An all-Kentucky title game is possible.
So is an all-New York City final — with the mathematical likelihood of that far greater.
New York City squads play in each of the four opening-day games in the Mirabito STOP-DWI Holiday Classic’s National Division, and three wins in three days by any one of them would make for an 11th City champion in 21 years of tournament play.
In all, 20 games will be spread across three divisions for three days at the Broome County Veterans memorial Arena.
Two participating programs have been there, done that.
St. Raymond High of the Bronx captured Holiday Classic championships in 1998 and 2004, and Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin was the winner in 2006 — when three-day attendance was a robust 12,414. St. Raymond in ’98 followed the lead of point guard and MVP Majestic Mapp.
A New York City squad last won the championship in 2009. That was when Christ The King claimed the program’s third Holiday Classic title, aided by a sophomore guard presently a freshman starter and 10.3-per-game scorer for the University of Connecticut — Omar Calhoun.
Philadelphia teams have won the past two Holiday Classic championships, and could make it a third. Making its Binghamton debut will be Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter School — aptly nicknamed the Chargers. They will oppose St. Raymond to open National Division play at 1 p.m. Friday.
Top honors last year went to SS Neumann Goretti, which succeeded Philadelphia neighbor Imhotep Institute Charter High School as champion.
Philadelphia Electrical and Technology dropped to 3-2 with a
23-point loss to Christ Presbyterian — Tennessee’s defending Class AA champion — to open play in the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic in Fairdale, Ky.
Kentucky squads will take the floor for the first and last games of the opening-night tripleheader.
Paul Laurence Dunbar High of Lexington will face Brooklyn Collegiate at 5:45
“We’ve got a really good senior class, best we’ve had in a while,” Dunbar coach Scott Chalk said of a group that features backcourt mates Mike Smith and Will Gary, and 6-foot-7 Taylor King, who shot 57 percent last season.
The nightcap brings together Louisville’s Trinity High, reigning Kentucky state champion, and Abraham Lincoln High of Brooklyn. That one presents a matchup of standouts bound for Division I — 6-foot-4 Trinity senior Darryl Hicks and 6-5 Lincoln junior Isaiah Whitehead.
“We know they’ll force us to play at a really high level,” Trinity coach Mike Szabo said of the Railsplitters.
I.C. Norcom High of Portsmouth, Va., 2007 tournament runner-up, will be opposite Bishop Loughlin at 2:45 Friday.
One of the most highly-anticipated potential matchups is contingent upon two teams passing opening-day tests.
The Regional Division I title game scheduled for 7:15 Sunday night will pit the Binghamton/Union-Endicott winner against the Norwich/Maine-Endwell winner. Which could mean a rematch of one of the best games played this month on a Broome County court.
On Dec. 7 at M-E, the Spartans rallied from a 10-point hole to slip past Binghamton, 61-59, when Kyle Gallagher scored on a put-back with 2.4 seconds to play. In that game, M-E’s Big Three — 6-5 Gallagher, 6-5 Jake Sinicki and 6-7 Chris Heimes — teamed for 80 percent of the Spartans’ points. Binghamton’s Jamie Curtis countered with 21 points. Those STAC Metro Division teams will play a second regularly scheduled game Jan. 11 at Binghamton.