Tough field comes to FLC Christmas Classic |

Tough field comes to FLC Christmas Classic

Girls basketball teams from far and wide will make the trek up the hill when the Forest Lake Christian’s Annual Christmas Classic tips off this afternoon.

The Lady Falcons will be joined by defending Christmas Classic champ Rio Linda, Union Mine (El Dorado), Rio Americano (Sacramento), Newark Memorial and Castilleja (Palo Alto) on the hardwood.

Newark Memorial, which won the 1997 North Coast Section Division II championship, won their league last year before being upset in the first round of the section Division I tourney.

Castilleja has earned berths in the Central Coast Section Division IV Tournament three times since 1996.

“I’m trying to get tougher teams every year,” said FLC head coach Rob Hodges. “This year’s field is tougher than last year’s, and last year’s was tougher than the year before. And next year’s will hopefully be tougher than this year’s.”

FLC will open play against Union Mine at 2:50 p.m. The Lady Falcons will then match up with Rio Americano at 8:10 p.m.

The tournament format features two pools of three teams each, with the winner of each pool to meet in the championship game at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Hodges – whose team led Rio Linda by five points with less than two minutes left in last year’s championship game before losing by five – said this tournament will give his girls a chance to squeeze in a lot of playing time in a short period.

“(One of my goals) is to fine-tune our rotation. You can do all of the rotations you want to in practice, but you can’t duplicate game situations. This tournament is going to give us three games in a two-day period, and that’s going to be important in getting us ready for (the) Reno and (West Coast) Jamboree (tournaments),” Hodges said.

Games begin at 1:30 p.m. today.

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