Plans set for ‘reduced’ Trojan Classic

The 21st edition of the Trojan Classic midseason basketball tournament will debut its most significant format change since adding a girl’s tournament 11 years ago when games begin next week.

With the intent to reduce time and miles on the road, the tournament format will include only three days instead of five, and some games will be assigned to the Tabor College gymnasium in addition to the high school’s Robert C. Brown Gymnasium.

“The primary reason for that was transportation, especially for those schools driving halfway across Kansas,” said Greg Brown, who is in his first year as activities director and tournament director.

Rather than having games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, all the competing teams will play games on both Tuesday and Friday, with Saturday as the finale, as in past years.

“It’s not a bad concept for schools to manage because they’re bringing both the boys and girls every day they’re coming, instead of making possibly twice as many trips before Saturday,” Brown said.

He said some fans could encounter minor inconveniences based on the outcomes of initial games.

“Every team will play Tuesday and every team will play Friday, but you can still end up with maybe your girls playing the very first game and the boys the last one so that’s still a long evening,” Brown said.

“Reducing the tournament schedule to three days won’t necessarily make it easier to staff it with local volunteers,” he added.

“Your mind would think three nights would be easier than five, but you’ve got such an intense schedule each of the two nights. Saturday is what it’s always been,” Brown said.

All teams will dress for games at the high school; those who are assigned to Tabor will be transported over there.

“Like we’ve always done, having a host walking the team to the gym, now we’ll have a host riding with the team over to the Tabor gym,” Brown said. “The two locker rooms at Tabor will be used for team chalk talks.”

Brown said the new schedule should not compromise the tournament’s high standard for hospitality.

“I’ve told teams that are new to this that your kids will be treated better here than they will be at the state tournament if they get there,” he said. “The teams that come here understand that.

“The Classic has got its own life to it, and it’s cool,” Brown added. “It’s fun for me to see it come together from this perspective, even though it’s crazy busy.”

Tournament seedings

The team seedings for both tournaments were released Monday. Hillsboro teams will play all their games at the high school as long as they keep winning.

The Trojan girls (2-5), seeded seventh, will open at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday against No. 2 Republic County (6-3). The winner will play at 3 p.m. on Friday at the high school and the loser will play at the same time at the Tabor gym.

Rounding out the eight-team lineup is No. 1 Hesston (8-0), No. 3 Clay Center (4-3), No. 4 Holcomb (3-4), No. 5 Riley County (3-4), No. 6 Sunrise Academy (4-6) and No. 8 Flint Hills Job Corps (0-5).

Meanwhile, the Trojan boys (5-2) are seeded fourth in their tournament and will open against No. 5 Riley County at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday in Brown Gymnasium. The winner will play at 8:15 p.m. Friday at Brown and the loser will play at 4 p.m. in the Tabor gym.

Rounding out the boys? lineup are No. 1 Holcomb (7-0), No. 2 Hesston (7-1), No. 3 Bennington (7-1), No. 5 Sun?rise Academy (8-6), No. 7 Republic County (2-6) and No. 8 Clay Center (1-6).

Times and locations for Saturday’s games will be based on the results of the previous two nights.

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