Ironton Classic features talented 11-team field

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2008

Basketball junkies, get your fix.

A total of 11 teams from four states will play seven games in two days as Ironton High School will host its first annual Ironton Classic.

The high school basketball showcase is the brain child of Ironton Fighting Tigers head coach Mark LaFon said the holiday event has been a long-time goal of his to create an event that produced a great show for the area.

Email newsletter signup

“I was hoping to get four teams this year. I just wanted to get it off the ground. I never imagined it would turn into this type of an event. It’s exciting. This will be a great event for the fans, and not just our fans,” said LaFon.

The Classic will have host Ironton playing each night, Monday against Russell, Ky., and on Tuesday against Division I power Columbus Brookhaven who won the 2002 state title and made Final Four appearances from 2000-04.

Brookhaven has three college prospects in Terrence Watkins, Tyree Robinson, and Craig Sealy.

Other local teams are Ironton St. Joseph and Chesapeake. St. Joseph faces a good Racine Southern team at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Chesapeake goes against Huntington (W.Va.) High in the 5 p.m. game on Monday.

Huntington High won three state titles in Class AAA during the Patrick Patterson and O.J. Mayo era.

The first game of The Classic matches a talented Columbus Walnut Ridge against perennial Maryland power Largo, the Class AAA defending state champions.

After Ironton and Russell play at 7 p.m. on Monday, Mountain State (W.Va.) Academy plays Campbell Memorial, a Youngstown area school.

Ironton fans remember Campbell Memorial from the 1989 Div. III state championship game the Fighting Tigers won 12-7.

Mountain State is ranked No. 33 in the ESPN top 50 prep teams in the country.

One of the top prospects for Mountain State is guard Noah Cottrill, rated the No. 10 point guard by Rivals and He has verbally committed to West Virginia.

Other prospects include No. 12 center Vander Joaquim who has signed with Nebraska, No. 14 power forward Deniz Kilicli who is another WVU signee, and 6-1 guard Jabs Newby who is being recruited by several Div. I schools including Marshall.

Not only is the lineup filled with outstanding teams and talented players, but the cost for the event is just $8 for each evening.

Proceeds from the Classic will go toward remodeling the Conley Sports Center by replacing the floor and bleachers.

“Besides remodeling the Sports Center, we want to create scholarships and do even more things for the athletic program,” said LaFon.

Also, a shuttle van will run every 30 minutes from the Conley Sports Center to Buffalo Wild Wings. A ticket for each night will allow fans to leave and return if they choose shuttle van.

The Ironton Classic

Monday Dec. 22

3 p.m. — Largo, MD., vs. Columbus Walnut Ridge

5 p.m. — Chesapeake vs. Huntington, W.Va.

7 p.m. — Ironton vs. Russell, Ky.

9 p.m. — Mountain State (W.Va.) Academy vs. Campbell Memorial

Tuesday, Dec. 23

5 p.m. — Ironton St. Joseph vs. Racine Southern

7 p.m. — Campbell Memorial vs. Largo, MD.

9 p.m. — Columbus Brookhaven vs. Ironton