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Posted On: 12/6/18 2:02 AM
The schedule and brackets for the 29th annual Kreul Classic, to be held Dec. 19-22 in Coral Springs, Fla., were released Wednesday night.
High school programs from Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and right here in the Sunshine State will be competing in the 2018 edition.
Two FHSAA defending state champions headline the field: Pompano Beach Blanche Ely (8A) and Fort Lauderdale's Westminster Academy (4A).
Blanche Ely (1-1) and Fort Lauderdale Stranahan (2-2), which is expected to make a run at the Boys State Basketball Tournament in Lakeland in 2018-19, will be competing in the round-robin style Kreul Elite Challenge bracket.
Ely will open vs. Putnam City West, of Oklahoma City, at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20. Stranahan gets John L. Leflore, of Mobile, Ala., at 6:30 Dec. 20. Ely and Stranahan will go head to head at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 22.
Coach Melvin Randall led the Tigers to his state-record eighth state championship last March. Randall won two state titles at Deerfield Beach before going to Ely and winning another six. He will be counting heavily on 6-foot-5 senior Joshua Scott, along with juniors Tyrecke Francois, Aderes Staton-McCray and Malachi Hazelton.
Terrence Williams' Stranahan club is run by senior point Brian Dugazon. The Dragons start four juniors, including 6-6 big Inady Legiste. Dugazon and Legiste combined to score 54 points this week in a non-district contest vs. Davie Western.
Coach Ehren Wallhoff's Westminster squad will compete in the eight-team Under Armour Challenge bracket.
The Lions (4-0) will face Tampa Hillsborough at 8 p.m. Dec. 20 in their opener and the winner will play the victor of the Western-Lakeland Victory Christian game at 6:15 Dec. 21.
Westminster returns three senior Division I prospects off last year's state championship squad in guards Chase Johnston and Sam Griffin, and 6-8 big Anthony Atkinson. Johnston (Purdue Fort Wayne) and Griffin (Texas Arlington) have already signed letters-of-intent.
Other teams competing in the Under Armour Challenge bracket are Miami Norland, Delray Beach Atlantic, Grace Christian (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Ed W. Clark (Las Vegas). The finals are set for 9:30 p.m. Dec. 22.
Four Broward County programs will be competing in the BCAA Challenge bracket in North Broward Prep, Deerfield Beach, McArthur and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Local programs playing in the Publix Challenge bracket include American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons, Coral Springs, Pines Charter and St. Andrew's.
Fort Lauderdale, Mater Academy, Pine Crest, Piper and Taravella are in the No. 94 Challenge bracket.
Here is the schedule (all times p.m. Eastern):
Kreul Elite Challenge bracket
Dec. 20: Stranahan-Leflore, 6:30; Ely-Putnam City West, 9:30
Dec. 21: Leflore-Ely, 7:45; Putnam City West-Stranahan, 9:15
Dec. 22: Leflore-Putnam City West, 2:30; Ely-Stranahan, 7:45
Under Armour Challenge bracket
Dec. 20: Norland-Grace Christian, 6:45; Westminster-Hillsborough, 8:00; Atlantic-Ed W. Clark, 8:15; Western-Victory Christian, 9:30
Dec. 21: Semifinals 1:15 & 6:15
Dec. 22: Championship 9:30
BCAA Challenge bracket
Dec. 19: McArthur-Christian Brothers, 8:15
Dec. 20: North Broward Prep-Taylor Allderdice, 3:30; St. Thomas Aquinas-Rock Canyon, 3:30; Deerfield Beach-Dwight, 5:00
Dec. 21: Semifinals 9:00 & 9:15
Dec. 22: Championship 6:00
Publix Challenge bracket
Dec. 20: American Heritage-Corner Canyon, 6:30; Coral Springs-Cardinal Gibbons, 6:45; St. Andrew's-Miller Grove, 8:00; Pines Charter-ThunderRidge, 8:15
Dec. 21: Semifinals 3:00 & 4:30
Dec. 22: Championship 4:15
No. 94 Challenge bracket
Dec. 19: Taravella-Barringer, 6:45
Dec. 20: Pine Crest-Copper Hills, 5:00; Piper-Fort Lauderdale, 5:00; Mater-PennTrafford, 5:00
Dec. 21: Semifinals 1:30 & 6:00
Dec. 22: Championship 12:45
If you have high school basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer via e-mail at PatALammer@Gmail.com or via text at 954-661-9671.