Ro­tary Tip-Off launches big week

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By Buddy Collings

state-ranked teams and a Semi­nole squad com­ing off a 93-point per­for­mance, will com­pete for the Ro­tary Tip-Off Clas­sic boys bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onship over the next four days at Win­ter Park High School.

The Tip-Off tour­na­ment, an early-sea­son fix­ture on Or­lando’s high school bas­ket­ball scene for 42 years, tips off Wed­nes­day night at 7 p.m. with Day­tona Beach Main­land, com­ing off a 27-2 sea­son, fac­ing Evans, which was a fi­nal four team last sea­son.

Two teams in the SourceHoop­s.com pre­sea­son rank­ings, No. 1 Class 2A Or­lando Chris­tian Prep (1-0) and No. 6 6A Edge­wa­ter (1-0), will meet in the sec­ond quar­ter­fi­nal at 8:30.

Main­land has a No. 5 pre­sea­son rank­ing in 6A but is 0-2 with early losses to two state-ranked squads, Oak Ridge and Jack­sonville Jackson. The Buc­ca­neers re­turned Day­tona Beach area Player of the Year Jor­dan Sears (Gard­nerWebb) and foot­ball/bas­ket­ball stand­out Taron Keith from a 27-2 cam­paign.

Evans, which mode, is 1-0.

Day two on Thurs­day pits host Win­ter Park (0-1) against Port Or­ange Spruce Creek, which opened its sea­son Tues­day with high ex­pec­ta­tions. That game is fol­lowed by Semi­nole (1-0) against No. 3 7A Apopka (1-1).

Semi­nole, a large-class re­gion fi­nal­ist in three of the past four sea­sons, is an­other top 7A con­tender. The ’Noles opened with a 93-64 win against Lake Nona and ex­pect to add se­nior guard O’Shae Baker and sopho­more twins De­mari and Ja’Cari Hen­der­son to their ro­ta­tion Wed­nes­day. All three were on the Semi­noles’ 11-1 foot­ball team.

Apopka, which lost to Semi­nole 47-45 in a Tip-Off first round game a year ago, will be with­out 6-foot-6 se­nior Zach An­der­son. The Florida Gulf Coast signee suf­fered a slight knee sprain in the Blue Darters sec­ond game of the sea­son.

“We do not an­tic­i­pate any longterm is­sues,” Apopka coach Scott Wil­liams said of the in­jury.

Ap­palachian State signee Michael Eads (6-5) of Edge­wa­ter is also side­lined. He suf­fered a frac­tured tibia bone in Au­gust. Eads said his doc­tor should soon ad­vise him on whether or not he should re­turn to the court this sea­son. is in re­build­ing

The semi­fi­nals are Fri­day night, set­ting the stage for Satur­day’s 8:30 p.m. cham­pi­onship game.

Daily ad­mis­sion is $5 or two cans of food. The event ben­e­fits Cen­tral Florida char­i­ties and pro­vides $15,000 in col­lege schol­ar­ships an­nu­ally through the Ro­tary Club of Or­ange County East.

Bob Har­vey, in his 32nd sea­son as the tour­na­ment di­rec­tor, said the event has raised more than $50,000 this year and more than a mil­lion dol­lars for the com­mu­nity since its start.

The Tip-Off Clas­sic cranks up a big bas­ket­ball week­end.

Oak Ridge (1-0), ranked No. 2 in 7A, again hosts its Breast Can­cer Aware­ness Bas­ket­ball Clas­sic on Fri­day and Satur­day. The Pioneers play Dr. Phillips on Fri­day night and No. 6 7A Ocoee on Satur­day night.

The BCABC also show­cases Or­lando in­de­pen­dent power West Oaks, which has Kansas State signee Sel­ton Miguel (6-4, Sr.) ju­nior prospect A.J. Neal (6-1) and tal­ented trans­fer A.J. Sta­ton (6-5, Sr.), who av­er­aged 19.6 points per game for 8A state champ Pom­pano Beach Ely last sea­son.

State-ranked teams in the field in­clude No. 2 4A Tampa Catholic, No. 2 2A School­house Prep of Mi­ami, No. 3 2A Cen­tral Florida Chris­tian Academy, and No. 9 7A Win­der­mere.

Oviedo’s 10th an­nual Hoops with a Heart event on Satur­day again will do­nate all pro­ceeds to a foun­da­tion that ben­e­fits for­mer Bishop Moore coach Rob Gra­ham, who suf­fered car­diac ar­rest while coach­ing the Hor­nets. A Fri­day night girls bas­ket­ball dou­bleFour header has been added this year.

Also, The City of Or­lando puts on a Hol­i­day Hoops Clas­sic with all-day play at the Academy Cen­ter for Ex­cel­lence school (701 W. Liv­ingston Street) on the next two Satur­days.

STEPHEN M. DOWELLL/OR­LANDO SENTINEL

Semi­nole guard Anthony Coe­field (40) shoots as Lake Nona’s Austin Allison (right) de­fends in a Metro vs. Florida Chal­lenge game at Apopka on Nov. 27. Semi­nole won 93-64.

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