BRADFORD – For the first time in school history, the Bradford boys and girls basketball teams will host a holiday tournament this upcoming weekend.
Bradford will host its inaugural Basketball Holiday Tournament Friday and Saturday. Bradford’s tournament will differ from many other holiday tournaments as both boys and girls teams will compete this weekend at Bradford.
“It’s exciting,” Bradford boys basketball coach Jeff Case said. “There’s a lot of exciting things going at Bradford, with this being one them.”
Having the tournaments together is a unique aspect that will help make the Railroaders’ tournament special, Bradford girls basketball coach Patrick McKee said.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen the boys and girls (tournaments) being run at the same time at the same place,” he said.
The varsity tournament will begin at 2 p.m. Friday in the Bradford high school gym with Riverside taking on Carlisle. Then Bradford will play Troy Christian at 4 p.m.
The Lady Railroaders will face some quality competition, McKee said, including in their first-round game against Troy Christian.
“I’m pretty excited about playing a local team that’s having a pretty good year,” he said.
The boys portion of the varsity tournament will begin at 6 p.m. Friday with Troy Christian taking on Riverside. Then in the nightcap Bradford will play New Miami at 8 p.m.
New Miami is a team Case has never had the opportunity to coach against, he said.
“It will be a new team and something different for us,” he said.
The tournament continues with the girls consolation game at 1 p.m. Saturday, which will be followed by the boys consolation game at 3 p.m.
Then the girls championship game will be played at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the boys championship game following at 7 p.m.
“I’m looking forward to it,” McKee said. “It will be a pretty big crowd. Two back-to-back championship games for the boys and girls. That should a good time.”
Bradford also will have junior varsity tournaments for the boys and girls Friday and Saturday in its elementary gym.
The girls junior varsity tournament begins at 9 a.m. Friday with Riverside against Troy Christian and continues at 11 a.m. with Bradford against Carlisle.
Then the boys junior varsity tournament begins with Bradford against Troy Christian at 1 p.m. and New Miami against Riverside at 3 p.m.
The junior varsity girls consolation game will be at 9 a.m. Saturday with the boys consolation game following at 11 a.m. The junior varsity boys championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday with the girls junior varsity championship game at 3 p.m.
“It’s definitely a unique set up,” Case said. “(Bradford Athletics Director) Dusty (Yingst) has done his due diligence in preparing this and making sure everything is in place. It’s very exciting to be able to share the holiday tournament with the girls.”
With having five schools playing in the two tournaments, the Bradford coaches expect a good turnout this weekend.
“I think it will be a pretty big crowd,” McKee said. “There’s going to be quite a bit of people in and out of the school.”
Both coaches said they think the competition will be strong.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us, and we’re looking forward to that challenge,” Case said. “Everybody seems to be very excited about the new challenges and the new opportunities.”
And the coaches are hoping the tournament becomes a new tradition at Bradford.
“What a great chance to be part of the first things ever seen at Bradford like this,” McKee said. “Hopefully the first of many.”