A One-day basketball extravaganza unites girls basketball playoff favorites and NCAA recruits. Fans feverish for high school basketball tournament action can enjoy a preview of Northeast and Central Ohio’s best girls basketball teams just before the turn of the New Year in what has already become a fantastic day of high school girls hoops in just its second year.
The Wayne Roller Holiday Showcase presented by Buffalo Wild Wings and Subway will tip off Saturday, Dec. 30 at Mansfield Christian School. The hoops showcase brings together 14 teams, among them several programs that are perennial postseason contenders.
The Mansfield Christian Flames will host the showcase, taking on Hillsdale in the opener of a seven-game slate of terrific hoops action
Attendees to last year’s inaugural event also will recognize one significant difference: The showcase has a new name.
The name change was named in honor of Wayne Roller, who tournament organizers say worked behind the scenes to make this showcase possible. Roller was a highly regarded high school basketball official and referee assignment coordinator and was largely responsible for the field of accomplished officials who will work this year’s event.
Holiday Showcase organizer and Mansfield Christian girls basketball coach JR Wilson credits Roller with seeing the potential in the event before it began and said Roller’s influence behind the scenes helped the event reach credibility by its second edition.
“From the time that I first met Wayne and talked to him, he was full of integrity, had the respect of his colleagues, and he could, within a day, have the showcase fully assigned,” Wilson said. “People respected him so much, and that’s why we’ve named this event in his honor.”
Official Wayne Roller and Mansfield Christian girls head coach JR Wilson together during Roller’s final game.
Sadly Roller passed away earlier this summer. However, his commitment will live on in the spirit of the event, thanks to a noteworthy act by the game officials, who are proving just how much respect Roller had in the officiating community.
“Game officials have decided to donate the entirety of their earnings from the day to create scholarships,” Wilson said.
Those who attended last year’s inaugural event know what kind of talent will take the floor during this weekend extravaganza. Some incredible individual talent and a number of extremely good basketball programs will again take part in this year’s event.
“The tournament was designed to showcase different girls’ talent in our local area and across the state so that the average fan can see some good girls basketball competition,” Wilson said. “We just want people to get excited about girls basketball.”
Africentric star Jordan Horsten and the Lady Nubians will be one of the top teams at this year’s showcase
The doors of the Mansfield Christian gymnasium will open at 8 a.m. on Dec. 30, and the fun and excitement won’t let off the gas pedal until late that evening, affording basketball fans an entire day of quality hoops.
The game schedule is as follows:
9 a.m. — Hillsdale vs. Mansfield Christian School
10:50 a.m. — Tuslaw vs. St. Peter’s School
12:40 p.m. — Clear Fork vs. Loudonville
2:30 p.m. — Buckeye Central vs. Olentangy
4:20 p.m. — Ashland vs. Massillon Washington
6:10 p.m. — Garaway vs. Cardington
8 p.m. — Wooster vs. Columbus Africentric Early College
Of the 14 teams in the showcase, eight advanced deep into the tournament trail last year, and many teams will return with significant playoff expectations.
High school basketball fans might particularly note the showcase finale, where the preseason Ohio Cardinal Conference favorite Wooster Generals will square off against perennial Div. III power Columbus Africentric Early College, a team featuring a trio of Div. I NCAA recruits in Jordan Horsten, Alexa Smyth and Nyam Thorton.
Garaway senior Haley Shutt, one of last year’s tournament MVPs
Wilson said the competition level took a gigantic leap from last year’s slate of games that already featured some quality teams.
“The competition this year is just seriously amazing,” Wilson said. “A number of the teams in the showcase are expected to make deep tournament runs, and we are blessed to have them here.”
Talented Wooster senior Ny Brown is one of many top Ohio recruits to highlight a terrific showcase lineup
For further inquiries and further information, call Wilson at 419-688-1486 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To check out a video from last year’s event, click here.
If there are no further questions, simply circle the Dec. 30 date on your calendar, make the trek to Mansfield Christian School and enjoy a great day of exciting girls basketball. Mansfield Christian School is located at 500 Logan Road in Mansfield.