The inaugural East-West Classic is scheduled to start, with a couple of changes from the original plan, Thursday night at East Hamilton and continue Friday and Saturday with six- and five-game slates.
Friday’s six-game card will also be at East Hamilton, but the Saturday action is to be played at Jim Smiddy Arena at Bradley Central High School.
East Hamilton girls’ coach Hunter Gremore said Wednesday that both Bartlett teams, plus the Fayette-Ware girls, have dropped out of the event.
“The Fayette girls literally dropped out three days ago,” said Gremore, who spent two decades coaching boys’ and girls’ basketball teams at Cordova and Arlington before coming to East Hamilton. “Thank goodness Notre Dame’s girls were able to help us out and we appreciate that.”
So, with a slightly revamped schedule, Gremore and East Hamilton boys’ coach Rodney English are ready to open the doors of the East Brainerd school and shine a light on how area teams will fare against those from the Memphis area.
Four teams in the field reached the 2017 state tournament last season: East Hamilton and Oak Ridge boys and the Houston and Oak Ridge girls.
Eventual champion Memphis East whipped East Hamilton’s by 20 points in the quarterfinals and Oak Ridge’s boys also lost to Memphis East 63-60 in the semifinals.
Houston’s girls reached the semifinals and Oak Ridge was ousted in the quarterfinals.
In 2016, Bradley’s Bearettes and Oak Ridge’s Lady Wildcats went to state, met in the semifinals and Oak Ridge won that game before losing to Riverdale in the title game. The Fayette-Ware boys lost to eventual state champion Fulton in the semifinals.
Gremore’s Lady Hurricanes will host Houston to tip off the classic on Thursday night at 6 p.m.
Friday games begin at noon with the host girls playing Notre Dame. The Hurricanes play Oakhaven in the second game. The action begins at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday with five more games with the host Bearettes and Bears taking on Arlington and Fayette-Ware, respectively, in the final two contests.
Chick-fil-A is the primary sponsor for the classic.
Admission to Thursday’s game is $6 and fans can see all the Friday and Saturday games for $8 per day.
Here is the complete three-day schedule:
East-West Classic Schedule
At East Hamilton High School
6 p.m. – Houston girls vs. East Hamilton
At East Hamilton High School
Noon – Notre Dame girls vs. East Hamilton
1:30 p.m. – Oakhaven boys vs. East Hamilton
3 p.m. – Arlington girls vs. Oak Ridge
4:30 p.m. – Bolton boys vs. Bradley Central
6 p.m. – Houston girls vs. Bradley Central
7:30 p.m. – Fayette-Ware boys vs. Oak Ridge
At Bradley Central High School
1:30 p.m. – Bolton boys vs. Oak Ridge
3 p.m. – Houston girls vs. Oak Ridge
4:30 p.m. – Fayette-Ware boys vs. East Hamilton
6 p.m. – Arlington girls vs. Bradley Central
7:30 p.m. – Oakhaven boys vs. Bradley Central
(Contact Larry Fleming at email@example.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)