Over the many years Hersey's girls basketball team has been playing in the Wheaton North Christmas tournament, the Huskies have gained a reputation for always finishing higher than their seed in the 16-team event.
This season, the Huskies won't have a chance to do that.
But they would love to equal it.
Coach Mary Fendley's squad, boasting a 10-1 record, is the top seed at Wheaton North followed by Downers Grove North, Willowbrook and West Aurora.
The Bill Neibch Falcon Classic is one of six tourneys in which area teams will participate, starting with the Warren tournament which got under way on Saturday.
Also joining Hersey at Wheaton North are Schaumburg and Elk Grove.
The Saxons (1-9) will be the first challenger to Hersey on Monday while Elk Grove (3-7) starts against No. 7 Wheaton North (6-5).
Area teams will also be at the Dundee-Crown, Montini, Mundelein and St. Viator tournaments.
At Montini: The Montini tourney, which begins Monday, brings together a star-laden cast which includes defending Mid-Suburban League champ Fremd and defending MSL East champ Rolling Meadows. The Mustangs won at Fremd 71-68 three week ago.
Also in the field are state powers such as Montini, Trinity, Marian Catholic and Huntley.
Rolling Meadows (11-1) defeated Huntley in the IHSA Class 4A state semifinals last season, before falling in the final second to Marian Catholic.
All five staters, including St. Louis recruits Jackie Kemph and Jenny Vliet, Northwestern bound Alexis Glasgow and Indianapolis recruit Ashley Montanez, are back for the Mustangs who fell to the host Broncos in the championship of this tourney last season. That was Meadows' first loss after 16 wins to start the season.
Fremd (9-1), which features highly-recruited Haley Gorecki, posted a 63-62 victory over Marian Catholic (9-2) eight days ago.
At Dundee-Crown: New Trier earned the top seed in the 31st annual Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.
Another strong field has been assembled in Carpentersville where only four of the 16 teams are below .500, and two of them are just a game under.
The Trevians and tourney newcomer Burlington Central are undefeated while Evanston, Prospect and Barrington each had only one loss to start the week.
The tournament tips off at 10 a.m. the morning after Christmas with Hononegah (10-3) taking on Buffalo Grove (6-7).
The Bison handed Prospect its only loss of the season.
Knights coach Ashley Sandstead Graham has guided the Knights to an 10-1 mark, led by the 5-11 junior guard Taylor Will and 6-foot junior Catherine Sherwood.
Maine West(8-3), a five-time D-C champ under coach Derril Kipp, will take on Resurrection (7-4) in Game 6.
Maine West is led by 6-foot senior forward Brittany Collins, a Saint Xavier recruit who earlier this week set the Maine West career scoring record.
The final game of the first round will have the host Chargers (5-8) facing Barrington (11-1), whose only loss was a 50-48 verdict at Huntley.
At Mundelein: Hoffman Estates (1-10), coming off its first win of the season, will get the early wake-up call and face Vernon Hills at 9 a.m. when the tourney commences on Monday.
Hawks freshman Monraia Wilson had her career game on Saturday with a 25 points, 9 rebounds and 8 steals in a 48-39 win over Jacobs.
Vernon Hills (9-3) is the defending Class 3A state runner-up.
St. Viator tournament: The host Lions (5-6) and Leyden (3-4) are the area's two representatives in this eight-team event in Arlington Heights and they will meet right off the bat (7:30 p.m.) in Monday's first-round matchups.
Warren tournament: This six-game round robin got under way on Saturday.
Wheeling (6-6) has already put itself into the win column, defeating Carmel 45-42.
Alabama-Birmingham recruit Deanna Kuzmanic (17 points) and Hannah Dobrowski (12) were top scorers for the Wildcats.
Palatine (4-8) dropped a 58-50 decision to Grayslake Central in another first-round match.
Also in the field are host Warren and Deerfield.
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