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Classic begins Tuesday

AHOSKIE – Santa Claus has been.

The food is gone.

The presents have all been unwrapped.

What now?

Of course, get the family ready and head out to the 17th annual Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty.

The annual event is scheduled to begin the day after Christmas again this year as Hertford County High School hosts the area’s four public schools in a boys and girls basketball tournament.

HCHS Athletic Director Charles Simmons said plans for the annual event are well underway.

“We’re working to get the floor redone right now,” Simmons said Friday morning. “We’re excited about hosting this tournament again. It seems to get bigger and more exciting each year.”

The annual event will see HCHS welcome Bertie, Northampton County High School n East and Gates County High School to Ahoskie for competition.

The basketball tournament will feature it’s normal slate of games over a three-day period.

It is set to begin on Tuesday, December 26 with a three-game slate that will set the stage for the event.

The first game of the evening will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday when the girls teams from Bertie and Gates County square off. That will be followed by another girl’ contest between Hertford County and Northampton-East.

The final game of the night, slated tentatively for 8 p.m., will feature host Hertford County High School against Northampton-East.

On Wednesday, December 27, the night will begin at 6 p.m. with the girl’s consolation contest. That will be followed by a boy’s first round game between Bertie and Gates County.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday will have tickets on sale for $6. No passes will be excepted.

On Thursday night, two champions will be crowned.

The night begins at 5 p.m. with the boy’s consolation contest and continues with the Girl’s Championship game and the Boy’s Championship game.

Championship night tickets are $7 with no passes accepted.

Simmons said he anticipates the tournament being full of competitive games again this season.

“I think the games will be very competitive,” Simmons said. “Anything can happen in this tournament.”

The coach said he is expecting a large group of spectators this season as has been the case every year. The tournament often sells out on the opening and closing dates of the event.

“We are encouraging people to come out as early as possible,” Simmons said. “Once we get to capacity, no one else will be allowed in.”

The gym will open one hour before the first game each night.

As for the sponsors, both News-Herald Publisher Jeff Findley and Joe Murray Realty owner Joe Murray agree the event should be fun and exciting.

“This has always been a fun and entertaining event,” Findley said. “We are strongly committed to being a part of providing this opportunity for our area’s schools and student-athletes.”

Murray, whose company signed on as a co-sponsor of the event earlier this year, is proud to be a part of the longtime tourney.

“We’re excited to be a part of this long-standing tournament,” Murray said. “It should be a good three nights of basketball for everyone in the Roanoke-Chowan area.”