Veteran coaches, top talent highlight OVHC finale Saturday night

The final game of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic pits the Mason Comets against the Sidney Yellowjackets. The two teams represent two of the proudest conferences in Ohio; Mason from the Greater Miami Conference and Sidney from the Greater Western Ohio Conference.

Both teams are led by veteran coaches with more than 300 wins – Greg Richards of Mason owns 325 of those while Sidney’s John Willoughby has 378 career wins.

The teams will meet 8:10 p.m. Saturday at Hillsboro High School in the fifth annual OVHC basketball showcase.

Over the past five years the Comets have put together a record of 92-20 including two GMC championships and one district title. Since Willoughby arrived at Sidney two years ago the Jackets are 36-13 with one GWOC North championship.

Both teams enter 2018 with high hopes. For Sidney, those expectations got a lot higher when Andre Gordon re-enrolled in early November. The 6-2 Gordon averaged 23.8 points per game last season and is committed to play in the ACC next year at Virginia Tech. However, during the summer he had enrolled at Huntington Prep before deciding to return to Sidney for his senior season.

Gordon will have some help available. Ratez Roberts is a 6-3 senior jumping jack who averaged 11.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season. He is also a Division I college football prospect. Darren Taborn, a 6-1 junior; Josiah Hudgins, a 6-1 senior; and Keith Lee, a 6-0 senior, all logged significant minutes last season.

Coach Richards and the Comets will look to senior Landon Long for leadership. Long averaged 12.4 points per game last season. Jack Cooper, a 6-6 junior, and 6-7 senior Matt Minick are both potential college players and give the Comets good size inside. Ethan Howard is a 5-10 point guard who scored 6.7 points per game while running the Comet offense.

Sidney will be making its first OVHC appearance. Mason will be returning for the fourth time. The Comets defeated Springboro last year, knocked off Kentucky state runner-up Cooper in 2016, and lost on a buzzer beater tip-in to Dublin Jerome in 2015.

Complete Ohio Valley Hoops Classic information can be found on the web at: