Home court the place for teams to shine
Marion Classic rolls into 12th year
Hosting a basketball tournament provides incentive for players to do well, and Marion is no exception as the school’s preseason tournament enters its 12th year, girls coach Jason Hett said.
“It’s a blood, sweat, and tears kind of thing,” he said. “Let’s try to defend our home court. You have your home crowd and student section, so there’s a little more motivation.”
Hett has plenty of with help planning, which is important since Hett is athletic director as well as a coach.
“There’s a lot that goes into running a good tournament,” he said. “Marion has done a good job of running a successful tournament. The big thing is your help, and we have good help that knows how to run things.”
Peabody-Burns is a regular participant, but trying to win against larger schools presents challenges, said Peabody-Burns boys coach Bob Kyle.
“They put five on the floor and we put five on the floor, so we have to compete no matter what,” he said.
Marion’s tournament honors select players for academic excellence, and has a 3-point shoot out, Hett said.
“It’s something different,” he said. “You can get the kids involved in something other than just playing the games.”
The Marion Classic is the only tournament Peabody-Burns attends that has individual competitions. The extra activities encourage more of his players to get involved, Kyle said.
“I try to have some of my younger kids do these contests so it gives them the feeling that they’re involved in the tournament, whether they’re sitting out or not,” he said.
Even if Hett decides to make changes in the future, he said it’s preferable to gain familiarity in the system the first year.
While he oversaw tournaments during his tenure at Central Christian, Hett said the Marion Classic was his first time setting a tournament so early in the season.
“The first time it’s difficult because you’re asking for stuff like rosters before the season has gotten started so you can have a program made up,” Hett said. “It’s not a disadvantage, but it’s a challenge.”
A home tournament isn’t an advantage for Marion players alone. It also benefits fans and the school.
“You have games going on five nights a week,” he said. “You’re getting people into your building, allowing them to go to the concession stand and getting them into our community as well.”
While Marion fans have the shortest travel, proximity is also an advantage for fans from Peabody-Burns, Kyle said.
“It helps our parents that we have to travel 15 miles,” he said. “The travel is very nice for us.”
Teams opened play Monday with Remington facing Eureka, and Wichita Homeschool facing Peabody-Burns on Tuesday.
Play continues at 4 p.m. Thursday, when Peabody-Burns takes on Berean Academy, followed by Marion vs. Eureka at 7 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 12, 2019