High school athletic teams will have off to enjoy the Christmas weekend, Dec. 24-25, but before the players can attend the festive and family gatherings, there is a schedule of games later this week.
On the boys’ basketball circuit …
Dec. 22 is a busy day on the hardwood.
Both Jackson high schools will entertain as hosts this day.
Jackson Memorial High School will be home to Toms River High School South at 5:30 p.m., while a half hour earlier across town, Jackson Liberty High School takes on visiting Lacey Township High School.
Bishop George Ahr High School will be home in Edison for a 3:45 p.m. game against Monroe Township High School.
Another team from Edison, John P. Stevens High School, will make the journey to play host South Brunswick Township High School at 7 p.m.
Sayreville War Memorial High School will hit the road and pay a call to Colonia High School for a 7 p.m. encounter.
Matawan Regional High School is home to Shore Regional High School in a 6:45 p.m. matchup.
On Dec. 23, Middletown High School North will entertain Ocean Township High School for a 5:15 p.m. game.
Raritan High School travels south to play Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School at 6:30 p.m.
The girls’ basketball schedule is also busy …
The action is the busiest Dec. 22.
Howell High School hosts Marlboro High School for a 4 p.m. matinee, while nearby, Colts Neck High School welcomes visiting Manalapan High School for a 5:30 p.m. game.
Another afternoon matchup will be in Highlands where Henry Hudson Regional High School is home to Red Bank Regional High School at 4 p.m.
Middletown High School South is making the trip to Tinton Falls, where Monmouth Regional High School awaits for a 5:15 p.m. game.
Sayreville is the site at 5:30 p.m. when the Bombers will meet Colonia.
Two 7 p.m. games of interest in the Greater Middlesex Conference will be Edison High School at Monroe and South Brunswick driving to Edison to take on J.P. Stevens.
The slate is lighter Dec. 23, but one game to keep an eye on is the Middletown North at Ocean Township matchup at 5:15 p.m.
Also, in the GMC, Spotswood High School is home to Metuchen High School at 6 p.m.
On to the wrestling mats …
Dec. 23 is the heaviest day to catch some good matches.
Bishop Ahr is home in Edison to Howell for a 4 p.m. meeting, Edison hosts Central Regional High School at 7 p.m.
An intriguing Shore Conference showdown will begin at 6 p.m. when the host team, Long Branch High School, grapples with Middletown North.
Two other solid Shore Conference programs, Ocean Township and Point Pleasant Borough High School, will meet in the latter school’s gym at 6 p.m.
Diving into the pools …
The boys’ and girls’ swim teams from Howell and Freehold Township High School will meet Dec. 22 at the Freehold YMCA. The meet begins at 2:30 p.m.
On the frozen water …
Middletown North will hit the ice against a longtime state hockey power, Montclair High School, Dec. 22. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Middletown Sports Complex.
Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen will travel from Metuchen to the Ice Vault in Wayne to clash with a state power Seton Hall Preparatory School Dec. 22 at 6 p.m.