Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:38PM - 280 Views

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Kyle Lovern

Sports Editor

The inaugural Big 10-Cardinal Conference Challenge will take place Dec. 20-21 at the Charleston Civic Center.

The event will feature nine games of high school basketball that will highlight seven 2013 W. Va. State Tournament participants.

Mingo Central, a new Cardinal Conference member, will play in the event.

The event begins at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, when Big 10 No. 9 seed Liberty (Harrison) takes on non-Cardinal Conference school Charleston Catholic. The Irish finished as the Class A runner-up to state champion Tug Valley.

Poca and Byrd will face off in the final game of the event, scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 21.

Saturday’s games will begin at 9 a.m., with No. 8 seeds Tolsia and Lincoln squaring off. Then No. 3 seeds Mingo Central takes on Bridgeport at approximately 10:45 a.m., while No. 4 seeds Chapmanville and North Marion playing at 12:15 p.m.

No. 5 seed Sissonville will play East Fairmont at 1:45, followed by games between No. 6 seeds Herbert Hoover and Grafton and No. 7 seeds Wayne and Philip Barbour. Fairmont Senior received the No. 2 seed for the Challenge, and will face Cardinal No. 2 Scott at approximately 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.

The Cardinal Conference has eight members. The Big 10 is a 13-school league that includes nine Class AA schools. Class AAA schools Elkins, Preston, Buckhannon-Upshur and Lewis County are also in the league.

The event is the brainchild of Poca’s boys basketball Coach Allen Osborne.

The games will serve as the final pairings for the annual Hoops Classic in Charleston. The Hoops Classic is sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in which Osborne and Robert C. Byrd Coach Bill Bennett are also involved.

The idea for the event began with conversations between Osborne and Bennett late last summer. The leagues had originally scheduled a Dec. 14 date for the challenge, but had to push it back one week. The cheerleading State Tournament had already been scheduled to take place at the Civic Center on the challenge’s original date.

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