In three days it happens.
The 2021 Lighthouse Classic will see its first jump ball, first made basket, first made three-pointer, first foul, first free throw (and the list goes on) beginning Friday morning at 9 a.m. when Kossuth faces off against Delta Academy.
The Raiders are coached by former Marshall Academy and Tishomingo County head coach, Craig Dailey.
Tournament Director Vince Overholt has done it again, assembling a lineup of big-time programs and big-time players to entertain, enthrall and thrill the crowds that will file into Corinth Warrior Gym over the course of the two-day event.
Sometimes overlooked, though, is the local element, along with the Mississippi element.
“We always do our best to bring in the best local teams as well as top teams from across the state,” said Overholt, who appears to outdo himself with each LHC. “This year is no different as we bring in multiple state championship teams from the state of Mississippi.”
Among those are the defending 6A State Champion Clinton Arrows and their 6-8 Mississippi State signee Kimani Hamilton.
Also scheduled to be in Corinth this weekend is defending MAIS 6A Champion MRW (Madison Ridgeland Academy) and their 6-6 junior forward Harrison Alexander.
A pair of 2021 MHSAA State runner-up squads will also be in action in the form of the 3A Booneville Blue Devils and the 1A Ingomar Falcons, who were beaten on a last-second 3-pointer by former Biggersville, and current Northeast Community College forward, Cam Smith in the Big House in March.
2019 5A State Champion Center Hill will be back in town. The Mustangs face Sparkman (AL) in game three on Friday at 12 noon, just ahead of the Lighthouse Prep Challenge.
Callaway, the 2020 6A state champion, will be back in the Lighthouse Classic where they own a 4-4 all-time record in the event. The Chargers, minus Ole Miss freshman Deashun Ruffin, will compensate with another spark-plug at the guard position in 5-11 Keiveon Hunt. The orange and blue are always loaded.
Mississippi 4A state championship game mainstay Raymond will be making their first appearance in the Lighthouse Classic led by 6-9 post/forward Eric “EJ” Paymon and 6-1 guard Jabarie Robinson.
Tupelo returns to the LHC this year and the Golden Wave will feature 6-6 junior Gavin Shannon as well as 6-3 junior guard London Fields. Tupelo is currently the top-ranked squad in northeast Mississippi.
Then there is the local flavor that rounds the Lighthouse Classic out so well. In addition to the aforementioned Aggies and Blue Devils, Alcorn Central will play on Friday. The Golden Bears play game two at 10:30 a.m. against Shoals (AL) Christian.
Then there is the host school. The Warriors, coming off back-to-back wins after dropping a close season opener against Saltillo a couple of weeks ago, will face challenges from Belgreen (AL) in Friday’s 9 p.m. night cap as well as Lausanne (TN) in the Lighthouse Classic finale on Saturday.
Lausanne is a solid program and is most famous for being the school that produced the Gasol brothers – Pau and Marc.
More previews of the 2021 Lighthouse Classic are on the way this week. Hope to see everyone at Corinth High School Friday and Saturday for this year’s event, ranked as a top-3 national holiday tournament.
The 2021 LHC schedule can be found in the local schedule.