Romeo Langford and defending Class 4-A champ New Albany will face North Central as part of the Forum Credit Union Tipoff Classic
The fourth annual high school boys basketball Forum Credit Union Tip Off Classic is set for Dec. 10 at Southport with an enticing six-game lineup.
Here’s a look at the complete lineup:
• Hamilton Southeastern vs. South Bend Riley, 11:30 a.m. – Hamilton Southeastern is coming off a 14-12 season and will be led by Zach Gunn (17.2 ppg, 8.6 rebounds), an Indiana Junior All-Star. HSE also has some talented underclassmen, including Brennan Scofield (averaged 6.6 points as a sophomore), Noah Smith (4.1 points as a freshman) and Aaron Etherington (4.1 points as a freshman). Jack Davidson, a senior-to-be, averaged 6.1 points last season. South Bend Riley, 22-6 last season and sectional champion, returns a talented core led by Damezi Anderson (18.1 points, 7.4 rebounds as a sophomore) and Shamar Dillard (9.5 points as a sophomore).
• Mt. Vernon vs. Cloverdale, 1:15 p.m. – Mt. Vernon returns the core of a team that finished 18-5 last season, including Michael Ertel (15.8 ppg, 3.7 assists), Erick Shepherd (13.3 ppg, 5.8 rebounds) and James McCloud (8.3 ppg), all seniors next season. Cloverdale was 19-8 last season and won a Class 2A sectional. The Clovers will be led by senior and Butler recruit Cooper Neese (29.5 ppg, 9.5 rebounds last season).
• Lawrence North vs. Fort Wayne North Side, 3 p.m. – Lawrence North is loaded again coming off a 19-6 season under Jack Keefer. The Wildcats bring back 6-8 senior Ra Kpedi and highly-touted junior Kevin Easley, as well as several others. North Side, 18-7 last season, will be led by 6-8 senior Jaylen Butz and highly-regarded sophomore Keion Brooks.
• Park Tudor vs. Fort Wayne Snider, 5 p.m. – This is another matchup of potential Mr. Basketball candidates as Park Tudor’s 6-10 senior-to-be Jaren Jackson Jr. (16.1 ppg, 7.8 rebounds) squares off against Snider 6-10 senior-to-be Malik Williams. Both are highly-recruited players. Park Tudor, which was 20-5 last season and won a 3A sectional, also brings back Kobe Webster (14.5 ppg, 3.7 assists) and Isaiah Rice (10.8 ppg) as seniors. Snider was 14-9 last season.
• Southport vs. Castle, 6:45 p.m. – Yet another matchup of top seniors as Southport’s Paul Scruggs (19.0 ppg, 7.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists) is featured against Castle’s 6-10 Jack Nunge (19.3 ppg, 11.4 rebounds). Southport was 22-7 last season and won a regional for the first time since 1990. Castle was 19-6 and lost in the sectional championship to Evansville Reitz.
• North Central vs. New Albany, 8:30 p.m. – North Central was 22-4 last season and won a sectional title last season. The Panthers bring back the 6-8 Wilkes, along with fellow seniors Mateo Rivera and Emmanuel Little. New Albany, the defending Class 4A state champion, returns the 6-4 Langford (30.2 ppg, 9.1 rebounds) and Junior All-Star Isaac Hibbard (15.5 ppg) as its top players.
Call IndyStar reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.