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Frank Spencer basketball tournament won't be played this year

Frank Spencer basketball tournament won't be played this year

Frank Spencer Pepsi Mount Tabor WS Prep (copy)

Mount Tabor's Ehime Abhulimen (10) celebrates with teammates following the Spartans' 54-48 victory over the Winston-Salem Prep Phoenix in the Pepsi bracket championship game of the 2019 Frank Spencer Holiday Classic tournament at Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem.

WINSTON-SALEM — In an announcement that was expected but still is disappointing, the 46th annual Frank Spencer Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament will not be played this year.

The boys basketball tournament is usually held just after Christmas, but changes to the N.C. High School Athletic Association calendar because of the COVID-19 pandemic will prevent teams from playing before Jan. 4. The NCHSAA also is limiting teams to 14 games during the regular season, and many schools will have to fill most of those dates with conference matchups. 

The Frank Spencer is played at Reynolds and North Forsyth high schools, as well as Wake Forest's Joel Coliseum, with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools serving as the host. The tournament is named for Frank Spencer, the late former sports editor of the Winston-Salem Journal.

“The tradition of coming together with friends and family during the holiday break to support WS/FCS athletics will rebound as strong as ever next year when North Forsyth and R.J. Reynolds will again host the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic,” John Sullivan, the school district's athletics director, said in a news release.

The status of the annual Mary Garber Holiday Tip-Off Classic girls basketball tournament has not been announced. The tournament, which has been played since 1989 and is named for the late pioneer journalist for the Twin City Sentinel and Winston-Salem Journal, is held Thanksgiving week and was scheduled to be played at Atkins and Glenn high schools this year.

The HAECO Invitational, the annual boys and girls tournaments for Guilford County schools played at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center, was canceled Sept. 9. 

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