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Top talent visits area at Ironton Classic

If you’re looking for a measuring stick to compare your basketball talents, then the Ironton Basketball Classic is a must attend.

Some of the top teams from not just the local area but across Ohio are scheduled for the two-day event that includes an appearance by the legendary Oak Hill Academy, one of the top programs in the country.

“People are going to see a lot of good basketball,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon. “This is going to be the best collection of athletes ever in this gym.”

Oak Hill Academy has been ranked No. 2 in the country by RivalsHigh 100, but top-ranked Findlay Prep lost to Columbus Northland 53-52 Thursday which could vault the Warriors to the top spot.

Also among the highly-ranked teams is Cincinnati Princeton, No. 2 in Ohio among the Division I schools.

Campbell Memorial and Columbus Walnut Ridge both return most of their teams from last year. Columbus Africentric has a Division IV state title on its resume and Warren is expected to be one of the top teams in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.

This year’s classic will feature a girls’ game at 3 p.m. on Tuesday as the unbeaten South Point Lady Pointers play the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers. Both teams advanced to the regional tournament last year and have four starters returning.

LaFon said the obvious focus of the classic is the participating teams, but he said there has been a lot of work and financial support to make this year’s event better than last year.

“People are going to see a lot work behind the scenes by our people who volunteer. And the sponsors have been great. I can’t say enough about the support we’ve had to make this a success before we ever played the first game,” said LaFon.

Tickets for the event are $8 per day and they are good for all four games. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at Bob Linn Sporting Goods until noon on Monday.

Here is the schedule:

2nd Annual Ironton Classic

Basketball Showcase

Monday’s Games

3 p.m. — Ironton St. Joseph vs. Manchester

5 p.m. — Oak Hill Academy vs. Columbus Walnut Ridge

7 p.m. — Campbell Memorial vs. Cincinnati Princeton

9 p.m. — Columbus Africentric vs. Ironton

Tuesday’s Games

3 p.m. — South Point girls vs. Ironton girls

5 p.m. — Chesapeake vs. Campbell Memorial

7 p.m. — Warren vs. Ironton

9 p.m. — Cincinnati Princeton vs. Oak Hill Academy

Admission: $8 each day for all 4 games.