His team off to a 7-0 start, Eastern High School girls basketball coach Josh Leslie figures he’ll find out just how good the Eagles are during the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic at Lexington Catholic.
The tournament, which will start Saturday, features 27 teams, including 11 that were ranked among the state’s top 25 in The Courier-Journal’s preseason poll of coaches.
“It’s an LIT, state tournament – whatever you want to call it – in December,” Leslie said. “It’s much better doing that than going to some other tournament. We want to see where we’re at. Your record doesn’t matter. You just want to play the best possible teams.”
No. 1 Elizabethtown and No. 3 Butler headline the field and could meet in Wednesday’s 3:30 p.m. championship game.
Other ranked teams in the field are No. 6 Mercer County, No. 9 Mason County, No. 11 Murray, No. 13 Eastern, No. 15 Mercy, No. 16 Bowling Green, No. 17 Simon Kenton, No. 20 East Carter and No. 25 Scott County.
E’town is the defending champion, having defeated Mercy 59-37 in last year’s final.
Here’s a look at where other Louisville-area teams are heading before Christmas (all times EST):
* No. 14 Sacred Heart will travel to Phoenix for the Nike Tournament of Champions. The Valkyries will play in the John Anderson Division, starting Friday and running through Tuesday’s 4:30 p.m. championship game.
* Presentation, Jeffersontown, Western, Collins, Pleasure Ridge Park, Collegiate, Waggener and North Oldham will compete in the Lady Cat Classic at Waggener, starting Friday and ending with Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. final.
* Shawnee is entered in the Cloverport/Hancock County Christmas Invitational at Frederick Fraize. The round-robin event is set for Friday and Saturday.
* Moore, Central, Southern and Seneca will compete in the Lady Redhawk Classic, a round-robin event set for Friday and Saturday at Seneca.
* Spencer County will host Saturday’s Salt River Electric Holiday Classic, a one-day event also including Bullitt Central, Walton-Verona, Oldham County, Holy Cross and Whitley County.
* North Bullitt will play in the Nelson County Franklin Family Auto Sales Tournament, starting Saturday and running through Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. final. No. 22 Henry Clay headlines the eight-team field.
* Doss is entered in the Bardstown Holiday Classic, starting Saturday and ending with Tuesday’s 5:45 p.m. championship game.
* No. 7 Manual will travel to Gatlinburg, Tenn., for the Smoky Mountain Classic Christmas Tournament, set for Monday-Wednesday (6:30 p.m. championship game).
* Ballard, South Oldham, Iroquois and Shelby County will represent the Louisville area in the Lady Dragon Hoopfest at South Oldham. The event will start Monday and end with Tuesday’s 5 p.m. final.
* The Portland Christian Holiday Classic is set for Monday and Tuesday, with Covington Latin, Trigg County and Brown also in the field. The final is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday.
* Moore and Pleasure Ridge Park will play in the Lady Marshals Holiday Classic at Marshall County, starting Monday and running through Wednesday’s 4 p.m. final. No. 18 Allen County-Scottsville and No. 24 Muhlenberg County headline the field.
* No. 8 Bullitt East will host the Schmid Funeral Home Holiday Classic, starting Monday and ending with Wednesday’s 7 p.m. final. No. 2 Male, Holy Cross, Central and Assumption also are in the field from the Louisville area.
* Bullitt Central and Spencer County will play in Taylor County’s Delilah Gonzales Shootout, a round-robin event set for Monday and Tuesday.
* Southern is headed to Orlando, Fla., for the KSA Events Classic, starting Thursday and running through Saturday’s 10:45 a.m. championship game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
* Oldham County will host the Pegasus Sports Network Best in Hoops Holiday Tournament, starting Thursday and ending with Sunday’s 7 p.m. final. No. 17 Lexington Catholic, Butler, Male, Moore, DeSales, Manual and Spring Hill (Tenn.) also are in the field.
* Brown will travel to Benton, Ky., for the Christian Fellowship Itty Bitty Christmas Tournament, starting Thursday and running through Monday’s 9 p.m. championship game.
* South Oldham will play in the Elleman Contracting Holiday Classic at Garrard County, starting Saturday and ending with Monday’s 7:30 p.m. final.
* Doss will travel to McCreary Central for the Arby’s/KFC Holiday Classic. The round-robin event will run Saturday-Tuesday.
* Western and Whitefield Academy will play in the Aleris Christmas Tournament at Hancock County, starting Sunday and running through Tuesday’s 7:15 p.m. championship game.
* Spencer County’s Mike Miller Classic will start Sunday and end with Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. final. Iroquois, Thomas Nelson, Atherton, North Oldham and North Bullitt also are in the field.
* Holy Cross will play in the BTN/WLBQ Christmas Classic, a round-robin event set for Monday and Tuesday at Butler County.
* Shelby County will travel to Graves County for the WK&T Sports Classic, a round-robin event set for Monday and Tuesday.
* No. 24 Eastern is part of a strong field for the Woodford County Invitational, starting Monday and running through Wednesday’s 7:15 championship game. No. 21 Bryan Station and No. 22 Scott County also are in the eight-team event.
* No. 6 Mercer County will host Collins and six others in the Farmers National Bank Clash of Titans, starting Monday and running through Wednesday’s 8 p.m. final.
* Valley and Seneca are among the 16 teams in the Berea Holiday Classic, set for Monday-Wednesday (8 p.m. championship game). No. 14 Henry Clay headlines the field.
* The 32nd annual Beth Haven Holiday Classic will start Monday and run through Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. final. Collegiate, St. Francis and Jeffersontown also are in the event.
* The Portland Christian Holiday Classic is set for Monday and Tuesday, with Brown, Evangel Christian and Covington Latin also in the field. The final is set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
* No. 19 Pleasure Ridge Park will host the Rumble at the Ridge, starting Monday and ending with Wednesday’s 9 p.m. final. No. 5 Hopkinsville, Shawnee and St. Xavier also are in the eight-team field.
* Christian Academy will travel to Clinton County for the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic, a round-robin event set for Monday-Wednesday.
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and firstname.lastname@example.org.