It’s a tradition unlike any other.

It may not be on the lush greens of The Masters, but as far as the hard courts there’s no question the Wagstaff Holiday Classic ranks among the best.

The 60th anniversary of the Wagstaff Holiday Boys Basketball Classic gets under way Monday on the Tyler Junior College campus.

Legendary Apaches basketball coach Floyd Wagstaff began the tournament in 1954 and it has continued each year the week after Christmas and before New Year’s Day.

The Classic continues through Wednesday at Wagstaff Gymnasium, 1720 Apache Pass.

Sixteen schools are competing including Robert E. Lee, which has been absent for a number of years. Other teams competing include All Saints, Liberty-Eylau, Lindale, Bullard Brook Hill, Kilgore, Palestine, Whitehouse, Athens, Chapel Hill, Bishop Gorman, Van, Bullard, Brownsboro, Grace Community and King’s Academy.

John Tyler is not in the field this year, instead opting to play in Killeen.

Session tickets are $6 (adults) and $4 (students). A tournament pass is $30. No passes will be accepted.

TJC basketball coach Mike Marquis is the tournament director.

Unique to this year’s tournament is a game matching the TJC Apaches (11-1) against Houston Community College-Southwest. The contest is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Maydelle won the first title in 1954, a 45-43 win over Bullard.

Last year, Athens defeated Whitehouse in the Gold Bracket Championship, while Grace Community won over Brownsboro in the Apache Bracket Championship.

This year, there will be four brackets — Platinum, Diamond, Gold and Apache.

On Monday, the tournament has Marquee Feature Matchups with games between teams from different backets. On Tuesday, games will determine spots in the championship of each bracket as well who falls into the consolation final.

The championship and consolation finals are set for Wednesday.

Games are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. each day. The gym will be cleared after each session of games. The finale each night is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

SMOKE SIGNALS: Sponsors include Aramark (TJC Dining), Athletic Supply, Azalea Orthopedics and Texas Spine & Joint Hospital, CiCi’s Pizza, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Tyler and Gollob, Morgan, Peddy, & Co., P.C.

2014 Wagstaff Boys Basketball Classic

At Wagstaff Gymnasium,

Tyler Junior College


Platinum — All Saints, Liberty-Eylau, Lindale, Robert E. Lee

Diamond — Bullard Brook Hill, Kilgore, Palestine, Whitehouse

Gold — Athens, Chapel Hill, Bishop Gorman, Van

Apache — Bullard, Brownsboro, Grace Community, King’s Academy


Monday, Marquee Feature Matchups

Game 1: King’s Academy vs. Van, 9 a.m.

Game 2: Athens vs. Brownsboro, 10:30 a.m.

Game 3: Gorman vs. Bullard, noon

Game 4: Chapel Hill vs. Grace, 1:30 p.m.

Game 5: Liberty-Eylau vs. Kilgore, 3 p.m.

Session Break (Gym will be cleared)

Game 6: All Saints vs. Palestine, 5:30 p.m.

Game 7: Lindale vs. Brook Hill, 7 p.m.

Game 8: Lee vs. Whitehouse, 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Bracket Play

Game 9: Bullard vs. Brownsboro, 8 a.m.

Game 10: Grace vs. King’s Academy, 9:30 a.m.

Game 11: Chapel Hill vs. Gorman, 11 a.m.

Game 12: Van vs. Athens, 12:30 p.m.

Game 13: Brook Hill vs. Kilgore, 2 p.m.

NJCAA: Tyler Junior College men vs. Houston Community College-Southwest, 3:30 p.m.

Session Break (Gym will be cleared)

Game 14: Whitehouse vs. Palestine, 5:30 p.m.

Game 15: Lee vs. Liberty-Eylau, 7 p.m.

Game 16: All Saints vs. Lindale, 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Bracket Play

Game 17: Apache Bracket Consolation, Loser Game 9 vs. Loser Game 10, 9 a.m.

Game 18: Gold Bracket Consolation, Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12, 10:30 a.m.

Game 19: Diamond Bracket Consolation, Loser Game 13 vs. Loser Game 14, noon

Game 20: Platinum Bracket Consolation, Loser Game 15 vs. Loser Game 16, 1:30 p.m.

Game 21: Apache Bracket Championship, Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 3 p.m.

Session Break (Gym will be cleared)

Game 22: Gold Bracket Championship, Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 5:30 p.m.

Game 23: Diamond Bracket Championship, Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 7 p.m.

Game 24: Platinum Bracket Championship, Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16, 8:30 p.m.


Session — $6 adults, $4 students.

Tournament Pass — $30

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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