The Northeast Christmas Classic, one of the top holiday basketball tournaments in New England, will be live-streamed by MSGVarsity.com on Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m.
The two-day, round-robin event at Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena will feature three defending state champions from Connecticut along with Queens (N.Y.) perennial powerhouse Archbishop Molloy, winners of five CHSAA City Championships and coached by two-time National Coach of the Year Jack Curran.
In Tuesday’s first game, undefeated Trinity Catholic (3-0) matches up against New London (3-1), which is headlined by Providence-bound point guard Kris Dunn, the top Connecticut high school recruit in this year’s senior class. The Whalers are the first public school ever invited to the Classic, which was held at St. Joseph High School for the past 25 years.
The Crusaders have no shortage of talent themselves, including much-hyped 6-foot-6 junior transfer Jason Boswell, who is averaging a shade under 20 points per game. Junior point guard Schadrac Casimir (14 ppg), Kevin Leumene, Brandon Wheeler, Aaron Spence and 7-foot-1 sophomore center Pascal Chukwu have also made solid contributions this season.
At 8 p.m., reigning CIAC Class LL champion St. Joseph (3-0) will play Archbishop Molloy (5-2). The Cadets, who have outscored their first three opponents 240-101, are led by Towson-bound senior Timajh Parker. St. Joe’s loaded lineup also includes James Jennings Pat Hopkins, Quincy McKnight and Diamonte Zarba, a 6-4 junior transfer from Massachussetts who has transitioned smoothly.
The four head coaches in the Classic have combined for more than 2,600 wins and 152 years of experience. It will be the first meeting for Curran and St. Joe’s Vito Montelli, the 2011 National High School Coach of the Year who has a state-best 856 wins. Montelli is in his 50th year with the Cadets, while Curran took over for Lou Carnesecca at Molloy in 1958.