Ironton Classic features impressive lineup

Published 4:17 pm Monday, December 20, 2021

Jim Walker

It’s back and it’s bigger and better.

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The 13th Ironton Classic was shut down last season due to COVID-19, but the premier event returns to the Ironton Conley Sports Center Tuesday and Wednesday with one of its more impressive lineups of games and some standout players.

The Classic will feature some familiar teams along with some traditional basketball programs from other areas not seen very often locally.

“Our goal was to have a lot of new faces and we’ve been able to do that,” said tournament director Cory McKnight.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers and Lady Fighting Tigers will both play on each day.

The boys face the high-powered Boyd County Lions at 8:15 on Tuesday and then play the always talented Chillicothe Cavaliers at the same time on Wednesday.

The Ironton girls will play each day in The Classic for the first time and will host the tip-off game each day at 1:15 p.m.

The Lady Tigers face the traditional power Huntington Lady Highlanders on Tuesday and then the Raceland Lady Rams on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s second game at 3 p.m. will be a classic matchup between the Huntington Highlanders and Africentric Nubians. Both programs have been traditional powers.

Africentric features Daily Swain who has a multitude of offers including Ohio University, Toledo, Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio State, Arizona State, Marquette, Butler and Cleveland State.

Dan Wagner — who averaged 21.6 points and 4.0 assists a game last season — was first team All-Ohio defensive back and was a member of the 4×200 meter relay team that won the state championship.

One of the featured games till be at 4:45 when Flyght Academy from Ohio faces International Sports Academy.

Flyght Academy features Mike Sharavjamts who has committed to Dayton; Jared Frey who has offers from Miami, Toledo, Ohio University, Fairfield, Canisius and Eastern Kentucky; Magnus Entenmann with offers from Robert Morris and Eastern Michigan; Grgur Brcic who has offers from Bucknell, Dayton and Virginia Tech; Larry Kocisko with offers from Lake Erie College and the University of Indianapolis; Gabs Bergeron who is a Notre Dame College commit; and Brendan McRoy with offers from VMI, Navy, Army and St. John Fisher.

The Fairland Dragons led by last season’s Division 3 District Player of the Year Aiden Porter will go against the Trifecta-Village Patriots and their standout Layne Sarver at 6:30 p.m. Tri-Village was ranked No.1 in the Associated Press Division 4 poll last season and did not lose until the regional finals.

The 6-foot-4 Server is listed as the 19th top prospect in Ohio high schools this season. He averaged 23 points and 6 rebounds a game last season and averaged 18.1 as a sophomore.

Both Porter and Sarver had 1,000 plus career points, were district players of the year and first team All-Ohio last season.

Ironton and Boyd County will then cap off the day.

On Wednesday at the Ironton-Raceland girls’ game, the unbeaten Lucasville Valley Indians will take on the 6-1 Symmes Valley Vikings who posted two big wins last weekend over Latham Western and Portsmouth West.

West beat Wheelersburg on Friday.

International Sports Academy makes its second appearance in The Classic when it takes on Liberty Heights of North Carolina.

The 6:30 game has Hurricane, W.Va. facing the Southeast District D2 Player of the Year Trey Robertson and the Waverly Tigers.

Ironton will close out the two-day event against Chillicothe.

Admission is just $8 each day for all five games. If someone has to leave or any period of time, they just need to get a hand stamp and may return at no charge.

Game sponsors for The Classic include Awards Plus Tees, McDonald’s, Glockner auto sales of Ironton, Elks Lodge 177 of Ironton, Marathon Petroleum, Stonecreek Storage Center, Meraki Studios, Fat Boy Q, Phillips Funeral Home, R&R Restoration and Electrical as well as Century 21 Brooks Wells Enterprises.

The 13th Classic

Tuesday’s Games

1:15 – Ironton Lady Tigers vs. Huntington, W.Va. girls

3:00 – Huntington boys vs. Africentric

4:45—Flyght Academy vs. International Sports Academy

6:30 – Fairland vs. Tri-Village

8:15 – Ironton vs. Boyd County, Ky.

Wednesday’s Games

1:15 – Ironton Lady Tigers vs. Raceland Ky.

3:00 – Lucasville Valley vs. Symmes Valley

4:45  – International Sports Academy vs. Liberty Heights, N.C.

6:00 – Hurricane, W.Va. vs. Waverly

8:15 – Chillicothe vs. Ironton