By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
The Holiday Hoopla is on the move.
The annual late-December basketball tournament for boys’ and girls’ basketball will be held next week at Southeast Alamance.
The venue change came in part because Tim Krotish, the longtime girls’ basketball coach at Eastern Alamance, retired last spring. He had been the organizer of the tournament, which began as a girls-only competition, since its inception.
“We were expressing our interest to have it here,” said B.J. Condron, athletics director at Southeast. “It just made sense once Krotish retired.”
There will continue to be an Eastern Alamance element to the tournament, which is set for December 28-30, in a co-host type of role. Condron said Eastern will provide tournament helpers to assist with the event’s operation.
Southeast Alamance, a first-year school, has a gym capacity of 1,684 – or more than two times that of Eastern.
Still, there needed to be eight boys’ and eight girls’ teams. Only Southeast, Eastern and High Point Andrews have teams entered in both brackets.
“I was stressing a little bit about finding teams,” Condron said. “We’re in a good area in between Greensboro and Raleigh. It’s a good place to have a tournament when you want some different teams and teams that aren’t in the same league.”
The last piece of the bracket came on the girls’ side when Cardinal Gibbons agreed to replace South Granville, which opted out.
Condron, the former girls’ coach at Orange, took his teams to the Holiday Hoopla off and on through the years. The Panthers won the tournament’s girls’ division in 2016.
The Holiday Hoopla began more than a dozen years ago as a girls’ tournament. A boys’ bracket was added several years ago.
Krotish, now a volunteer assistant coach for the Averett University women’s team, said he’s happy to see the tournament keep the Holiday Hoopla name.
Last year’s Holiday Hoopla champions in Mebane were NC Good Better Best Academy (girls) of Durham and Southeast Raleigh (boys).