Come the new year, Bishop Gorman, All Saints and Grace Community will be competing for the TAPPS 3-5A district title.
For the next three days, they'll be competing for the Macy Chenevert Patriot Holiday Classic title.
The three league foes (out of a four-team district) are among the 16-team field at the 11th edition of the tournament, created to honor the legacy of former Gorman student-athlete Macy Chenevert, who died of cancer after leading her eighth-grade team in scoring despite undergoing radiation treatments.
Play begins Wednesday morning when Edgewood and No. 17 Gilmer face off at 9 a.m. from Gorman's Haddad Gym. The tournament continues through Friday, with 10 of the 28 games slated for UT Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center.
The championship game is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Herrington Patriot Center.
While John Tyler did not return to defend its title, the field includes five teams ranked by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
Gorman athletic director Rod Kaspar said the bracket should make for quality competition that is well worth the $6 daily price of admission.
"Overall from top to bottom it's going to be a lot better than last year," Kaspar said. "Most of the games are going to be very competitive."
Tatum, ranked No. 5 in Class 4A, is the highest ranked team of the bunch and fell to John Tyler in the final last year. The undefeated Lady Eagles (15-0) open play at 3 p.m. Wednesday against Winnsboro (10-7), ranked No. 22 in 3A, in the premier matchup of the opening round.
Class 3A No. 7 Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill (16-2) takes on West Rusk at noon while Grace (14-6), No. 4 in TAPPS 5A, battles Winona at 4:30 p.m. to round out the ranked teams in the opening round.
"The level of competition is really strong," Grace coach Galen Taylor said. "It's a great challenge for us."
Other first-round matchups include Gorman (3-6) vs. Jacksonville at 10:30 a.m., Atlanta vs. All Saints (12-5) at 1:30 p.m., Whitehouse vs. Brenham at 6 p.m. and Houston Episcopal vs. Mineola at 7:30 p.m. All Wednesday games are at Haddad Gym.
"It's going to be some tough competition," All Saints coach Katie Robertson said. "I want us to play some hard games and harder teams and even if we come up short that's going to build a lot of character for us. It's going to make us tougher."
Gorman coach Brian English also welcomes the tough competition. His Lady Crusaders open play against a Class 5A team and will play either Edgewood or Gilmer (15-2) in the second round.
"Hard games are good; you don't want to play down competition, you want to play up competition," English said. "We have a heck of a district. All the teams in our district are good.
"There's only four of us so it's going to be a dog fight. I'd rather play really good teams to prepare for them because they're good teams too."
Of course, with three district teams in a 16-team competition, there's the chance they could meet up. All Saints and Gorman could meet up in the second round while either of those two could see Grace in the final round.
The Lady Trojans and Lady Cougars already met once this year, a 52-40 Grace victory.
"It's always hard to continue to play teams multiple times," said Robertson, a former Gorman coach. "Of course we want to try to avoid that if possible but if not then it's just an opportunity for us to get out there and see what they do."
2016 Macy Chenevert Patriot Holiday Classic
At Bishop Gorman and UT Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center
Wednesday, Dec. 28
Game 1: Edgewood vs. Gilmer, 9 a.m. (BG)
Game 2: Jacksonville vs. Gorman, 10:30 a.m. (BG)
Game 3: Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill vs. West Rusk, noon (BG)
Game 4: Atlanta vs. All Saints, 1:30 p.m. (BG)
Game 5: Tatum vs. Winnsboro, 3 p.m. (BG)
Game 6: Winona vs. Grace, 4:30 p.m. (BG)
Game 7: Whitehouse vs. Brenham, 6 p.m. (BG)
Game 8: Houston Episcopal vs. Mineola, 7:30 p.m. (BG)
Thursday, Dec. 29
Game 9: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, noon (BG)
Game 10: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 1:30 p.m. (BG)
Game 11: Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, noon (UTT)
Game 12: Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 1:30 p.m. (UTT)
Game 13: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m. (BG)
Game 14: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 4:30 p.m. (BG)
Game 15: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 3 p.m. (UTT)
Game 16: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 4:30 p.m. (UTT)
Friday, Dec. 30
Game 17: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, noon (BG)
Game 18: Game 11 winner, Game 12 winner, 1:30 p.m. (BG)
Game 19: Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, noon (UTT)
Game 20: Game 15 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 1:30 p.m. (UTT)
Game 21 (Consolation Final): Game 17 winner vs. Game 18 winner, 4:30 p.m. (UTT)
Game 22 (Championship): Game 19 winner vs. Game 20 winner, 7:30 p.m. (UTT)
Game 23 (Third Place): Game 19 loser vs. Game 20 loser, 6 p.m. (UTT)
Game 24: Game 17 loser vs. Game 18 loser, 3 p.m. (UTT)
Game 25: Game 9 loser vs. Game 10 loser, 3 p.m. (BG)
Game 26: Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 loser, 7:30 p.m. (BG)
Game 27: Game 13 loser vs. Game 14 loser, 4:30 p.m. (BG)
Game 28: Game 15 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 6 p.m. (BG)