DeMatha and Madison, the top-ranked boys and girls basketball teams, respectively, will be looking to add to their impressive starts in holiday tournaments starting Wednesday.
The two powers will be among more than 150 area schools participating in tournaments, including the second annual Washington Post Holiday Classic that will include a girls tournament this year.
Defending champion Springbrook (4-1) will be hard pressed to repeat as the field is stronger than a year ago. The 13th-ranked Blue Devils will join No. 7 Madison (4-0), No. 8 Coolidge (5-1), No. 14 Potomac (Md.) (3-1) with All-Met Rob Garner, No. 16 Chantilly (4-0) and No. 17 Good Counsel (8-0), the area's biggest surprise so far.
"We have gone from an idea to a premier regional holiday tournament and our goal is to be one of the best in the country," said tournament chairman Craig Tartasky. "We will continuously seek the best available teams. This year, we've added a girls tournament and that completes the entire concept of involving all the students."
Sixth-ranked Fairfax (4-0), with All-Met Mara Cunningham, No. 14 Lake Braddock (4-0), No. 19 Blair (5-0) and No. 20 Whitman (4-0) will compete in the girls event.
Tournament proceeds go to the the Michael L. Trilling Scholarship Fund, which benefits high school seniors who are interested in sports writing careers. Trilling coordinated the high school sports coverage for The Washington Post for 17 years before his death in October 1988.
DeMatha (8-0), which won both its games in the Gold Coast Artesia Classic in Norwalk, Calif., travels to North Carolina for the Prep Shootout. In addition to DeMatha and Good Counsel, three other Metro Conference schools off to fast starts are in action this week. No. 9 St. John's (8-0) won the St. Albans Tournament last Saturday and plays in the Altoona, Pa., tournament. No. 12 McNamara (8-1) plays in the Norfolk Catholic Tournament and O'Connell (7-1) plays in the Culpeper Invitational.
Second-ranked High Point (4-1) takes its high-scoring offense to the Edison, Pa., tournament, No. 3 South Lakes (4-0) participates in the Boscov/IAABO Classic in Delaware and No. 4 Harker Prep (7-1), which played in Hawaii last weekend, joins 31 teams in the Las Vegas Classic.
Defending city champion and fifth-ranked Dunbar (6-2), which has lost twice to Dunbar of Baltimore, is hoping for a third crack at the Poets in the title game of the War Memorial Invitational in Johnstown, Pa.
The Madison girls team, which returned five starers, including All-Met Jackie Freeman, will get good competition in the Journal Warhawk Classic. The competition includes No. 7 West Springfield (4-0), No. 10 Gar-Field with All-Met Charleata Beale, Paul VI (6-1) and defending Maryland 4A champion Broadneck.