Wheeling Rec Shootout Is This Weekend
WHEELING — Basketball championships are won in March.
But, the path those to winter wins begins in June.
For many teams — 28 to be exact — the path includes a stop in Wheeling as the 30th annual Wheeling Recreation Shootout tips off this weekend at a myriad of gymnasiums throughout the Friendly City.
The event begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday and a new game tips off at the top of each hour until 7 p.m. Sunday’s games begin at 10 a.m. and run on the hour until 2 p.m.
Recently hired Bellaire head coach J.R. Battista is serving as the tournament director, taking over for his uncle, Gene Ammirante, who retired from his post with the Wheeling Recreation Department this winter.
The format of the shootout will remain the same with each team being promised three games on Saturday and two more on Sunday. However, the format is slightly different because of the number of schools.
The ideal scenario for the shootout brackets is 32 teams, so with four fewer teams, Battista and company weaved their magic the teams won’t get short changed a game and the format of the bracket tourney remains the same.
The first-round game pitting John Glenn against Harrison Central will be contested as exhibition contests, meaning regardless of outcome, those teams will advance to the championship bracket.
Originally, St. Clairsville and Meadowbrook were scheduled to be play as an exhibition game, too. However, because the St. C. baseball team is playing in the Division II state tournament in Akron at 10 a.m. on Saturday, head coach Ryan Clifford approached Battista about his team entering the event in the 4 p.m. window. Thus, St. C. will only play four games this weekend.
Rather than shorting the Colts a game because of St. Clairsville’s request, they will play Circleville Logan Elm in an exhibition game at 1 p.m. Bellaire was originally slated to play Logan Elm, so the Big Reds will be the other team in the field that plays only four games.
Teams from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania will all take part in the event. Other Ohio Valley teams in the mix are Bridgeport, Shadyside, Cameron, Bellaire, Monroe Central, Wheeling Central, Wheeling Park, Union Local, Linsly, Buckeye Local, Madonna, Weir and Parkersburg South.
Representing the Keystone State are Mt. Lebanon, which is the three-time defending champion of the event, and Pine Richland. Massillon Jackson — a Division I heavyweight in Ohio — is back in the mix along with Logan Elm. Other notable Ohio squads are Canfield, Zanesvile, Malvern, Dalton and Berlin Center Western Reserve. The lone non-OVAC member from West Virginia is North Marion.
Here’s a look at the complete, first-round schedule:
Court 1 — YMCA
1 p.m. — Jackson vs. Bridgeport
2 p.m. — Shadyside vs. Canfield
St. Vincent De Paul School
1 p.m. — John Glenn vs. Harrison Central
2 p.m. — Cameron vs. Parkersburg South
Wheeling Jesuit (Old Gym)
1 p.m. — Meadowbrook vs. Logan Elm
2 p.m. — No Game
Wheeling Jesuit (Old Gym)
1 p.m. — Monroe Central vs. Wheeling Central
2 p.m. — Mount Lebanon vs. Patriots
Linsly (Main Court)
1 p.m. — Wheeling Park vs. Union Local
2 p.m. — Linsly vs. Malvern
Linsly (Old Gym)
1 p.m. — Buckeye Local vs. Pine-Richland
2 p.m. — Weir vs. Zanesville
Linsly (Tartan Floor)
1 p.m. — Western Reserve vs. Madonna
2 p.m. — Dalton vs. North Marion