GARY | The Gary Holiday Tournament began in 1950 and was played in front of packed houses at Memorial Gymnasium and then at West Side, until last year.
Then, one of Indiana's top in-season tournaments disappeared. It vanished after West Side beat Lew Wallace in the championship.
“I don't know what happened to it,” Roosevelt coach Marcus Jefferson said. “When I got here this was already set up.”
The “this” was Saturday's Roosevelt Winter Classic, which had three single games. The change in the tournament was not the only thing missing.
Lew Wallace coach Melvin Yancey missed his second game after suffering what interim coach Brandon Scott called “a mild stroke.”
He said that Yancey, who coached the Hornets to the last two Class 3A sectional championships, is resting and healing at home.
“He'd be here in a wheelchair if he could,” Scott said. “He's hoping to be back in 2014.”
The Hornets beat Chicago Winnie Mandella 74-46. Mandella arrived 45 minutes late. Wallace (4-1) had begun an inner-team scrimmage when Mandella strolled in.
“It took us a little to get going,” said Wallace guard Richard Wash, who led his team with 18 points. “We really didn't hit our stride until the third quarter because we didn't think we had a game when they didn't show on time.”
John Johnson added 16 for the Hornets, who had their coach in their hearts and minds.
“Not only has he been a great help on the bench in games, but he's been a great mentor to me the last three, four years. We miss him and can't wait for him to get back.”
In the second game, Roosevelt pounded South Bend Career Academy 99-13. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock, which is rare if not unheard of in basketball, and the Panthers (5-4) stalled the last three minutes of the game in order to not score 100.
In the extreme mismatch 'Velt jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first three minutes and had six slam dunks in the game. Most of the Panthers' 43 field goals were on breakaway layups.
Alexander Buggs scored 22 with nine assists and seven steals. Tyree Sims scored 20 with nine steals. Larry Hopskins and Tevan Farris scored 12 and Daris Bates added 10.
In the last game of the day, 21st Century outlasted undefeated Chicago Prologue 74-62 in the only competitive game of the day. Dantrell Hurt scored 25 points with four rebounds, four steals and four assists for the Cougars (4-1).
Eugene German scored 15, Arnez Cathey had 13 and DuJuan Pinkin scored 10.
“Defense, that's what won this game,” Hurt said. “We work on it every day in practice. I was able to get my points by running the floor. If you run the floor guys will be open. Today I was the one open.”