New Hinsdale South tourney is coach’s show

After competing in different holiday tournaments in back-to-back years, Hinsdale South boys basketball coach Vince Doran came up with a Little Rascals-style idea.

“Let’s put on a show.”

And so the Hinsdale South Holiday tournament was born. Doran decided to create his own holiday tournament. He has amassed a field of 16 teams that will compete for the first time Dec. 27 at the Darien school. The inaugural tournament’s first game features Nazareth against Brother Rice at 8:30 a.m.

Doran received support from Hinsdale South athletic director Tim Feigh. The duo worked on getting teams from different regions in the Chicago area. The tournament’s first field features representatives from 15 different conferences from as far north as Lake Forest, Minooka to the west and Eisenhower to the south. Both Providence and Brother Rice come from the Catholic League South. Hinsdale South also becomes one of the few Chicago area high schools to host tournaments at Thanksgiving and near Christmas. Sandburg is the only school from Hinsdale South’s Thanksgiving tournament to return for the holiday tournament.

“When they folded Lemont, we were looking for a place,” Sandburg coach Todd Allen said. “It’s nice to know Hinsdale South is a good fit for us.”

The Hinsdale South tournament is perhaps one of Feigh’s last legacies at the school. Feigh will retire after this year and has been instrumental in gaining support from the administration, including principal Brian Waterman.

“I am excited about the mix of teams. The field is extremely competitive. It’s going to be a fun tournament,” Doran said. “You couldn’t ask for a better field in what we put together for the first year.”

Metea Valley is the tournament’s first No. 1 seed and will open the tournament against Eisenhower at 6:15 p.m. The other top seven seeds in order are Schaumburg, Brother Rice, Minooka, Providence, Highland Park, Stagg and Hinsdale South.

The first tournament field was built off faultering tournaments. Four teams (Downers Grove North, Providence, Sandburg and Stagg) came over from the now-defunct Lemont tournament. Hinsdale South belonged to the Lemont tournament two years ago before attending the DeKalb tournament for only one season a year ago. Four other teams (Glenbrook South, Highland Park, Rolling Meadows and Wheaton North) arrived from the Elgin tournament, which continues with some new teams such as Francis Parker, La Lumiere, Ind. and Senn.

Some Hinsdale South teams broke long associations with holiday tournaments. Brother Rice played at York’s Tosh Classic for the previous 10 years. GBS and Highland Park have been a part of Elgin’s tournament for years.

Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh decided to leave Pontiac, one of the state’s top holiday tournaments, in his third season as Saxons coach. Former coach Bob Williams took the Saxons annually to Pontiac after Schaumburg competed at Proviso West from 1997-2004.

“Pontiac is a great tournament. Certainly, there wasn’t anything negative [about leaving],” Walsh said.

The three officials for the tournament’s championship game at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 30 feature two Hinsdale South graduates — Tom Warrick and George Kasper. The other official is Jim Utterbach.

It is under development, but the tournament website with statistics and boxscores will be available at

Here’s the breakdown on each school at Hinsdale South with conference membership and last year’s tournament participation:

Brother Rice (Catholic League South/York)

Downers Grove North (West Suburban Silver/Lemont)

Eisenhower (South Suburban Red/Waubonsie Valley & St. Thomas More, Milwaukee)

Glenbrook South (Central Suburban South/Elgin)

Highland Park (Central Suburban North/Elgin)

Hinsdale South (West Suburban Gold/DeKalb)

Lake Forest (North Suburban Lake/Bloomington)

Metea Valley (Upstate Eight Valley/ DeKalb)

Minooka (Southwest Prairie/ Minooka)

Nazareth (East Suburban Catholic/ Glenbard West)

Providence (Catholic League South/ Lemont)

Rolling Meadows (Mid-Suburban East/ Elgin)

Sandburg (Southwest Suburban Blue/ Lemont)

Schaumburg (Mid-Suburban West/ Pontiac)

Stagg (Southwest Suburban Red/ Lemont)

Wheaton North (DuPage Valley/ Elgin)

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