Tip-off tourney showcases Franklin County talent
When James Buchanan athletic director Larry Strawoet cooked up this idea to get all the Franklin County basketball teams together for a tournament, it didn't exactly sit well with everyone.
"Initially, I was kind of against it because two of the teams are our league teams," said Waynesboro boys coach Tom Hoffman.
Fast-forward six years, and Hoffman is singing a different tune.
"I've really come full circle on it," Hoffman said. "I've gotta give Larry the credit because it was his brain child, and it's kind of taken on a life of its own. It is a pretty big deal, and pretty much everyone that is a basketball fan in the county shows up to watch."
Hoffman and the Indians host this year's tournament, which also features James Buchanan, Greencastle-Antrim and Chambersburg's boys and girls teams. Day 1 will feature G-A vs. Chambersburg, while Waynesboro will face the Rockets later in the evening.
"It's just a neat atmosphere for our teams to be in," said Strawoet, who is also JB's boys coach. "With the crowd, it's like a playoff environment right off the bat, and it really showcases the talent we have in this county. I think sometimes our talent isn't respected in the Mid Penn and across the state."
On the girls side of competition, it's all about taking down the Blue Devils. G-A's girls squad is the three-time defending champion of the tournament.
"When you've won, you have the target on your back and everyone wants to beat you," G-A girls coach Mike Rhine said. "It was just like when we were trying to beat Gettysburg, or a few years ago, we had to get over the hurdle of Chambersburg. Of course we want to win, but everyone is feeling the same thing."
Despite the fun environment of the tournament, there's also a lot on the line. Not only is pride at stake, but the opening two games of the season can also be a great gauge of a team's initial strengths and weaknesses.
"For us, we have to play our game and play good defense," Maidens coach Allison Steiger said. "With James Buchanan, it doesn't matter the personnel on the team, they're always very scrappy and aggressive. We can't just let them get the ball and be outhustled."
Chambersburg's boys team, the defending champion of the tournament, is also preparing for a dogfight against Greencastle.
Both teams are surrounded by high expectations, and they couldn't ask for a better season-opening test.
"I think we'll find out very quickly where we're at," Trojan boys coach Shawn Shreffler said. "They're a really good basketball team, and they have some really nice players coming back. Coach (Rick) Lewis is going to do a fantastic job with them, and it's going to be a very good basketball game."
Franklin Co. Tip-Off Tournament
Where: Waynesboro High School
When: Friday and Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Admission is $5 for adults, or $2 for students.
Media: All games will be live streamed on GameTimePA.com and midpennbroadcasting.com ... Follow @liziarbogast, @LindseySquints, @NoahShatzer and @TheRealKReib on Twitter for updates ... Follow gametimepa.com on Snapchat to view Takeovers hosted by Chambersburg's Cade Whitfield and Waynesboro's Chelsea Cover ... Numerous custom-made Snapchat geofilters, sponsored by Park Avenue Pharmacy, will be available throughout the tournament.
Friday's schedule: Greencastle vs. Chambersburg girls, 3:30 ... Greencastle vs. Chambersburg boys, 5 ... Waynesboro vs. James Buchanan girls, 6:30 ... Waynesboro vs. James Buchanan boys, 8
Saturday's schedule: Girls consolation, 3:30 ... Boys consolation, 5 ... Girls championship, 6:30 ... Boys championship, 8
P.O.'s predicted winners: Chambersburg boys and Greencastle girls. Both are defending champs.