36th Governor’s Challenge Set For Next Week

BERLIN- The 36th Annual Governor’s Challenge holiday basketball tournament gets underway next Tuesday with early first-round games featuring local teams.

The Governor’s Challenge, long a staple on the local holiday basketball tournament scene, has steadily grown to become the largest high school tournament on the east coast. Starting Tuesday and running through December 30, the tournament will feature roughly 100 of the top boys’ and girls’ teams from around the region from Virginia to New York.

For years, the tournament featured the top high school basketball programs from both Maryland and Delaware competing against each other for bragging rights along with signature desserts on the line for both states’ governors. In 2010, the tournament was rebranded thanks in large part to a partnership DMVElite Showcase Events and as a result now draws some of the top boys’ and girls’ high school programs from all over the region and beyond.

The action gets underway on Tuesday with games practically around the clock at the main venue at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center along with satellite locations around the region. The local area will once again be well-represented with teams from the Lower Shore competing in various brackets.

The highly-touted Stephen Decatur boys’ team will compete in the DMVElite Showcase and will face St. George’s on December 29 at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center at 6:45 p.m. The Decatur boys will face Lake Taylor in the second-round game on December 30 at 3:15 p.m. at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. Also competing in the DMVElite Showcase from the local area is Wicomico High. Wicomico will face West Mechlenburg next Thursday and Gilman on December 29.

In the Delmarva Power bracket, the Parkside boys will face C.H. Flowers in their opener next Tuesday. In the Salisbury Physical Therapy bracket, the Bennett boys will face Harford Tech in their opener next Tuesday. In other games featuring local teams, the Salisbury School will face Concordia Prep next Tuesday, while the Pocomoke boys will face St. Mary’s Annapolis and Snow Hill will face the Valley Forge Military Academy.

On the girls’ side, Stephen Decatur’s varsity girls will face Damascus in their opener next Wednesday at UMES. If the Decatur girls win, they will face the winner of Thomas Stone and Sussex Tech in the second round. The Pocomoke girls will face Urbana in their opener, with a possible second round game against either Wicomico or Thomas Wooten.

The Bennett girls will face Kempsville in their opener and could face either Parkside or St. Andrew’s in their second round game. In the John Coleman Bracket, long a staple on Worcester County’s holiday tournament schedule, Snow Hill will face Gaithersburg and Worcester Prep will face Mardela.

In addition to the games, the Governor’s Challenge also features numerous special events showcasing the remarkable talent competing in the tournament including a skills competition, a slam dunk contest and a three-point shooting contest throughout the event next week. There will also be numerous giveaways and other promotions during halftime of the each of the games.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.