After a one-year absence, the North-South Basketball Classic is set to return on Friday, June 18 at the South Charleston Community Center. Last year’s game was canceled by COVID-19.
The West Virginia Athletic Directors Association, which sponsors the game, has selected the coaches — Bryan England (St. Albans) and Jared Robertson (Greenbrier West) for the South and Scott Sauro (Williamstown) and Ryan Lambert (Pendleton County) for the North. The WVADA will announce the rosters in the next few days.
“Obviously, it’s an honor for those student-athletes to get the opportunity to play in the North-South game,’’ England said, “and getting to play one more high school basketball game. And being able to be part of that is pretty special for me. I haven’t had the opportunity to coach in an all-star game before, and I’m looking forward to it.’’
The skills competition — including free-throw shooting, 3-point shooting and a slam-dunk contest — will precede the game at 6 p.m. Tipoff of the game (if tipoff is allowed again) is scheduled for 7:30. Admission price is $5.
England and St. Albans qualified for the 2020 Class AAA state tournament — the school’s first regional title since 2004 — but wasn’t able to participate when COVID wiped out the entire boys state tournament that year. Robertson and Greenbrier West got into this year’s Class A state tournament by knocking off No. 3-ranked James Monroe in the regionals when the Mavericks were 17-1.
The North coaches also sport lofty credentials. Sauro and the top-seeded Yellowjackets won the school’s first championship since 1962 when they beat Poca 50-47 in the Class AA finals on Saturday. Lambert led Pendleton to 40 straight wins across the last two seasons before falling to Man 43-36 in the Class A title game on Saturday.
The South leads the series 29-8 since its resumption in 1983, but the North has taken two of the last three games, including a record-breaking 171-141 victory the last time the game was held in 2019.