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From year to year, you never quite know how the holiday schedule will play out for area high school sports, because it all depends on what day of the week the holidays fall.

This year, with Christmas and New Year's Day occurring on Friday, the schedule is compacted into just three days - Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 28-30.

Not counting Mercersburg Academy, whose teams do not play over the holidays while the students are on vacation, 33 of our 35 winter season teams will be in action. The only ones taking a break are the girls basketball teams at Shippensburg and Fannett-Metal.

There area nine boys basketball teams in which Franklin or Fulton County teams are involved in, and seven girls basketball events.

However, the only events hosted by area teams are the Fannett-Metal Christmas Tournament and the Hound Invitational at Shippensburg, both boys basketball tournaments (see a preview in Monday's Public Opinion).

In addition, Chambersburg hosts the Trojan Wars wrestling tournament on Monday and Tuesday, with Shippensburg, James Buchanan and Greencastle-Antrim also competing (see a preview in Sunday's P.O.). Waynesboro makes its annual trek to the Conestoga Valley tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday.

All three area swim teams (Chambersburg, Ship and James Buchanan) are entered in the Bulldog Bash at Big Spring on Monday, and both gymnastics teams (Chambersburg, Waynesboro) compete in a tri-meet at Paramount on Wednesday.

BIG DATES: Looking into the crystal ball, we can see several dates to mark on the calendar in big, red ink.

In girls basketball, Greencastle-Antrim will get its chance for revenge for its only loss so far this season when it hosts Boiling Springs on Jan. 22. The Bubblers handed the Blue Devils a 63-54 defeat last Friday, using a balanced scoring attack to offset G-A's duo of Jenay Faulkner and Hannah Crist.

The big Fulton County boys showdowns are set for Jan. 8 and Jan. 29, both Fridays. McConnellsburg hosts Southern Fulton on the first date, while the Indians play at home against the Spartans at the end of the month.

It's likely that plenty will be stake for these battles - including league and district considerations, as well as county bragging rights. Southern Fulton won both encounters last year, but lost a bit more in graduation, so close games are expected.

Plans are being made for all three of these games to be broadcast via live stream on GameTimePa.com.

MILESTONES: The holiday break should be memorable for a pair of stellar basketball players.

Greencastle's Faulkner is 18 points away from hitting 1,000 points for her career as a junior. The Devils play against Dover on Tuesday in the Lower Dauphin Tournament.

Mikell McGee of Fannett-Metal, also a junior, is 16 points shy of the 1,000-point mark. He leads the Tigers against Shalom Christian in the F-M tournament on Monday.

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