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High School Notebook: Chance Harman Classic condensed to 1-day event

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Floyd County boys basketball coach Brian Harman has a new skill:

Juggling.

He had multiple balls in the air Friday trying to produce a schedule for the Chance Harman Classic.

The benefit tournament, which did not take place last year because of COVID-19, has been shortened to a one-day event.

Two Friday games — Auburn vs. Altavista and Blue Ridge School vs. Combine Academy (N.C.) — were canceled. Auburn was knocked out when the Montgomery County school system canceled all games Friday. Blue Ridge, which is scheduled to play in the event Saturday, was still in the process of school-wide COVID testing, Harman said.

Auburn will now play North Cross in a 3 p.m. game that was arranged Friday, replacing the original matchup between Cape Henry Collegiate of Virginia Beach and Combine Academy of Lincolnton, North Carolina.

A third game scheduled for Friday — Lord Botetourt vs. Radford — has been moved to Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

The original matchup Saturday in the 4:30 slot was to have been the first girls game in the history of the event, pitting Floyd against Auburn. The girls game was canceled.

Harman was on the phone most of the Friday assembling the jigsaw puzzle.

“It was a rough day trying to find somebody,” he said.

Regardless, the event still has the usual mix of top Timesland teams and a sprinkling of high-major Division I signees, including three headed to ACC schools.

Here is Saturday’s schedule:

James River vs. Carroll County, 9 a.m.; Northside vs. E.C. Glass, 10:30 a.m.; Virginia Episcopal vs. Moravian Prep (N.C.), noon; Cave Spring vs. Jefferson Forest, 1:30 p.m.; Auburn vs. North Cross, 3 p.m.; Radford vs. Lord Botetourt, 4:30 p.m.; Floyd County vs. East Rockingham, 6 p.m.; Blue Ridge vs. Centerville (Ohio), 8 p.m.

Carroll County replaced Pulaski County in the event. The James River-Carroll game will count in the Three Rivers District standings.

The top player in the event might be East Rockingham’s 6-foot-6 Tyler Nickel, a North Carolina signee, who recently broke a single-game scoring record at the Harrisonburg-area school with 48 points, 38 in the first half.

Saturday’s 8 p.m. game features three Division I recruits: 6-5 small forward Tom House (Florida State) and 6-1 point guard Gabe Cupps (Indiana) of Centerville (Ohio), along with 6-foot-9 Blue Ridge forward Maliq Brown (Syracuse).

“It’s been a struggle, but we’ve still got a lot of games with a lot of teams from different areas,” Harman said. “[Saturday] will be really good.”

Locals hope to make splash

Eight schools are scheduled to swim Saturday in the Timesland Invitational at Gator Aquatic Center.

Cave Spring, Faith Christian, Hidden Valley, Lord Botetourt, Patrick Henry, Rockbridge County, Salem and William Byrd will take the plunge, with the finals expected to begin at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The field includes two swimmers — Cave Spring’s Ava Muzzy and Byrd’s Colin Murtaugh — who won two VHSL Class 3 individual state titles last season at Christiansburg Aquatic Center.

Muzzy is the defending Class 3 champ in the girls 500 freestyle (4 minutes, 54.78 seconds) and 200 individual medley (2:07.07), while Murtaugh swept the boys 50 free (21.53) and 100 butterfly (50.57).

Rockbridge County’s Ali Pfaff returns after finishing as the Class 3 runner-up in the girls 100 backstroke and 100 free.

The state meet landscape will look slightly different in 2022.

Western Albemarle, which won the Class 3 boys title last year, has moved up to Class 4 and could be the favorite.

Independence, the Class 3 boys and girls runner-up in 2021, has jumped all the way up to Class 5.

Western Albemarle will be led this year by one of the country’s top young swimmers.

Freshman Thomas Heilman, 14, recently broke three national age group short-course records in the 100 fly (45.81), 200 free (1:34.68) and 200 fly (1:42.77) while narrowly missing in the 50 free with a time of 19.83.

Top seeds in LU track meet

Three Timesland athletes are seeded No. 1 in their respective events for Saturday’s Liberty Premier Invitational indoor track and field meet at Liberty University.

Glenvar’s Carly Wilkes is seeded first in the girls 1,600 and 3,200 meters, while Radford’s Elliot Grayson is ranked first in the boys high jump with Pulaski County’s Diego Turner first in the shot put.

Other Timesland teams in the meet include William Fleming, Salem, Cave Spring, Hidden Valley, Lord Botetourt, Staunton River, Jefferson Forest, Magna Vista and Covington.

VMI will hold the East Coast Elite meet Saturday.

Timesland teams in the Lexington meet include Blacksburg, Franklin County, Northside, Rockbridge County, Alleghany, Bassett and Parry McCluer.

Contact Robert Anderson at robert.anderson@roanoke.com or 981-3123

Contact Robert Anderson at robert.anderson@roanoke.com or 981-3123

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