River Bluff again plays host to high-profile basketball tournament

Posted 12/22/22

For the second straight year, the Chick-Fil-A Classic will take place in Chronicle Country.

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River Bluff again plays host to high-profile basketball tournament


For the second straight year, the Chick-Fil-A Classic will take place in Chronicle Country.

After years at Richland Northeast, the event was moved to Lexington in 2021 when both River Bluff and Lexington high schools’ gyms were utilized for the division tournaments and Carolinas Challenge.

One of the nation’s highest profile holiday tournaments, the Chick-Fil-A Classic has featured the likes of Steph Curry and Zion Williamson.

This year’s Classic, held entirely at River Bluff, also features its share of national college prospects. Among the top prospects in this year’s tournament are forward Cameron Boozer of Columbus High School, ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s Class of 2025, forwards Bryson Tucker and Amier Ali, both of IMG Academy, point guard Isaiah Collier of Wheeler High and shooting guard Cam Scott of Lexington.

Last year, Lexington beat River Bluff before losing to Irmo, which finished runner-up in the American Division to Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.).

This season, both Lexington and River Bluff will compete in the American Division bracket. The Gators face Wheeler (Ga.) on Dec. 27 following the first-ever girls’ Showcase Matchup between W.J. Keenan (featuring University of South Carolina signee Mylaysia Fulwiley) and Camden (featuring All-State forward Joyce Edwards).

The two teams met for the Class 3A title last year won by Keenan, which moved down to Class 2A this season.

On Dec. 28, Lexington will face Columbus to close out the first round of American Division play.

“Great opportunity for our student athletes to display their hard work against a national team in Columbus,” Lexington head coach Elliott Pope said. “Very excited to get the year started and compete with this group of young men. Cam has continued to work hard and embrace this process. We’re excited to see him and his continued development this year.”

The same night, the three-point contest and slam dunk competition will take place. Irmo’s Dylan Williams was last year’s three-point champion.

Other Palmetto State teams competing in the division tournaments include A.C. Flora and W.J. Keenan, while Hartsville, Cardinal Newman and Richland Northeast will take part in the regional matchups that make up the Carolina’s Challenge.

Along with the girls showcase, another change at this year’s Classic is the adoption of a 35-second shot clock. Chick-Fil-A Classic organizer Gary Fulmer confirmed it will be used for the games played at River Bluff High School.

The S.C. High School League voted 10-2 last April to approve the usage of a shot clock in high school basketball invitationals and showcases. This follows a move by the National Federation of High Schools in 2021 that allowed states to adopt the shot clock in high school basketball beginning with the 2022-23 academic year.

Advance ticket sales are now available for $15 at at chick-fil-aclassic.com. Cash sales for general admission tickets will be sold for $20 with exact change only on gameday.

Keep up with the updates and game results via Twitter (@cfaclassic) and at lexingtonchronicle.com.


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