Christmas tournaments will kick into gear next week, but Kentucky high school basketball fans will get a couple of early presents this weekend with a pair of top-five matchups in Louisville.
On the girls’ side, defending state champion Manual (3-1) will play at Assumption (5-1) at 7:30 tonight in a matchup of top Seventh Region squads. Manual is ranked No. 2 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s preseason poll of coaches; Assumption is No. 5.
Three of the top four boys’ teams in Kentucky will be in action Saturday for the Thorntons Showdown at Valley High School. No. 1 Ballard (3-1) will face Indianapolis Cathedral (1-2) at 6 p.m., with No. 2 Bullitt East (6-0) meeting No. 4 Madison Central (5-1) at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $7.
4 Louisville teams to play in Pikeville basketball event
No. 3 Trinity will face No. 7 Henry Clay at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the headline game of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Classic at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.
Male, Central and Seneca also will represent Louisville in the basketball face-off.
Here is the schedule (all boys’ games unless noted):
* Friday: Shelby Valley vs. Knott County Central (girls), 6 p.m.; New Rochelle (N.Y.) vs. Holmes, 7:30; Pikeville vs. Johnson Central (girls), 9
* Saturday: East Ridge vs. Male, 1 p.m.; Holmes vs. Breathitt County, 2:30; Betsy Layne vs. Central, 4; Knott County Central vs. New Rochelle (N.Y), 5:30; Pikeville vs. Seneca, 7; Trinity vs. Henry Clay, 8:30
Mercy’s Crable named volleyball Player of Year
Mercy junior outside hitter Courtney Crable has been named the Gatorade Kentucky Volleyball Player of the Year.
The 6-foot-1 Crable posted 635 kills, 352 digs, 96 aces and 88 blocks as Mercy finished 33-10, falling to Assumption in the state final.
Crable is the second Mercy player to win the award, joining Casey Garvey in 2008.
Owensboro Catholic star Greenwell to see doctor
Owensboro Catholic senior Becca Greenwell, considered the front-runner for Kentucky’s 2013 Miss Basketball award, is expected to visit Dr. John Ellis of Louisville today after suffering an injury to her right knee last week against Owensboro.
Greenwell tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee last year, forcing her to miss all of her junior season. Ellis was the surgeon who repaired the ACL injury.
Owensboro Catholic coach Ray Zuberer said the extent of Greenwell’s current injury is unknown.
“At first we thought it was a slight tear of the lateral meniscus, but now we really don’t know,” he said. “We don’t know if she’ll be ready to play in a month from now or what. We really don’t know anything at all.”
The 6-foot-1 Greenwell is ranked among the top 10 players nationally in the Class of 2013 and recently signed with Duke.
* Manual boys’ basketball coach Jimmy Just picked up his 300th career victory with a 58-54 win over Seneca on Dec. 4. Just, who also coached at Iroquois and Jeffersonville, now has a career record of 301-164.
* The St. Xavier swim team will host rival Trinity at 1 p.m. Sunday. St. X has won 24 consecutive state titles. Trinity finished third in last season’s state meet.