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Classic enters 19th season

AHOSKIE – The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty will tip off Friday, December 26.

“We are excited about hosting this event for the 19th consecutive year,” said Hertford County High School Athletic Director Charles Simmons. “This has become one of the most fun events in the Roanoke-Chowan area and I think the fans look forward to it every year.”

The 19th annual event will follow the same pattern as it has in the previous years with two girl’s first round games kicking off the Classic.

Games start at 5 p.m. on Friday, December 26 when Bertie High School squares off with Northampton County High School – East in one semifinal. The Lady Falcons are the defending champions of the Classic and are looking to continue their streak.

In the other girl’s semifinal, host Hertford County will square off with Gates County High School as the Lady Bears look to return to the finals of the News-Herald Holiday Classic.

After the two girl’s contests, Hertford County High School will square off with Gates County in the first semifinal game for the boys. The Bears have claimed three consecutive championships at the Classic and are looking for their fourth in a row.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play in the Classic,” said Simmons, who is also the Head Boy’s Basketball Coach at HCHS. “We know there is always pressure to do well when you’re playing at home and you’re the defending champion. We’re young and I’m looking forward to seeing how my guys handle that pressure.”

On Saturday night, the second round of games will occur. The Girl’s Consolation Game is slated for 6 p.m. with the second boy’s semifinal following at 7:30 p.m.

The second semifinal will see Bertie High School bring their undefeated record to HCHS where they will meet Northampton County High School – East.

Championship night will be on Monday, December 29. The evening will start with the Boy’s Consolation Game which will be played at 5 p.m.

The Girl’s Championship Game will follow at 6:30 p.m. and the Boy’s Championship is slated for 8 p.m.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic began 19 years ago and features the local public schools in the newspaper’s coverage area. United Country Joe Murray Realty came on as a sponsor for the event three years ago to add more to the event.

“This is an event we have been avid about since its inception,” said News-Herald Editor Cal Bryant. “The tournament has grown far more than most of us ever could have expected. It is an event that draws hundreds each year and it is always a good tournament.”

Joe Murray said his business wanted to be a part of the event and what it means to the region.

“We always want to be good members of the community,” Murray said. “We approached the News-Herald about collaborating on this event because it is such a quality basketball tournament. We think it benefits the student-athletes because it gives them the opportunity to play in a high-level, intense tournament long before the conference tournament and state tournaments begin.”