Ready for ‘Rec’ shootout

Basketball coaches stress the summer as the time to get better.

One of the area’s premier events in affording teams an opportunity to improve is slated for this weekend at multiple gymnasiums around the city of Wheeling.

The 24th annual Wheeling Recreation Boys Basketball Shootout begins Saturday afternoon with more than 80 games slated to take place en route to crowning the shootout champion Sunday at Linsly.

The event, which is once again under the direction of Tom Bechtel and Gene Ammirante, features a bracket-style tournament with each team promised five games. Four teams that finish 3-0 on Saturday will be in the semifinals, while those who lose will drop into different brackets, including the rebound and consolation tournament.

Teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are slated to take part.

North Allegheny won the shootout crown in 2012, but it isn’t in the field this year. Runner-up Zanesville is back as is third-place finisher Massillon Jackson and fourth-place finisher Logan Elm.

Akron Green defeated St. Clairsville for the consolation title last season and both of those squads are back in the field. Trinity Christian won the rebound tournament and it, too, will return this year.

Other area teams entered in the field include: Bellaire, Bridgeport, Buckeye Local, Edison, Shadyside, Union Local, Brooke, John Marshall, Linsly, Weir, Wheeling Central and Wheeling Park.

Harrison Central was slated to take part, but the Huskies’ run to this weekend’s Division State Baseball Tournament caused head basketball coach Justin Clifford, who is also the school’s baseball coach, to withdraw from the event.

The shootout begins an hour later on Saturday than in years’ past because of the ACT. The shootout will tip off with first-round games at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

All teams that play in the 1 p.m. window will play at 3 and 5 p.m. as well, while those teams that begin at 2 p.m., will play at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The complete first-round schedule is as follows:

Wheeling Jesuit (New Gym, Far End)

1 p.m. – Logan Elm vs. Weir

2 p.m. – Mansfield vs. Shadyside

Wheeling Jesuit (New Gym, Near End)

1 p.m. – Bellaire vs. Peters Township.

2 p.m. – St. Clairsville vs. Marietta

Wheeling Jesuit (Old Gym)

1 p.m. – North Allegheny vs. Trinity Christian.

2 p.m. – Mt. Lebanon vs. Bridgeport.

Wheeling Jesuit (Old Gym)

1 p.m. – Brooke vs. Malvern.

2 p.m. – Union Local vs. Wheeling Central

Linsly Main Court

1 p.m. – Green vs. John Marshall

2 p.m. – Linsly vs. Parkersburg

Linsly Side Court

1 p.m. – Frontier vs. North Hills

2 p.m. – Jackson vs. Meadowbrook

Wheeling Park H.S. Main Court

1 p.m. – Zanesville vs. Buckeye Local

2 p.m. – Wheeling Park vs. Edison

Wheeling Park H.S. Side Court

1 p.m. – Moon vs. Patriots

2 p.m. – Coshocton vs. Parkersburg South

Staskey may be reached at