1951: the Annual Lynett Memorial Tournament.  The first 50  events were held in the Scranton Catholic Youth Center.  In 2001, the Tournament switched to Scranton High School.  The Scranton Times-Tribune sponsors what is commonly referred to as "the granddaddy" of high school basketball tournaments each year during the Christmas season.  (Credit: Scranton Times-Tribune)

1950: Tyrone YMCA Open Basketball Tournament. The All-American Rathskeller of State College won the 15th Annual Tyrone YMCA Open Basketball Tournament by defeating Sam's Furniture of Philipsburg 116-113 in overtime in 1965. Ray Snyder of Bowling Green University scored 56 to lead the Skeller in the championship game.             (Tyrone Daily Herald ).
 Harrison Schlimm was named the MVP of the Eighth Annual Tyrone YMCA Basketball Tournament in 1958.  He scored 22 points in the St. Marys Collegians 61-45 win over Geesey Park in the quarterfinals, 33 points in a 75-72 overtime win over State College, and 25 points in the 63-53 overtime loss in the Tournament Finals to the Sinkers. 
(St. Marys Daily Press) 
The YMCA took a terrible flood loss in 2004.

1949: the Johnstown War Memorial Christmas Tournament. The nations top high school Christmas Tournament was held at the Johnstown (PA) War Memorial Arena. The first field had East Conemaugh led by all-stater Tommy Yewcic, McKeesport, Reading and Homestead.  Reading won the tournament and Leon Miller of Reading was named the Outstanding player.  Julius McCoy of Farrell was named the Outstanding Player in both 1950 and 1951. The tournament was modeled after a four-team event in New Orleans.  In 1954,  Philadelphia Overbrook won the tournament with  their star player, 7 '1" Wilt Chamberlain. Only three teams participated that year to accommodate Overbrook so they could also play in the Farrell Tournament that year.  Reggie Williams, Tyrone Bogues and Reggie Lewis played there in 1982-83 with Dunbar and all made history when each was selected in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft.  In  1991, Johnstown,  Blackhawk (had Dante Calabria),  Simon Gratz (had Rasheed Wallace) and the Dunbar Poets from Baltimore rounded out the four teams. Citing declining attendance, the tournament ceased after the 1994 event was completed.  In 1994, only 1,700 people attended.  The high water mark was 1972, when 8,000 fans attended.     (Mike Mastovich, Johnstown Tribune Democrat)   Find a copy of the 1954 Tournament Program HERE  (Program credit: Tom Taylor)

1938: the First NIT Post Season Tournament. The Temple University Owls of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania coached by Jim Usilton win the first ever NIT Tournament held in Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1937: the Sharon Hoyle Tournament  (once considered "Number 1" of such events in the Eastern United States) was held in April each year, All-star teams from the eastern United States played each year. Boston ABC won the 1997 Boy's Title, an 88-57 win over Pittsburgh Metro Index. Numerous college scouts attended and many players gained their scholarship based on their play in this post season tournament. However, later NCAA rules limited the participation of senior players  and  eliminated the visits by Division 1 coaches.  These limitations turned the event into an underclassman tournament, attendance declined, and in 2006, discussions took place about ending the long-running event.   The initial event was started by W. U. Hoyle, born in Somerset County in 1890. After serving as a sergeant major in World War I, he moved from Pittsburgh where he sponsored his first Hoyle teams and settled in Sharon in 1937.  There, he started his tournaments at the F. H. Buhl Club in 1940.  Proceeds from the events were used to help needy kids attend college.  In 1959, at age 69 he announced that he would become less active.  He received community awards for his work with the youth in Sharon from the Shenango Valley Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Sharon American Legion, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Optimist Club. 
 (Mairy Jayn Wege, Sharon Herald-3/7/59, "Hoyle is Sharon's Friend of the Boy")

1934: the First Brookville YMCA (Northwestern Independent) Tournament. It started in 1934, and reached its high water mark in 1941 when 48 teams were entered. Two time winners included the DuBois Litts, Ford City, and the Butler Cubs. As with other adult independent tournaments it faded into the basketball sunset in the 1960 's.

1931: the Rogers Tournament started at the Wilkes Barre Family YMCA.  It was named after William A. Rogers, who served as the physical director of the Y from 1906 to 1931.  The event was the brainchild of State Senator William Davis. The first tournament attracted eight teams and was won by a team called Luzerne Ex-High. The first tournament only had an open division, then in 1946 a boy's high school division was added, and in 1979 a girl's high school division.  In the early years, a team had to win the tournament three straight years to keep a trophy.  The Hazzard Rope team became the first to do that winning in 1941(defeating Central Slipper), 1942 (defeating White's Cafe),  and 1943 (Luzerne Anthracite). 
In 2005, the Bishop O'Reilly eighth grade team won the 75th annual tournament defeating the Lady Sixers 36-30.  Members of the championship team were from left, first row: Nicole Busch, Linnay Aufierre and Stacey Kandrac; second row, coach Jerry Busch, Morgan Kazmerski, Alexis Monahan, Brianna Dugas, Hilary Mihoch, and Katie Corgan.
(Larry Kishbaugh, Wilkes Barre Citizens Voice: 3/12/79)

 
1923: the first YMCA National Basketball Championship was held at Youngstown Ohio YMCA
(Credit: http://www.ymcapawt.org/eastfieldexperience/history.htm)

 

1920: the PIAA Boy's State Championship Tournament started in 1920 when Harrisburg Tech defeated Bellevue 38-34. Click HERE  for the box score of that game held at the Armory at Penn State University.


To qualify to be included in this category, the tournament must have been running for at least ten years.  Submit your tournament story to Bill Gaffey at wgaffey@pa.net
2006: Pre-season tournaments, found HERE           Tournament editorial, found HERE


Which tournament has the most history?
Annual McDonald's Basketball Classic, Erie
Albert C. Donfrio Basketball Classic, Conshohocken
Area Jaycees Holiday Tournament, Honesdale
Lynett Memorial Tournament, Scranton
Hoyle Tournament, Sharon
Area Athletic Boosters Tournament, Windber
See Results