By Rob Kiser
Doug Haines of the Buckeye Insurance Group and Rick Muzzy of Muzzy Broadcasting are constantly looking for ways to improve the B.I.G. Holiday Classic — and the 2015 edition is no different.
It is something they have done since the first tournament in January of 2009 and the eighth edition of the tournament looks to be the best year yet.
“The much anticipated Holiday Classic basketball tournament comes with even more exciting news this year,” says Haines. “The tournament has expanded to include four more schools and we look forward to the largest attendance on record as eight boys teams compete for the chance to take home the traveling trophy and championship title.”
After holding a boys and girls tournament for three years, this year’s tournament will feature two boys tournaments — the Green Division and the Red Division.
“I think Doug Haines and Rick Haines are always looking for ways to improve the tournament,” Piqua athletic director Chip Hare said. “They are looking to make this one of the premier holiday tournaments in Southwest Ohio.”
The Green Division will include Covington, Lehman Catholic, Russia and Troy Christian.
Joining host Piqua in the Red Division will be Belmont, Tecumseh and Tippecanoe.
Things kickoff Tuesday, with a similar time schedule on Wednesday.
The JV tournament Tuesday will include Troy Christian vs. Lehman, 9 a.m..; Russia vs. Covington, 10:30 a.m.; Tecumseh vs. Belmont, noon; and Piqua vs. Tippecanoe, 1:30 p.m.
The varsity games will be Troy Christian vs. Lehman, 4 p.m.; Tecumseh vs. Belmont, 5:30 p.m.; Russia vs. Covington, 7 p.m.; and Piqua vs. Tippecanoe, 8:30 p.m.
Noon, 1:30pm and Varsity games at 4pm, 5:30pm 7pm and 8:30pm both days. Tickets run $4 for students and $6 for adults and can be purchased at the door. For both JV and Varsity games, one ticket provides admission to all the games at that level each day.
Hare is looking forward to next week’s games.
“As you know, I played the game at the college level,” the former University of Dayton standout said. “I played in my share of holiday tournaments. This tournament is as well run as any holiday tournament I played in during my time at Dayton. It is great competition, they treat the kids — both by feeding them and with apparel.
“And this is the third year for the scholarship program. Doug Haines and Rick Muzzy have done a great job working with local sponsors to increase the amount of the scholarship.”
This year, one player from each of the eight teams will receive an $500 scholarship — with new sponsors Main Source Bank, Wilson Health, Town and Country Furniture and Polysource.
“Doug Haines (President and CEO of Buckeye Insurance Group) and I are delighted to see this program grow and we aspire to see that trend continue in the future,” says Rick Muzzy, Owner of Muzzy Broadcasting.
Recipients of these scholarships must be high school seniors, must have lettered in sports the previous year and hold the highest GPA on the team. The 2015 recipients will be announced at halftime on Wednesday.
This tournament is made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Muzzy Broadcasting-WPTW, Buckeye Insurance Group, Unity National Bank, Tom Walters Allstate, Wilson Health, First Choice Auto Body, McColloch Baker Insurance Service, Garbry Ridge Assisted Living, along with several other businesses within our community.
Visit www.981wptw.com for more tournament details.