CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's going to be a whole lot of hooping going on during the final few days of January.Several different basketball tournaments and showcases will be staged in the southern part of the state over the next few weekends, starting Saturday with the Hatfield-McCoy West Virginia-Kentucky Shootout at the Williamson Field House.The following weekend brings the King Coal Classic, a two-day event at Willie Akers Arena in Logan (Jan. 25-26), with the weeklong Big Atlantic Classic set to start on Monday, Jan. 28 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.All three of those events will sport some of the top-ranked teams in the state.
In between, you can find the traditional St. Joseph Invitational in Huntington and the beginning of the Hometown Invitational Tournament featuring a 16-team Class A public school field.Here's a rundown of those events:Hatfield-McCoyA one-day, seven-game showcase scheduled to tip off at noon Saturday (see adjoining schedule).West Virginia-ranked teams competing include South Charleston (No. 3 AAA) against Wesley Christian (Ky.) at 3 p.m., Tolsia (No. 7 AA) versus Sheldon Clark (Ky.) at 4:30, Hurricane (No. 10 AAA) against Belfry (Ky.) at 6 and Tug Valley (No. 3 A) versus Riverside at 9.King Coal ClassicA couple potential showdowns loom on the opening night of this event.At 6 p.m. on Jan. 25, Greenbrier East (9-0), the defending girls AAA champion, takes on upset-minded Logan (7-3). The host Wildcats own four wins against state-ranked teams so far, including victories over Morgantown and Huntington.The finale finds Greenbrier East's unbeaten boys team (12-0, No. 4 in AAA) colliding with Tug Valley (8-1, No. 3 in A), the defending AA state champion.Saturday's card is highlighted by the return of former Logan all-stater Stevie Browning, now a freshman at Fairmont State. The Falcons meet Davis & Elkins in a men's college contest at 4 p.m.Tickets are priced at $6. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House, the Logan Animal Shelter and the American Cancer Society.
Big Atlantic Classic
The annual tournament in Beckley has attracted another star-studded field, with three top-ranked teams scheduled to compete and 16 state-ranked teams in all (10 boys, six girls).The No. 1s on hand include Bluefield (AA boys), Greenbrier East (AAA girls) and Westside (AA girls).The ranked boys teams participating are:AAA - No. 4 Greenbrier East, No. 5 Morgantown, No. 7 Parkersburg South;AA - No. 1 Bluefield, No. 4 Wyoming East, No. 5 Robert C. Byrd, No. 10 Westside;A - No. 8 Valley, No. 9 Greenbrier West; No. 10 Tygarts Valley.
The ranked girls teams on hand:AAA - No. 1 Greenbrier East, No. 2 University, No. 8 George Washington, No. 10 Preston;AA - No. 1 Westside. No. 5 Nicholas County.
Unlike the boys brackets, which keep each class separate, the girls division pits AAA against AA in some games (see schedule, Page 2B). Part of Saturday's card could be a showdown between the top two girls AAA teams - East and University - or a No. 1 vs. No. 1 matchup with East and Westside.
Hometown InvitationalThe third Hometown Invitational Tournament begins today with four North Division first-round games.The South Division - featuring state-ranked area teams Buffalo and Valley - will hold its seeding meeting Sunday afternoon in Smithers to determine its first-round matchups.Two state-ranked teams will appear in the North quarterfinals - No. 7 St. Marys and co-No. 10 Tygarts Valley.
The North first-round games tonight find top seed St. Marys at eighth-seeded Valley Wetzel (St. Marys' gym wasn't available), No. 5 seed South Harrison at No. 4 East Hardy, No. 7 Doddridge County at No. 2 Clay-Battelle and No. 6 Cameron at No. 3 Tygarts Valley.St. Joseph InvitationalThe 36th St. Joseph Invitational moves to the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington after years at the since-razed Veterans Memorial Field House.The two-tiered event begins Wednesday with small-school games (see adjoining schedule), including Charleston Catholic, the state's top-ranked Class A boys team, meeting Wayne at 7 p.m.The big-school division tips off Thursday night, with the consolation and finals set for Friday (small school) and Saturday (big school).Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or email@example.com.
Hatfield-McCoy West Virginia-Kentucky ShootoutAt Williamson Field HouseSaturdayNoon - Hannan vs. Phelps (Ky.)1:30 p.m. - River View vs. Pike Central (Ky.)3 - South Charleston vs. Wesley Christian (Ky.)4:30 - Tolsia vs. Sheldon Clark (Ky.)6 - Hurricane vs. Belfry (Ky.)7:30 - Mingo Central vs. Ripley9 - Tug Valley vs. Riverside
King Coal ClassicAt Willie Akers Arena, LoganFriday, Jan. 256 p.m. - Logan vs. Greenbrier East (girls)7:30 - Belfry (Ky.) vs. Logan (boys)9 - Tug Valley vs. Greenbrier East (boys)
Saturday, Jan. 26Noon - Logan vs. Chapmanville (boys junior varsity)2 p.m. - Capital vs. Tolsia (boys)4 p.m. - Fairmont State vs. Davis & Elkins (men's college)6 p.m. - Greenbrier East vs. Logan (boys)
Big Atlantic ClassicAt Beckley-Raleigh County Convention CenterJan. 28-Feb. 2See Page 2B for scheduleSt. Joseph InvitationalAt Big Sandy Superstore Arena, HuntingtonWednesday/small schools7 p.m. - Charleston Catholic vs. Wayne9 - St. Joseph vs. Wesley Christian (Ky.)
Thursday/big schools7 p.m. - Fairland (Ohio) vs. Mountain Mission (Va.)9 - Spring Valley vs. Chesapeake (Ohio)
Friday/small schools7 p.m./9 p.m. - Consolation/championship
Saturday/big schools7 p.m./9 p.m. - Consolation/championship