Annual event hit with fans, teams

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From left, Lionettes Head Coach Michael Dodgen, title sponsor and State Farm agent Mitch Wilson and Lions Head Coach Matt Rigsby

By TONY STINNETT Courier Sports Editor

Like a good neighbor, Mitch Wilson and State Farm Insurance have been there for Cannon County basketball.

As a result, area fans have the opportunity to enjoy one of the largest Thanksgiving Classics in the state when Cannon County plays host to the Mitch Wilson State Farm Classic Friday and Saturday.

Games are played at CCHS’ Robert A. Harris gymnasium and Woodbury Grammar School each day with a total of 28 teams participating. Action begins at 9:30 a.m. each day at both locations. There will be eight games each day at CCHS and six at WGS.

Michael Dodgen, who serves as CCHS athletic director and Lionettes head basketball coach, said the partnership with Wilson has enabled the Classic to balloon from eight teams five years ago to 28 for this year’s event.

“Five years ago I would have never thought it would grow into one of the biggest in the state,” Dodgen said. “It says a lot about what we have been able to do with the partnership with Mitch Wilson and State Farm Insurance. From day one, (Wilson) has done anything he can to support the (Classic). He’s always been a key figure in the community. We are glad to have the partnership with him.”

Cannon County’s teams will take center stage during prime time each day.

The Lionettes (5-0) face Lincoln County Friday at 6 p.m., followed by the Lions (5-0) taking on the Falcons in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.

Summit provides the test for the Lionettes Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and the Lions will face Middle Tennessee Christian at 7:30 p.m.

“We have a lot of quality competition and some really good teams coming in for the tournament,” Lions Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. “There is a lot of good basketball played during these two days so it’s a good opportunity for basketball enthusiasts to take in a lot of games over a two-day period. We really appreciate Mitch Wilson’s support in making this event worthwhile.”

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