Covid ruined many things last year.
For basketball teams around the state it began primarily with holiday tournaments.
Mixers, shootouts and tournaments have become a staple of the first month of the prep basketball season, but even some with long traditions were canned due to the late start last season.
That’s why there’s relief there back. One of the state’s oldest tournaments returns this weekend as the Summers County girls host the 30th edition of the Rogers Oil Classic on Friday and Saturday.
“I was telling somebody this is the 31st overall year but the 30th that we’ve played,” Summers County coach Chad Meador said. “Last year it was canceled. It used to be the Pizza Hut Classic and then it was the Pit Row Classic, of course that’s when the Rogers family took it over and now it’s been renamed. They’re a tremendous family and a tremendous asset to this community. They’ve given a lot back to not only our basketball program, but the youth around here for many, many year.”
The event features four high school games with Montcalm and Summers County and River View and Chapmanville meeting on the first night. The winners of each games advance to play in the championship the following night with the losers playing in the consolation beforehand.
The field figures to be a competitive one with Summers, Chapmanville and River View all coming off regional championship appearances last season.
“We open up with Montcalm and the one thing I know about them is they will give you every ounce of fight that’s in them,” Meador said. “They’re very well-coached and they bring a lot to the table. With River View there’s a lot of stability to there. Coach (Gehrig) Justice is low in numbers, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to put a good product on the floor. Chapmanville is led by a second-year head coach in Kristina Gore and I was actually looking at their roster earlier. They have a lot of freshmen, maybe two seniors so they’re in a similar situation as we are, led by a youth movement. I think it’s a great field that’s a little unique and a little diverse. But I think it will be a two good days of basketball.”
When the schedule comes out each year Meador and Co. circle the tournament on their calendars. One of the early goals they set each year is to come away as the winners of the tournament. Many of this year’s Lady Bobcats haven’t played in the tournament at the high school level but have at the middle school level.
Each Saturday, before the high school championship games, the Summers County boys and girls middle school teams each play games. This year they’ll both host Glenwood but it serves as the first taste of the event as they graduate and move up the ranks.
“We talk about goals every year and try to set mini goals,” Meador said. “We just talked about it a couple days ago, especially with the youth that we have. We have to have benchmarks we can set and reach before we can grow as a team. We can’t just go in and say we want to win it all. We have to cool the jets and set some mini goals. One of those is winning our tournament. With a young team hopefully you’ll win a couple you probably shouldn’t but you’ll also lose a few you probably shouldn’t. But I think we’ll be alright. A lot of the girls have played in it as middle schoolers so it’s not totally new to them.”
The tournament will take place Friday Dec. 10 at Summers County and will tipoff with Chapmanville and River View at 5:30. Summers will host Montcalm at 7:30.
Schedule for the 30th annual Rogers Oil Classic
Friday Dec. 10
5:30 p.m. Chapmanville vs. Riverview
7:30 p.m. Summers County vs. Montcalm
Saturday Dec. 11
Summers Middle 7th Boys vs. Glenwood
Summers Middle 8th Boys vs. Glenwood
Summers Middle 8th Girls vs. Glenwood
Summers JV vs. Chapmanville