Every year, directly after Christmas, all four Lincoln Co. schools play in two basketball tournaments.
Whether a fan pulls for the Wolves, Mustangs, Knights or Rebels; theyâ€™re will be plenty of basketball to watch starting Tuesday, Dec. 28.
The Peoples Bank Holiday Clash will feature North Lincoln, Lincolnton, West Lincoln and North Gaston.
The tournament, won by Lincolnton last year, will be held at North Gaston this year. On Tuesday, North Lincolnâ€™s women team will play Lincolnton at 3:30 p.m. The men will follow at 5 p.m.
The night-cap see West Lincoln take on tournament favorite North Gaston at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively.
Wednesday the women will play at 3:30 p.m. The men will play at 5:30 p.m. The womenâ€™s championship game is slated for 6:30 p.m., while the menâ€™s title game will be at 8 p.m.
Admission to the tournament is $5 for an all-day pass. Louis Fletcher, a Vice President at Peoples Bank organizes the tournament, is excited about the second year.
â€œWeâ€™re in our second year and weâ€™re hoping to see some good basketball. Itâ€™s a good opportunity to fans to come out and support county teams,â€ he said.
The East Lincoln Mustangs will host the 15th annual First Charter Holiday Classic, which also begins on Tuesday and will run through Thursday.
East Lincoln, Bandys, Mooresville, Gaston Christian, Hopewell and Forestview will contend for the menâ€™s crown.
East (a No. 2 seed) is scheduled to play Hopewell (No. 5) at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the first round. Bandys (No. 6) is set to play defending champion Forestview at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
East Lincoln, Forestiview, Bandys, Mooresville, Hopewell, Burns, Elkin and defending champion South Caldwell will compete for the womenâ€™s title.
East (No. 5) will play Mooresville (No. 3) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Bandys (No. 7) will play South Caldwell (No. 2) at 12:30 p.m.
The championship games will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (womenâ€™s game) and 8 p.m. (menâ€™s game).
Admission for the Holiday Classic is $6. A three-day tournament pass is available for $15. That fee does include entry into the championship game.
Kenneth Brown of First Charter Bank helped organize the Holiday Classic.
Tournament Dedication to Thomas Taylor
First Charter Bank will recognize the past contributions of 1ST SGT Thomas Taylor by dedicating this years Holiday Classic basketball tournament in his memory. Tom Taylor, who served over twenty years with the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Department, passed away after the 2003 tournament.
Jim Mauney, First Charter Senior Vice President, and tournament co-director, said Taylor would be missed at this yearâ€™s tournament.
â€œTom was a dedicated supporter and volunteer of the tournament, contributing his time and talents with tournament security and other duties that helped the event run smoothly.â€
â€œYou could always count on his friendly smile and willingness to help. His commitment to the community and this event will be greatly missed,â€ Mauney added.
Thomas R. â€œTomâ€ Taylor served more than 20 years with the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Department in various positions that included jailer, patrol officer, patrol supervisor and assistant jail administrator. He is survived by his wife, Sarah who serves with the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Department.
To honor Tom and his service to both the tournament and the community, First Charter and The Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Office will be accepting contributions to the DARE Program during the tournament.
by John Mark Brooks