HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Some call it one of the best invitational tournaments in the Bluegrass. Keeping with tradition, the Mountain Classic returns for the 32nd time beginning December 3 at Perry Central High School.
Last year, the tournament moved to early December for the first time. This year the tournament undergoes a slight name change, as Food City takes its place as the title sponsor (WYMT Food City Mountain Basketball Classic).
“After many years of serving as a primary sponsor for the Mountain Classic, Food City is pleased to be the title sponsor of this great event that showcases so many talented athletes from Southeast Kentucky and surrounding areas,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City President/CEO.
Whayne Supply, the title sponsor of 31 years, helped bring Ralph Gabbard's vision to reality in 1988. He wanted it to not only promote local schools but to also help further the education of students. In that time, thousands of teenagers here in the mountains benefited from academic scholarships provided through generous donations of local businesses.
“I want to thank Whayne Supply for their dedication to Eastern Kentucky students and schools for the past 31 years as the title sponsor. You have been with us from day one and I appreciate your continued support,” said Neil Middleton, WYMT General Manager.
Kentucky Farm Bureau also increased its contribution to the event and became the tournament's presenting sponsor.
“Kentucky Farm Bureau is proud to be a long-time supporter of the annual Mountain Classic basketball tournament, and we truly enjoy engaging with the students and their families in these communities," said Tony Turner with the Kentucky Farm Bureau, Agency Support & Marketing Manager, District 5. "We’re excited to increase our support of the tournament this year, and to continue helping local youth reach their educational dreams through the college scholarship program we sponsor."
This year's tournament showcases eight talented boys' teams and six outstanding girls' programs. We have also updated game times in hopes of providing a better experience for fans. Below we have provided a breakdown of the tournament pairings and have attached a printable bracket. (If viewing on a desktop, the printable bracket is in the right sidebar of this webpage.)
Monday, December 3rd
Girls First Round
6:00 p.m. - Leslie County vs. Perry Central
7:45 p.m. - Clay County vs. Hazard
Tuesday, December 4th
Boys First Round
6:00 p.m. - Knox Central vs. Paintsville
7:45 p.m. - Perry Central vs. Harlan County
Wednesday, December 5th
Boys First Round
6:00 p.m. - Knott County vs. Bell County
7:45 p.m. - Clay County vs. Floyd Central
Thursday, December 6th
6:45 p.m. - South Laurel vs. Leslie County/Perry Central winner
8:30 p.m. - Pike Central vs. Clay County/Hazard winner
5:00 p.m. - Leslie County/Perry Central loser vs. Clay County/Hazard loser
Friday, January 6th
6:00 p.m. - Knox Central/Paintsville winner vs. Perry Central/Harlan County winner
7:45 p.m. - Knott County/Bell County winner vs. Clay County/Floyd Central Winner
Saturday, January 7th
10:30 a.m. - Knox Central/Paintsville loser vs. Perry Central/Harlan County loser
12:15 p.m. - Knott County/Bell County loser vs. Clay County/Floyd Central loser
Girls 3rd Place
2:00 p.m. - Semifinal No. 1 loser vs. Semifinal No. 2 loser
Boys 3rd Place
3:45 p.m. - Semifinal No. 1 loser vs. Semifinal No. 2 loser
6:00 p.m. - Semifinal No. 1 winner vs. Semifinal No. 2 winner
8:00 p.m. - Semifinal No. 1 winner vs. Semifinal No. 2 winner