SPRING VALLEY — At Christmastime, bigger is usually better.
That might be the case with the 44th edition of Hall's Colmone Classic, as the venerable boys basketball tournament will expand to a 12-team field when it tips off on Saturday, December 9. Two Times-area teams — the Marquette Crusaders and the Fieldcrest Knights — return to the Colmone this December, the first of two Christmas tournaments for the teams after neither participated in Thanksgiving tournaments.
With the expansion from eight to 12 teams, the tournament format will go from pool play with two four-team pools to a pool-play format with four pools of three teams. An extra day has also been added to accommodate the additional teams, with this year's Colmone opening on a Saturday and ending the following Saturday.
Marquette will be a member of the Green Pool, opening Monday, December 11 with a 5 p.m. game against Bureau Valley and then taking on Mendota for a 5 p.m. tip-off on Tuesday, December 12. The Crusaders will then play again in a crossover round either Thursday or Friday based on their pool-play standing and again Saturday, December 16 during the tournament's day-long place games.
The itinerary for Fieldcrest is the same Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with their game times and opponents based on their results of pool-play competition. Prior to that, the Knights will open Monday, Dec. 11, with a 6:30 p.m. game against Rock Falls, then take on Kewanee with a 6 p.m. tip-off on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
The host Red Devils, Wilmington and Pontiac will make up the Red Pool, with the Blue Pool being Princeton, St. Bede and Plano.
2017 Colmone Classic