The final game of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic pits the Mason Comets against the Sidney Yellowjackets. The two teams represent two of the proudest conferences in Ohio; Mason from the Greater Miami Conference and Sidney from the Greater Western Ohio Conference. Both teams are led by veteran coaches with over 300 wins; Greg Richards of Mason owns 325 of those while Sidney’s John Willoughby has 378 career wins.
Over the past five years the Comets have put together a record of 92-20 including two GMC championships and one District Title. Since Willoughby arrived at Sidney two years ago the Jackets are 36-13 with one GWOC North Championship.
Both teams enter 2018 with high hopes. For Sidney, those expectations got a lot higher when Andre Gordon re-enrolled in early November. The 6’2” Gordon averaged 23.8 points per game last season and is committed to play in the ACC next year at Virginia Tech. However, during the summer he had enrolled at Huntington Prep before deciding to return to Sidney for his senior season.
Gordon will have some help available. Ratez Roberts is a 6’3” senior jumping jack who averaged 11.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season. He is also a Division I college football prospect. 6’1” junior Darren Taborn, 6’1” senior Josiah Hudgins, and 6’0” senior Keith Lee all logged significant minutes last season.
Coach Richards and the Comets will look to senior Landon Long for leadership. Long averaged 12.4 points per game last season. 6’6” junior Jack Cooper and 6’7” senior Matt Minick are both potential college players and give the Comets good size inside. Ethan Howard is a 5’10 point guard who scored 6.7 points per game while running the Comet offense.
Sidney will be making its first OVHC appearance. Mason will be returning for the fourth time. The Comets defeated Springboro last year, defeated Kentucky state runner-up Cooper in 2016, and lost on a buzzer beater tip in to Dublin Jerome in 2015.
Complete Ohio Valley Hoops Classic information can be found on the web at: www.ohiovalleyhoopsclassic.com
Bennie Carroll is the manager of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic.
In this AIM Media Midwest file photo form Dec. 19, 2017 Sidney junior guard Andre Gordon dribbles with pressure from Butler’s Kort Justice during a Greater Western Ohio Conference game on Tuesday in Sidney.