The Ohio Valley Hoops Classic will return to Hillsboro next year, but it will have a new home across town at Hillsboro High School.
This will be fifth year for the classic. It was held the first two years at Wilmington College and the last two years at the Southern State Community College Patriot Center in Hillsboro.
To hold an event like the Classic, a high school is required by the Ohio High School Athletic Association to sponsor the event, and this will be the second year Hillsboro has filled that role. But Bennie Carroll, the event organizer, said there are other advantages to having the two-day basketball feature at Hillsboro High School.
“Having it at their facility allows them the opportunity to become more involved in all aspects of the event,” Carroll said. “Hillsboro High School has two gyms under one roof, which gives us flexibility to do some things that we can’t do at SSCC. Hillsboro High School also provides a larger lobby space which will enable us to do some things to make the event a little more fan and vendor friendly.”
While he said he is not quite ready to announce what those things are, Carroll did say that the big difference is a much larger lobby area where the games being played in the gym can be viewed on a large screen. He said the lobby may allow him to bring some vendors to the event and also makes for a more family friendly atmosphere.
Whether or not both gymnasiums will be utilized during the Classic remains to be determined, but Carroll said some of the schools with varsity teams in the event have expressed interest in playing jayvee games during the Classic. Otherwise, schools playing in the event often have to give up a jayvee game.
Carroll said the extra gym could also give teams a place to warm up if some games run longer than expected and there’s not as much time in between games for a warm-up period in the main gym.
This year’s Classic will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. In the past it has attracted some of the top teams and players in a three-state area.
Obviously, Hillsboro will be one of the teams participating in this year’s Classic. Other local teams expected to play include McClain, East Clinton, Blanchester and Wilmington. Carroll said Fairfield may play if he can find a suitable opponent for them, and that Lynchburg-Clay and Whiteoak will not be playing in the event this year.
Carroll said he wanted to extend his thanks to Southern State for hosting the Classic the past two years.
“We heard nothing but good things from all the participating coaches, players, school administrators and fans,” he said. “We want to say a special thanks to Michelle Meddock, Matt Wells, Gary Heaton, J.R. Roush, Kelvin Gaines, Elizabeth Burkard, Jeff Montgomery, Bryan McComas and all the Southern State staff and students who helped us present the event.”
More details about the Classic will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We have another outstanding group of teams and players,” Carroll said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]