The holiday season will be less “sweeter” in the Garden City this December.

After nearly a quarter of a century, the Orangeburg County “Sweet 16” basketball tournament will not take place at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School.

O-W athletics director Tommy Brown confirmed the news Tuesday on the cancellation of this year’s three-day event, citing low attendance and lost revenue as primary factors.

The Sweet 16 has suffered since Lake Marion (formerly Holly Hill-Roberts) co-founded the event in 1989 with O-W, broke away in 2008 to start its own invitational tournament taking place at nearly the same time. It has drawn teams that used to participate in the Sweet 16.

Brown said he plans to work over the next year to reunite the “Sweet 16” and Lake Marion Invitational and hold one joint tournament again in 2014. Ironically, the O-W boys’ basketball team is entered in this year’s Lake Marion Invitational, one of two Christmas tournaments for the Bruins.

As for the O-W girls, they are headed to Myrtle Beach to play in the CresCom Holiday Classic taking place starting Dec. 17 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Other schools in the 16-team field include Dreher, Greenwood, Heathwood,Hall, Myrtle Beach, Northwood Academy, Timmonsville and schools from Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Contact the writer: tgrant@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5547. Follow Grant on Twitter@TandDSports.

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