The bricks in the school district’s new building weren’t even in place when Elgin High School athletic director Jason Hix came up with the idea to host a holiday basketball tournament.
About this time a year ago, Hix was bouncing around the idea to have four schools from Marion County play in an event which would feature both varsity and junior varsity tournaments for boys and girls squads.
The new school is now open, and even with one of the invitees closing its doors, the Elgin Tipoff Tournament is a go for this weekend.
“We have a new school and we have the facility, so we wanted to break it in with a nice weekend of basketball,” Hix said.
Hix said it wasn’t difficult to get fellow Marion County schools Pleasant and Ridgedale to join in on the fun.
“Kirk (Pleasant athletic director Kirk Ballinger) and Greg (Ridgedale AD Greg Rossman) were very willing to adjust their teams’ schedules,” Hix said. “They have been great to work with and eager to make this happen.”
Along with the host Elgin school, the fourth school originally scheduled to compete in the event was Marion Catholic. That school, however, shuttered at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Hix then had to find someone to fill the vacancy in the event.
“Getting the boys team was fairly easy,” Hix said. “Shekinah Christian jumped on the opening last spring.
“Thurgood Marshall (the girls representative), we just got them under contract last month. Marion Catholic’s closing threw us a loop, but we understand.”
Elgin will utilize its main gymnasium for the varsity games and its auxiliary gym for the JV contests in the event.
Action begins at 2 p.m. Friday with Thurgood Marshall going up against Ridgedale in varsity girls play and Elgin battling Pleasant in a JV boys game. At 3:30, JV girls teams from Thurgood Marshall and Ridgedale will meet while Shekinah Christian and Ridgedale will square off in a varsity boys contest.
The third session Friday will have Ridgedale versus Shekinah Christian in boys JV action and Elgin against Pleasant in a varsity girls game.
The final round Friday will have Elgin and Pleasant playing in a JV girls game and a varsity boys contest.
Consolation games for both JV and varsity teams will be at 1 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
The first championship games will be at 4:30 p.m. for JV boys and varsity girls. The JV girls and varsity boys title contests will be at 6 p.m.
Boys teams will see their first action of the season in the tournament.
Girls squads from Elgin and Pleasant will seek to continue their early-season success in the tourney, while Ridgedale comes into the event on the heels of a season-opening loss.
Elgin clamped down defensively to beat Centerburg 38-24 on Saturday. Jace Wolf scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting and hauled down seven rebounds for the Lady Comets. Allison Tumey added nine points while Taylor Close contributed seven steals, five rebounds and six assists.
Elgin’s JVs also were victorious, 44-36. Tara Nelson led Elgin with 15 points and Meridith Cocherl added 11.
Pleasant downed Colonel Crawford 58-35 as Brittany Davis and Jesse Georgen each scored 12 points.
Ridgedale shot just 9-of-57 from the field and only 14-of-28 from the foul line in a 53-36 loss to Fredericktown. Katie Meadows paced the Lady Rockets with 16 points, and Haley Parker and Brooke Mattix each tallied seven. Emily Williams led Fredericktown with 17 points.
Other area girls teams resume action this weekend after beginning their seasons last week.
Marion Harding fell 70-36 to Bucyrus and 56-34 to Mansfield Senior in the Bucyrus Tip-Off Classic. Olivia Davis scored 15 points and Taylor McIntire 10 for Harding against Bucyrus while Davis poured in 21 against Mansfield Senior.
In other area results last weekend, Delaware Christian beat Highland 39-28 despite eight points from the Lady Scots’ Katie Davies; River Valley lost 63-25 to Wynford; Cardington dropped a 60-40 decision to Tree of Life; Buckeye Valley was on the short end of a 60-39 score versus Delaware Hayes; Fairbanks defeated Ridgemont 61-13; Centerburg lost to Liberty Union 60-41; North Union used seven points each from Mason Jamison and Emily Clark to defeat Benjamin Logan 33-27; and Northmor breezed past Crestline 52-15 behind 10 points each from Chantel Cline and Taylor Shirley. Kyndall Williams pulled in eight rebounds as well for Northmor, while Cline had 10 steals.
Lydia Farley’s seven points led Northmor’s JVs to a 44-11 win over Crestline.