Basketball teams set for showcase events

Two Columbus basketball teams will have a chance to play before a vast audience in a state capital Saturday.

The Columbus East boys will battle Shelbyville at 5:45 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. That will be the fourth of five games in “The Really Big Basketball Show.”

“It’s a blessing to have that opportunity for every kid,” East boys coach Brent Chitty said. “I think our kids will really enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, the 15-0 Columbus North girls, who are ranked No. 2 in Class 4A, will face one of Kentucky’s top teams, Franklin County, at noon at the Frankfort (Ky.) Convention Center. That will be the first game in the Challenge Cup, a five-game matchup between Indiana and Kentucky schools.

“Our win or loss counts to a bigger goal because it’s Indiana vs. Kentucky,” North girls coach Pat McKee said. “It’s an actual cup that goes to the state that wins. So we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves that day.”

Franklin County is 10-1 after sustaining its first loss last week. McKee compared the Frankfort-based school to the Jennings County squad the Bull Dogs beat Tuesday.

“They’re not real big, but I think they’re really quick,” McKee said. “Some games, they shoot really well and other games, not as well. Height-wise, they’re not a whole lot different than Jennings County. If they happen to be really quick and shoot well, we could have issues.”

The East boys (3-5) will play a Shelbyville team that is 4-6 after snapping a six-game losing streak against Yorktown on Saturday. Before that, the Golden Bears hadn’t won since a 57-54 decision against Columbus North on Dec. 4.

“We know they’re good,” Chitty said. “We know they’re really talented, and we’ll have our hands full.”

Both showcases will feature one girls and four boys games.

At the Frankfort Convention Center, the North-Franklin County girls game will be followed by boys games between Wood Memorial and Madison Southern (Kentucky) at 2 p.m., Jay County and Cooper (Kentucky) at 4 p.m., New Albany and Lexington Dunbar at 6 p.m. and Forest Park and Owen County (Kentucky) at 8 p.m.

At Bankers Life, the Greenfield-Central and Westfield girls will kick off the showcase at 12:30 p.m. Then comes boys games between Cloverdale and Covenant Christian at 2:15 p.m., Eastern Hancock and North Decatur at 4 p.m., East and Shelbyville at 5:45 p.m. and Lebanon and Brebeuf Jesuit at 7:30 p.m.

Crusaders press on

The Columbus Christian boys basketball team suffered a big blow when it found out Dec. 17 that starting point guard Jarrett Noble was transferring to Columbus North for academic reasons. Noble is not playing basketball for the Bull Dogs.

“It was a shock to all of us,” Columbus Christian coach Kevin Roth said.

The Crusaders, however, have gone 5-1 since Noble’s departure to improve to 14-3. Lain Isley and Evan Reed have been sharing the point guard duties.

Columbus Christian faces a couple of stiff tests against IHSAA schools in the next three days when it hosts Indiana Deaf tonight and visits Hauser on Saturday. The Jets are 6-3 going into Friday’s game at North Decatur.

Jets plan steak supper

The Hauser Adult Booster Club will host a ribeye steak supper from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday in the school’s auditorium before the Jets’ home boys basketball game against Columbus Christian.

Cost is $8 per plate.

Coaches vs. Cancer game set

Columbus North’s girls basketball team will hold its annual Coaches vs. Cancer game Tuesday against Franklin.

Proceeds will primarily benefit the #CookieStrong Fund that has been established for the family of Alana Cook, a Northside Middle School seventh-grader who had a brain tumor removed in November and is currently undergoing follow-up treatment. Some funds will also go to the American Cancer Society.

Donations will be accepted #CookieStrong T-Shirts will be sold for $10. There will also be a silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m. and running through halftime of the varsity game. Winners can pay by cash or check, but not by credit card.

If anyone has items they are willing to donateĀ  to the silent auction such as sports event or concert tickets, restaurant gift cards, hotel gift certificates or certificates for other goods or services, they should get them to North coach Pat McKee or the athletic office by Friday. Items, however, will be accepted until 3 p.m. Monday.

For more information, contact McKee at