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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guess who's coming to the 2011 Smitty Classic??

Another WQKT/Steve Smith Holiday Hoops Classic is coming our way this December, like it has for the past seven years, and this one looks to be pretty special. I know I'm way early on this, but like two years ago when I got wind of the Orrville/Smithville matchup, this year's lineup is just too interesting to sit on all summer.

Now in it's 8th year, the Smitty Classic has become a staple of Wayne County basketball and is run so well by Mike Breckenridge of WQKT radio and his many helpers. In every year but the first, the classic has featured Orrville, and the Riders have won all Smitty Classic games but one (2010 vs. Hillsdale).

The Red Riders will again take part in this year's featured game. This year's classic will also mark the debut of a team that has never participated in the event before...but is a team that local fans are very familiar with...and one that I've stated needs to be a part of the classic each and every year...and this year the stars have finally aligned.

Enough suspense. Finally, the Hiland Hawks will be a part of the Smitty Classic. And guess who they'll be playing? None other than the Orrville Red Riders, of course.

Here's the entire lineup...with another local team in West Holmes returning after a three-year absence.

December 17, 2011
Triway vs. Newark Catholic
Northwestern vs. Heath
Norwayne vs. West Holmes
Hillsdale vs. Norwalk
Wooster vs. North Canton Hoover
Orrville vs. Hiland

Wooster/North Canton should be interesting, as the Vikings are led by former Triway coach Randy Montgomery.

Should be an interesting matchup between the Hawks and Red Riders to say the least. Hiland is in the Division 4 final four this week, so it's possible that the Riders get a shot at a defending state champion.  If it's anything close to the 1992 matchup between the two schools who would both go on to win state titles in their respective divisions later that season, then all fans will get more than their money's worth.

I'm guessing Hiland brings a big contingent of fans (as they always do) and the Classic enjoys a big day of ticket sales as well.

No other surprises on Orrville's 2011-12 basketball schedule, but here it is in case you wanted to make early travel plans for a getaway weekend in beautiful Mansfield. :-)

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