CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Wheeling Park has always been willing to go the extra mile - or hundreds of miles - to get its basketball team the best possible schedule.
Witness then the Patriots' trip to Charleston to compete in the 15th Fellowship of Christian Athletes Hoops Classic, a wall-to-wall basketball event that tips off early today at the Civic Center.
Park (2-0) tangles with Winfield (3-0) at approximately 6:45 tonight in one of the featured games of the two-day, 16-game showcase held at the site of the annual state tournament in March.
"We've actually been trying to do this for the last few years,'' said Park coach Michael Jebbia. "We've been able to take advantage of it and we've been able to get down there.''
The Patriots played the Generals in the same pairing last year at the Hoops Classic, earning a 61-57 victory.
But Park won't be satisfied with just one trip to the Kanawha Valley this season. It also has games scheduled at George Washington (Dec. 28) and South Charleston (March 1).
Jebbia is anxious to see how his squad matches up with some of the state's better programs, since the Patriots sport just one senior on their roster in 6-foot-4 guard Luke Saseen, a four-year regular.
Another potential senior, Zach Phillips, the quarterback on the Patriots' Class AAA playoff semifinal football team, elected not to play basketball this season in order to concentrate on football.
Jebbia said the makeup of his team is a bit different than past years.
"In some of the past years, we've been more athletic,'' Jebbia said, "but we have a little bit of everything. We have decent size in [6-5] Phil Bledsoe and [6-4] Chalmer Moffett, some pretty good shooters in Trenton Smith and Ryan Reinbeau and Luke is a four-year player.
"We were kind of lacking at point guard, but Toddy Goodwin-Rowe transferred from Linsly. He actually came back - he went through our middle school system, then went to private school for two years.''
Jebbia also expects support off the bench from sophomoresSavion Johnson and Elijah Bell.
Winfield, meanwhile, has gotten explosive scoring from several sources in shooting out to its 3-0 mark.