XENIA — The second annual Benner Field House Classic basketball showcase event will be bigger than the first.
After last season’s inaugural event showcased boys freshman, girls and boys junior varsity, and girls and boys varsity teams from host Xenia and Greater Western Ohio Conference foe West Carrollton for five games, the 2017 installment of the Classic will present eight games, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 22 and 23, involving boys basketball teams from Troy, Fairmont, Bethel and host Xenia in freshman, JV and varsity contests, all over a two-day span.
The Carl H. Benner Field House, located at 425 Edison Ave., hosted its first Xenia High School basketball game on Dec. 2, 1939. Then known as Xenia Central High, the team defeated Wilmington by a 28-19 score on that day. Xenia’s boys teams played its home games at the Benner Field House until Feb. 22, 1977.
Varsity teams racked up a 275-87 record when Benner was the school’s basketball home. Xenia’s 1941-‘42 state championship winning team played its games at the Field House.
On Friday, Dec. 22, opening round games will get under way at 10 a.m. with the first contest of the Freshman tournament. Bethel will face Fairmont in the opener, followed by Troy vs. Xenia at 1:15 p.m.
The same schools will be paired up for the junior varsity and varsity contests as well.
Bethel and Fairmont JV programs battle at 11:30 a.m., and then there will be a slight lunch break before Troy and Xenia tip off for the second JV opening round game, which is set for a 3 p.m. start.
Friday’s varsity action pits the Division III Bethel Bees (6-0) against Division I Fairmont (3-2) at 6 p.m. Xenia (3-4) will then host fellow D-I school Troy (3-2) in the 7:45 p.m. night cap. Bethel hails from the Cross County Conference, while Troy, Fairmont and Xenia are members of the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
An interesting side note: Bethel coach Brett Day Kopp is the younger brother of Xenia High Athletic Director Nathan Kopp. Losing teams from Friday’s opening round contests will play each other in Saturday’s consolation games, while the Friday winners will face each other in their respective Saturday finals.
For Saturday’s Dec. 23 final day of games, the freshman consolation game starts at 1o a.m. with the title game set for an 11:30 a.m. start.
JV consolation action is set for 1:15 p.m. with the title game at 3:45 p.m., then the varsity consolation and finals will take place respectively at 6 and 7:45 p.m.
Basketball fans can pay one admission price each day and catch all six games. Tickets for nearly 12 hours of basketball each day are $6 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.
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