Rotary Tip-Off launches big week
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.
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.