14th annual Bull City Classic tournament:
Published: Nov 20, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Nov 20, 2012 04:50 PM
Come Friday, the turkey will be gone, and the relatives will be plucking your last nerve.
You will need an escape route, and the Bull City Classic is just the ticket.
Now in its 14th year, the annual two-day tournament hosted by Mt. Zion Christian Academy will showcase 40 boys and girls basketball teams at three different venues around Durham on Friday and Saturday.
Hillside’s boys defeated Mt. Zion last season in the Challenge I bracket, and the Hornets will attempt to defend their crown.
Joining them from Durham will be Riverside, which will participate in Challenge II, and Northern Durham in Challenge III.
On the girls side, the Hornets are also the defending champions in their bracket.
Hillside, Mt. Zion and Riverside are part of an eight-team girls tournament that also includes nationally ranked East Rutherford and Potters House (Fla.).
And just like the boys, the PAC-6 teams won’t play each other as each is in a different bracket, Girls Tip Off, Showcase and National, which will each determine separate winners.
There is a junior varsity pod with Hillside, Mt. Zion, Northern Durham and Princeton Day from Maryland.
The tournament also includes some of the top Division I recruits in the nation in the Prep/Post Graduate grouping.
The classic used to crown one winning team until coach Don Fozard Jr. decided to make it more competitive.
“Many public schools wanted to participate but wanted to be sure the playing field was even,” Fozard said last week by phone.
“So I converted it over to different champions with difference skill levels. It’s worked out better this way.”
Hillside High, Mount Zion and Kestrel Heights are the three host sites.
The tournament kicks off Friday at 10 a.m. with Mount Zion taking on Northern JV at Mt. Zion. Games begin at 11 a.m. at the other two sites and continue throughout the day.
The eight championships start on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with the Tip-Off Girls final. Tickets are $12 per day and can be used at all venues.
Despite the national attention surrounding most of the prep teams, Fozard said Durham can hold its own.
“The level of talent in this area is not that bad,” he said.
“Public schools are at a disadvantage to teams like Oak Hill (Academy). They have rules and bylaws. But coaches request to play teams like Mount Zion and other private schools to get their kids tested. A lot has changed.”
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.