CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's going to be a whole lot of hooping going on during the final few days of January.
Several different basketball tournaments and showcases will be staged in the southern part of the state over the next few weekends, starting Saturday with the Hatfield-McCoy West Virginia-Kentucky Shootout at the Williamson Field House.
The following weekend brings the King Coal Classic, a two-day event at Willie Akers Arena in Logan (Jan. 25-26), with the weeklong Big Atlantic Classic set to start on Monday, Jan. 28 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
All three of those events will sport some of the top-ranked teams in the state.
In between, you can find the traditional St. Joseph Invitational in Huntington and the beginning of the Hometown Invitational Tournament featuring a 16-team Class A public school field.
Here's a rundown of those events:
A one-day, seven-game showcase scheduled to tip off at noon Saturday (see adjoining schedule).
West Virginia-ranked teams competing include South Charleston (No. 3 AAA) against Wesley Christian (Ky.) at 3 p.m., Tolsia (No. 7 AA) versus Sheldon Clark (Ky.) at 4:30, Hurricane (No. 10 AAA) against Belfry (Ky.) at 6 and Tug Valley (No. 3 A) versus Riverside at 9.
King Coal Classic
A couple potential showdowns loom on the opening night of this event.
At 6 p.m. on Jan. 25, Greenbrier East (9-0), the defending girls AAA champion, takes on upset-minded Logan (7-3). The host Wildcats own four wins against state-ranked teams so far, including victories over Morgantown and Huntington.
The finale finds Greenbrier East's unbeaten boys team (12-0, No. 4 in AAA) colliding with Tug Valley (8-1, No. 3 in A), the defending AA state champion.
Saturday's card is highlighted by the return of former Logan all-stater Stevie Browning, now a freshman at Fairmont State. The Falcons meet Davis & Elkins in a men's college contest at 4 p.m.
Tickets are priced at $6. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House, the Logan Animal Shelter and the American Cancer Society.
Big Atlantic Classic
The annual tournament in Beckley has attracted another star-studded field, with three top-ranked teams scheduled to compete and 16 state-ranked teams in all (10 boys, six girls).
The No. 1s on hand include Bluefield (AA boys), Greenbrier East (AAA girls) and Westside (AA girls).
The ranked boys teams participating are:
The ranked girls teams on hand:
Unlike the boys brackets, which keep each class separate, the girls division pits AAA against AA in some games (see schedule, Page 2B). Part of Saturday's card could be a showdown between the top two girls AAA teams - East and University - or a No. 1 vs. No. 1 matchup with East and Westside.
The third Hometown Invitational Tournament begins today with four North Division first-round games.
The South Division - featuring state-ranked area teams Buffalo and Valley - will hold its seeding meeting Sunday afternoon in Smithers to determine its first-round matchups.
Two state-ranked teams will appear in the North quarterfinals - No. 7 St. Marys and co-No. 10 Tygarts Valley.