• 59°

Ironton Classic has national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy

If you think the Ironton Classic was a big success last season, take a look at this year’s lineup.

The area’s showcase event will have the showcase team of high school basketball with the addition of the Oak Hill Academy Warriors, ranked No. 1 in the nation by RivalsHigh 100.

“We had some good team last year and a few of them are back and they’re even better. We’ve added some high-profile teams in Oak Hill Academy and Cincinnati Princeton. We think this lineup is even better than last year,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

The Ironton Classic will be held Monday and Tuesday at the Ironton Sports Center with four games each day. Oak Hill Academy will play each day.

Tickets for the event are $8 each day and good for all four games. Tickets will be on sale in advance at Bob Linn Sporting Goods during business hours on Saturday and until noon on Monday.

The first day will tip-off at 3 p.m. as Ironton St. Joseph plays Manchester. The 5 p.m. game features Oak Hill against Columbus Walnut Ridge.

Campbell Memorial will bring a veteran team to the 7 p.m. game against Division I power Cincinnati Princeton, ranked No. 2 in the Ohio preseason poll.

Host Ironton will play the 9 p.m. game against Columbus Africentric, a former Div. IV state champion.

Tuesday’s lineup has a new twist with a girls’ game as Ironton hosts unbeaten South Point at 3 p.m.

Chesapeake plays Campbell Memorial at 5 p.m. followed by Ironton and Warren at 7 p.m. in what doubles as a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

The grand finale pits Oak Hill Academy against Princeton.

Oak Hill Academy has produced some outstanding players who reached the NBA including Ron Mercer, Jeff McInnis, Stephen Jackson, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley, Ty Lawson and Brandon Jennings.

One of the top players for the Warriors this season is 6-foot guard Juwan Staten from Dayton.

The roster is filled with players from across the country as well as overseas. Two players are from Spain: 6-4 forward Marco Porcher and 7-1, 290-pound center Martins Abele.