CROCKETT – The championship game in the 2021 Houston County Holiday Classic came down to two class 4A teams, ending a two-year reign by tournament champion Crockett and runner-up Grapeland.
The Hudson Hornets upended district rival Palestine, 56-46, to claim this year's Gold Bracket trophy in the old Crockett High School gym Thursday night.
The last 2 1/2 games of the tournament were played in the old gym due to a bubble that developed in a section of the wood floor in the Andrew J. Hopkins Activity Center. School officials and coaches deemed that section of the court to be unsafe and the decision was made during halftime of the Crockett-Coldspring Silver Bracket game to finish the tournament in the old gym.
That decision suited Hudson coach and CHS alumnus Cannon Earp just fine since the old gym was the Bulldogs' home court during his high school career.
"This is a great gym and I have a lot of great memories from playing basketball in here. I love this place," Earp said fondly as he watched the Bulldogs play Coldspring before the Hornets’ championship game with Palestine.
Now, Earp has a coaching win to go along with his memories of playing in the old CHS gym.
Earp’s squad is ranked No. 25 in the TABC class 4A state poll and holds a 16-7 record after picking up five tournament wins.
In pool play, Hudson defeated Lovelady 58-30, Flatonia 73-65 and Crockett 52-40.
Palestine won its pool games over Crockett JV 95-38, Maypearl 70-51 and Trinity 58-25.
Earlier in the day, Hudson beat China Spring, 41-36, and Palestine beat LaPoynor, 77-50, in the semifinals.
LaPoynor then edged China Spring, 66-62, for third place in the Gold Bracket.
The Holiday Classic was not held last year due to the pandemic, but tourney co-hosts Crockett and Grapeland finished as champion and runner-up, respectively, in the previous two years.