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Big-time basketball showcases set for Saturday

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If you thought the recent high school basketball tournaments were jam-packed, wait until you see Saturday's schedule.

While most of the tip-off and holiday tournaments featured four games played over a two-day span, West York and Manheim Central are upping the ante this weekend with two nearly full-day showcases between YAIAA and Lancaster-Lebanon League schools.

West York will host the War of the Roses, featuring six consecutive games beginning at noon, when Warwick takes on Eastern York. The finale will start at 7:30 p.m. when Manheim Township takes on West York.

"Our previous coach Bill Ackerman had an idea that he wanted to get both the Lancaster-Lebanon League and the York league together to compete against each other," West York athletic director Frank Hawkins said. "He presented the idea to us and we asked the L-L League's coaches and athletic directors and we finally got it put together."

At Manheim Central, a total of five games will be played at the L-L League Section Two Showdown vs. the YAIAA. York Suburban vs. Elizabethtown kicks off the action at 1:30 p.m., and Dover vs. Manheim Central will play in the final game, which is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip.

"We are seeing more and more events throughout the area and we thought we would like to try something like this," Manheim Central boys' head coach Chris Sherwood said in an email.

Organizers at both schools acknowledged the logistical difficulties in pulling off such a large event. And both schools are trying to avoid losing money from hosting the event.

Sherwood said the Section Two Showdown is being run by Manheim Central's booster club. Expenses include paying for an athletic trainer, game managers, clock operators, custodial staff and officials.

"However, the trade off is if we can run the concession stand all day to help raise money for our program," he said. "We will begin the day a significant amount in the red."

Hawkins said, "We are incurring a lot of debt with this one. It was thrown together, but with the officials fees, we should break even with the (ticket sales). There is no money made on this one."

So how hard was it to put together such an event? Sherwood and Hawkins said it was important to first line up the participating teams.

"When we got our two year schedules, we contacted the schools early on before they got their schedules filled. So, this was about a year in the making," Hawkins said.

Sherwood credited his booster club for their efforts.

"More and more programs are spending thousands on summer leagues, shootouts, and equipment not covered by the school," he said. "Our booster club (parents) are incredibly dedicated to making this a success. I am very thankful for their time and dedication."

At West York, the York chapter of officials will call the action. At Manheim Central, the L-L officials will be present.

For both showcases, once a fan pays the admission fee, he or she can stay all day. Tickets cost $5 for adults at both events. A student ticket at West York costs $2, and at Manheim Central it costs $3.

"Just visit the concession stand and have fun," Hawkins said.

Both schools hope the event can become an annual occurrence. In West York's case, the event has already been scheduled for 2018.

"We may look to mix it up and have L-L officiating crews in there as well," Hawkins said. "We'd also like to donate money to some organizations, that is our ultimate goal. That's down the line."

Sherwood didn't want to predict at attendance figure, but Hawkins said he hopes to have between 3,000 to 5,000 attend throughout the day.

"We do have some marquee match ups with Lancaster Catholic vs. York Catholic (at 4:30) and Conestoga Valley vs. Central York (at 6)," said Hawkins.

Saturday's showcase schedules 

War of the Roses at West York 

Eastern York vs. Warwick, noon
Dallastown vs. Penn Manor, 1:30 p.m.
Red Lion vs. Hempfield, 3 p.m.
York Catholic vs. Lancaster Catholic, 4:30 p.m.
Conestoga Valley vs. Central York,  6 p.m.
West York vs. Manheim Township, 7:30 p.m.

Section Two Showdown at Manheim Central 

Elizabethtown vs. York Suburban, 1:30 p.m.
Garden Spot vs. Susquehannock, 3 p.m.
Lampeter-Strasburg vs. Kennard-Dale, 4:30 p.m.
Ephrata vs. Gettysburg, 6 p.m.
Manheim Central vs. Dover, 7:30 p.m.