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Wheeler holiday tournament draws powerhouse teams, seven top-75 national recruits

Coach Doug Lipscomb’s Wheeler Wildcats are the host team for the Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic

Several of Georgia’s most prominent boys basketball teams and seven of the top-75 senior recruits in the country are part of a 30-team tournament Tuesday through Friday at Wheeler, where a number of nationally renowned teams also have gathered.

The event, called the Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic, has drawn Norcross and Greenforest Christian, which have top-25 national rankings, along with Miller Grove, Pebblebrook, Whitefield Academy, Columbia, St. Francis and host Wheeler, to name a few.

Those Georgia programs have won 23 state titles over the past 10 years.

The out-of-state contingent is pretty good, too.

Miami Christian – which will play Norcross on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the new 3,000-seat Wheeler Arena – is ranked No. 13 nationally in the MaxPreps computer rankings.

Lincoln of Brooklyn is the No. 1-rated team in the state of New York. Oak Ridge of Florida, John Marshall of Virginia, Scotlandville Magnet of Louisiana and Velma Jackson of Mississippi are each ranked in the top 10 through all classifications in their states.

The event also is a showcase of some of the nation’s top recruits.

Seven of the top-75 senior prospects are playing, according to 247Sports’ compositing rankings. They are No. 7 Collin Sexton of Pebblebrook (committed to Alabama), No. 16 Austin Wiley of Spain Park (Auburn), No. 27 Nick Weatherspoon of Velma Jackson (Mississippi State), No. 46 Jordan Tucker of Wheeler, No. 47 Ikechukwu Obiagu of Greenforest (Florida State), No. 50 Rayshaun Hammonds of Norcross (Georgia) and No. 63 Darius Perry of Wheeler (Louisville). Juniors to watch are No. 8 Khavon Moore of Westside-Macon and No. 12 E.J. Montgomery of Wheeler (Auburn).

The tournament is divided into three brackets – the national division, the American division and the fab four. The fab-four division has only four teams to accommodate those with tight schedules or a limited number of games allowed in their states.

Here is the schedule for first-round games.

Tickets are $12 at the door or $10 in advance. They can be purchased at
http://www.tournamentofchampionsclassic.com.

American bracket
(at Doug Lipscomb Gymnasium)
Lakewood (S.C.) vs. Kell, 9:30 a.m.
Doral Academy (Fla.) vs. Johnson-Savannah, 11:15 a.m.
New Manchester vs. St. Francis, 1 p.m.
Columbia vs. North Atlanta, 2:45 p.m.
Jenkins vs. Lithonia, 4:30 p.m.
Douglas County vs. Grayson, 6:15 p.m.
Griffin vs. South Cobb, 8 p.m.

National bracket
(at Wheeler Arena)
Jefferson (N.Y.) vs. McEachern, noon
Spain Park (Ala.) vs. Westside-Macon, 1:45 p.m.
Velma Jackson (Miss.) vs. Whitefield Academy, 3:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart (Ala.) vs. Miller Grove, 5:15 p.m.
Note: Wheeler, Oak Ridge, Scotlandville and Lincoln have first-round buys in the national bracket and will face Tuesday’s winners on Wednesday.

Fab four bracket
(at Wheeler Arena)
Miami Christian (Fla.) vs. Norcross, 7 p.m.
John Marshall (Va.) vs. Pebblebrook, 8:45 p.m.


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