HILLSBORO — It’s been billed as a mini Crosstown Shootout by Ohio Valley Hoops Classic official Bennie Carroll.
When the Xenia Buccaneers boys high school basketball team returns to Hillboro High for the annual basketball showcase event, future University of Cincinnati Bearcat Samari Curtis will be on the Bucs, and future Xavier Musketeer Deionte Miles will be leading Walton-Verona (Ky.), Xenia’s opponent.
The two high school basketball standouts will see each other annually in the Crosstown Shootout college basketball game between Cincinnati-area rivals Xavier and Cincinnati. The 2018 Shootout between the Muskies and Bearcats will actually take place seven days after the Hoops Classic, on Dec. 8 at UC’s renovated Fifth Third Arena.
Shootout comparisons aside, Carroll sees the makings of a good early season high school matchup between Xenia and Walton-Verona.
“Walton-Verona is coming off an outstanding season in which they finished 26-6 and advanced to the championship game of the All-A Classic in Kentucky, which is essentially the small school state tournament. Xenia was only 11-12 last season, but the Bucs play in the (Greater Western Ohio Conference), considered one of Ohio’s best big school leagues,” Carroll said.
The Ohio Valley Hoops Classic organizer describes Curtis as “… a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who led the Greater Western Ohio Conference in scoring last year as he poured in 30.4 points per game. In fact, Curtis originally committed to play at Xavier, but flipped to the Bearcats after Chris Mack left to take the head coaching job at University of Louisville.”
According to Carroll, Miles is the first Classic player to sign with Xavier. Carroll says that while Miles’ numbers aren’t as flashy as those of Curtis, “…he grew two inches over the summer and blew up on the AAU circuit attracting interest from some of the country’s top programs before eventually settling on Xavier.”
Last year, Cincinnati Princeton, led by Syracuse University commit Darius Bazley, defeated the Bucs in their inaugural trip to the Hoops Classic by a score of 87-47.
Xenia and Walton Verona will tip-off at noon on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Hillsboro High School. Immediately following the Buccaneers’ game, defending Division I Ohio boys champ Cincinnati Moeller will face Kentucky powerhouse Lexington Bryan Station.
Three games will take place at Hillsboro High on Friday, Nov. 30, with a slate of six games in all taking place on Saturday, Dec. 1.
A full schedule and ticket information can be found on the Classic’s website: ohiovalleyhoopsclassic.com .