Maine West still the team to beat at Dundee-Crown tournament
One of the most dominating runs in the history of the Komaromy Classic at Dundee-Crown High School will be on stage Dec. 26 to 30.
The tradition-rich D-C tourney, which began 37 years ago, is one of a handful of tourneys where Northwest suburbs girls basketball teams will participate this holiday season.
Here's a closer look at entire holiday lineup.
Komaromy Classic: Kim de Marigny has lost only seven games in her four seasons as the Maine West coach.
None of those losses has been in this tourney where her three-time defending champs are 12-0.
The Warriors, who open Dec. 26 against Hampshire, come into this year's event with a 10-1 mark, their only loss to state power Montini.
Other local entries are Barrington, Prospect, Buffalo Grove and Maine South.
"Dundee Crown is a classic tournament with exceptional competition that is so rich in tradition," said de Marigny, who returns for the fourth straight time with nationally-ranked forward Angela Dugalic. "We at Maine West are honored to be a part of this tournament."
West has won two straight games since Montini ended its 44-game winning streak two weeks ago.
"As we enter this tournament, we will take it one game at a time," de Marigny added. "Every game will be a tough one, as all of the teams in this year's field could potentially be tournament champions."
Barrington hall off fame coach Babbi Barreiro, who brings her Fillies (8-4) to Carpentersville on an eight-game winning streak, echoed de Marigny's comment about the 16-team field.
"I'm sure Maine West got the No. 1 seed and I think they're the team to beat again," Barreiro said. "But there are lot of good teams in the field. When we did the seeding, it was tough. Lots of good teams and good players. It should be a great tournament and we're really looking forward to it."
Barrington faces Trinity at 2:30 p.m. followed by Prospect (5-3) and Fenwick at 4 p.m. and Maine South (4-3) vs. Naperville Central at 5:30 p.m. BG (6-4) meets the host and currently undefeated Chargers in the day's final game at 8:30 p.m.
Montini tourney: The 11th annual Montini Christmas tourney includes Mid-Suburban League powers Fremd and Hersey.
State-ranked Fremd (7-2) has only lost to Indiana power Crown Point High School (12-0) and Illinois power Benet (11-0) while the Huskies (10-3) have reeled off nine wins in their last 10 games.
Hersey and hall of fame coach Mary Fendley, whose teams have had some great moments in Lombard, face Loyola at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 26.
Two years ago, Hersey was the 14th seed and upset state power Benet, igniting the second half of the Huskies' season in which they went on to win the Mid-Suburban League title.
"I am really proud of being in this tournament. It is not possible to get better competition, which is exactly what we want at this point in the season. We always get four quality games in," Fendley said. "Win or lose, I think there is value in seeing some of the best teams out there, and learning from the experience." Fremd, which was second in the state in 2016 and 2017, plays in the breakfast special (8 a.m.) against Lyons Township.
Coach Dave Yates' club is off to a 7-2 start and features three future Division I players in seniors Emily Klaczek (Alabama-Birmingham) and Olivia Hill (Bowling Green) and junior Ruthie Montella (William & Mary).
Libertyville tourney: The host Wildcats are one of the favorites in their own eight-team event which includes Rolling Meadows and Conant.
The tourney begins on Friday and wraps up with championship day on Dec. 26.
Coach Ryan Kirkorsky's Meadows club (6-4) could be the sleeper with the recent return of senior guard Bridget Rolla. Since she returned from an ankle injury on the opening day of the season, the Mustangs are 3-1 with their only loss a 2-point decision to Plainfield Central.
Conant stands at 2-7. Junior guard Neena Kakuturu enjoyed a 25-point scoring game against Glenbrook South last week.
"Libertyville has another strong squad," said Cougars coach Todd Strauch. "They were good last year and have gotten better."
Meadows is paired in pool play with Vernon Hills, Niles West and Libertyville while Conant's side includes Mundelein, Streamwood and Cary Grove.
"On our side, Cary-Grove is tough," Strauch said. "They are physical and they play hard. They execute what they want to do. Rolling Meadows is always good so it's kind of a tossup on that side.
"Libertyville does a good job running the tournament. There are quality teams there so you get good competition and it's fun for the girls to play four games in a week (wraps up Dec. 26).
Bill Neibch Holiday Classic: Schaumburg (5-5), Elk Grove (5-5) and Palatine (3-6) return to the 16-team event hosted by Wheaton North High School.
Mark Johnson's Pirates open on Monday against No. 7 seeded Glenbard South at noon. Jacqie Strauch's Saxons take on No. 5 Waubonsie Valley at 4:30 p.m. and Jen Buxton's Grenadiers, seeded No. 8, meet Jacobs at 6 p.m.
Downers Grove South is top seeded with West Aurora No. 2.
Blenner Holiday Classic: Eight teams will go after the championship of the 37th annual Blenner Holiday Classic at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.
Matt Weber's Wheeling Wildcats (2-10), Stephanie Kuzmanic's Leyden Eagles (2-6) and Jason Raymond's host Lions (2-6) are all a part of the field.
The four-day tourney starts on Thursday, the day after Christmas and the title match is set for Monday, Dec. 30.