Over the course of five days, the hope of area basketball coaches is that months of training won't come undone.
That's because when players come back after the upcoming Christmas break, it kicks off a daily grind that teams hope doesn't end until the first two weeks of March.
In short, you might not be able to win a league or state title in early January, but you can certainly lose one.
"What you have is five days where you don't see your players but I expect them to work out, within reason, which means going for a run or shooting at the Y," Heights girls coach Kip Pulliam said. "I don't really have that big of a problem with (the break)... I think our players understand they're part of a highly-touted program and they can't afford to take days off. It's bred into them when they get here."
After today's games, most teams don't come back until Jan. 3, including a state-mandated break from December 23-27 in which no practices can be held.
Collegiate boys coach Mitch Fiegel, in his 23rd season, has honed his approach to the Christmas break to the point where he leaves very little to the imagination when it comes to scheduling and expectations.
"Over the course of two days before the break I'll meet with every freshman and JV player for 10 minutes and I'll meet with every varsity player for 15 minutes, all individually," Fiegel said. "And when they come back, I'm trying to give them a shock to the system. We'll do two-a-day practices and set that physical base again."
Even with that, Fiegel, admits he's softened a little over the years.
"I think when I was younger I thought that the break hurt us," Fiegel said, laughing. "But everybody needs those days off. I need to be away from them and they need to be away from me because we've got a long grind when we get back."
From a player's standpoint, the break is usually a welcome distraction from games, but not from putting in work.
"My break mainly consists of trying to stay in shape," East senior Jalen Love said. "I'll do a lot of running and go to the gym with my older brother so my game stays sharp and I don't miss a step. You can't take a day off because somebody else is working while you're relaxing.
"I'm used to the wear and tear, though. I know I need to make sure I'm in shape and my grades are right before I head into the break and then do the work while we're away."
But that's not to say all involved won't enjoy the looming holiday.
"I really want some shoes, clothes and money," Love said. "And a lot of love, of course."