Rockford Public Schools announced details this week about the fourth annual Tip-Off Classic, happening Nov. 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 at Auburn, East, Guilford and Jefferson high schools. The strongest competition this year will come from Chicago, as RPS 205 will welcome defending Class 4A state champion Whitney M. Young Magnet High School for the first time. The Dolphins, who have won three state titles and one state runner-up trophy in the past nine years, finished 27-5 last season. Whitney Young will play five games; Whitney Young will face Auburn at Auburn in the tournament finale Nov. 25.
Four out-of-state teams will compete, in addition to teams from Chicago and local teams from Auburn, East, Guilford, Jefferson, Belvidere and Freeport. The McArthur High School Mustangs from Hollywood, Fla. finished 3-1 in last year’s Tip-Off Classic and will return. The Mustangs return three key players from last year’s team that finished 20-12 and reached the Elite Eight.
Three teams from Wisconsin will also compete: Madison La Follette, Milwaukee Bay View and Janesville Parker. Five of the six local teams finished with double-digit wins last year, led by Auburn (17-12, 11-5 NIC-10) and Jefferson (18-14, 9-7). Chicago competitors include Whitney Young, St. Rita, Hyde Park (last year’s tournament champions), and Perspective Charter School. Elgin Larkin will also return for the tournament.
The annual event is growing into one of the state’s top Thanksgiving tournaments.
“This is by far the best field we have had yet,” said East High School coach Roy Sackmaster. “This has quickly become one of the premier Thanksgiving tournaments in the state. To be able to draw teams as far away as Florida to having the defending state champs start their season in our gym says a lot about the quality of this tournament.”
A complete tournament schedule is available