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Lions, Tigers and Mustangs win at 2024 Chad Hodson Classic; 5 Highland County schools compete at 2nd annual event 

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Fairfield's Logan McIntosh goes up for a shot in the final game of the 2024 Chad Hodson Classic. The Lions moved to 12-0 with the win over Western. For photos from all six games, see the photo gallery below the article. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha and Caitlin Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

LEESBURG — The second annual Chad Hodson Classic was held in Grandle Gymnasium at Fairfield High School Saturday, as six games were played with all five Highland County schools represented in the all-day event. 

The presenting sponsor for the event was RoofX.

Three Highland County teams gained non-conference victories on Saturday, those being the Fairfield Lions, McClain Tigers and the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs in boys basketball. Whiteoak and Hillsboro suffered losses at the event, as did the Fairfield Lady Lions. 

More important than basketball was the event itself, that being remembering and honoring Chad Hodson  — who passed away from cancer on Nov. 28, 2019 — and his beliefs when it came to basketball, his family and his faith. That message was shared throughout the day with a pregame recording by his daughter played before each game, and later expressed by his wife, Jana, who gave a speech about Chad, followed by a prayer, ahead of the final game of the night.

Also during the event, Jana Hodson awarded two scholarships in memory of Chad, and this year’s Chad Hodson Memorial Scholarship recipients were Kennedy Zink and Sydney Hooper. 

As for the games, the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs defeated Paint Valley in the opening game of the event by a 38-35 score. Game 2 saw Whiteoak fall to Clinton-Massie, 87-51.

Game 3 had the McClain Tigers defeat Athens, 41-39 for their second win of the season, while Game 4 was a girls game where Fairfield lost to Wilmington, 49-40. 

The fifth game of the day saw the Hillsboro Indians fall to the Adena Warriors 80-57, and the sixth and final game of the Chad Hodson Classic saw the Fairfield Lions stay undefeated this season — improving to 12-0 — by defeating Western Latham, 45-42. 

Game Most Valuable Players for each team were also chosen following each game and they included: 

Game 1: Cody Bell (Lynchburg-Clay), Carson Free (Paint Valley);
Game 2: Jerry Trout (Clinton-Massie), Zander Roades (Whiteoak);
Game 3: Michael Noszka Jr. (McClain), Leo Martin (Athens); 
Game 4: Elle Martin (Wilmington), Faith Donley (Fairfield);
Game 5: Joedy Ater (Adena), Dorian Stewart (Hillsboro); and
Game 6: Dane Hodson (Fairfield), Drew Haggy (Western Latham).

Below are recaps for each game.

Game 1
Cody Bell sends Mustangs to thrilling win 

It was Lynchburg-Clay’s Cody Bell who sent the Mustangs to a win on Saturday morning, as they defeated the Paint Valley Bearcats, 38-35 with Bell sinking a 3-pointer as time expired for the non-conference win in the opener of the 2nd Annual Chad Hodson Classic. 

The Mustangs led 8-5 at the conclusion of the opening quarter as Cody Bell, Austin Bell and Cairen Goings combined for the eight points by LCHS, with the Bells each hitting a 3-pointer in the first quarter. Paint Valley’s five points all were scored by Carson Free, including a 3-pointer. 

PVHS won the second frame at 10-6, as the Mustangs had points once again from Cody Bell and Austin Bell with two points each, plus two points by Josiah Burns, leaving the score 15-14 at halftime. In the second frame for PVHS, Free added another five points to his totals, while Braylon Robertson sank a 3-pointer and Gavin Kingery scored two points in the frame. 

The Bearcats outscored the Mustangs 13-11 in the third quarter, with eight points from Free, three points by Logan Laug and two points from Jase Rhinehart.

The Mustangs in the third quarter saw Austin Bell score four points and Asher Faust collect three points, and with two points each were Cody Bell and Goings. 

LCHS won the final frame at 13-8 to earn the win as Cody Bell took over with three 3-pointers and a two-point basket in the fourth (scoring a total of 11 points in the fourth quarter), plus LCHS had two points off a basket from Faust. 

Paint Valley had six of their eight fourth-quarter points scored by Free, plus two points by Jeremy Cain. 

Cody Bell led LCHS with 18 points, as he made four 3-pointers and three two-point baskets.

Austin Bell followed with nine points, including going 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, followed by Faust with five points, Goings with four points and Burns with two points in the win. 

LCHS totaled nine two-point baskets and five 3-pointers. 

Free led the Bearcats with 23 points.

As a team, Paint Valley was 6-of-10 from the free-throw line, while the Mustangs went 5-of-6.

The win lifts LCHS to 5-6 overall this season. Paint Valley moves to 1-8 overall. 


Game 2
Whiteoak falls to Clinton-Massie 

The Whiteoak Wildcats struggled to keep the Clinton-Massie Falcons from having the hot hand Saturday afternoon, as the Falcons had a 32-point effort from Jerry Trout en route to defeating Whiteoak, 87-51 at Grandle Gymnasium at the 2nd Annual Chad Hodson Classic. 

WHS — who were playing without starter Weston Blair, due to injury — led the Falcons 14-13 after the first frame as Zander Roades made two 3-pointers in the quarter, plus a two-point basket. Also in the opening quarter for WHS, Sawyer Blair sank two baskets for four points, and Aiden Crowe sank a two-point basket as well for the Wildcats. 

CMHS in the first quarter made three 3-pointers and two two-point baskets with Ryan Dillion scoring five points, Avden Faucett and Trout each with a 3-pointer, and Miles Theetge with two points. 

WHS scored 15 points in the second quarter as the Wildcats had five players reach the scoreboard in the frame, including Blair with a 3-pointer, plus Crowe and Brady Brandenberg sinking two baskets for four points. In the frame, Whiteoak also had two points each from Zach Igo and Roades.

On the other side of the court in the second quarter, the Falcons scored 25 points for a 38-29 halftime lead. Trout drained four 3-pointers for Clinton-Massie in the second quarter, while Faucett made one trey in the same frame. The Falcons also saw Tristen Trampler net four points, and teammate Cale Wilson also scored four points in the second. Dillion added two points to complete the CMHS scoring in the second quarter.

CMHS outscored the Wildcats 25-13 in the third, with the Falcons having an eight-point quarter each from Wilson and Trout, with Wilson making four two-point baskets and Trout sinking two 3-pointers and a two-point basket. 

The Falcons’ third quarter also saw Dillion make two 3-pointers, and Zander Mills also made a 3-pointer. 

Whiteoak’s third quarter consisted of 13 points, starting with five points by Blair, a 3-pointer from Roades, three points from Brandenberg and two points scored by Crowe. 

WHS added nine points in the fourth frame with Brandenberg scoring five points (including a 3-pointer), two points from the free-throw line by Christian Hite and two points from Igo. 

The Falcons capped off their game with a 24-point fourth quarter as Trout added three more 3-pointers to his totals, as he made a total of 10 in the game, totaling 32 points for the contest as he also had a two-point basket earlier in the game. 

The fourth frame for CMHS also included six points from Ty Martin, a 3-pointer by Mills, two points by Wyatt Coblentz, two points by Jason Flint and Dillion with a two-point basket. 

In all for the Falcons, they totaled 17 3-pointers as a team. 

Also in double-figure scoring for the Falcons were Dillion with 15 points and Wilson with 12. 

Whiteoak’s final scoring included Roades leading with 13 points, as he finished with three 3-pointers and two two-point baskets.

Blair and Brandenberg followed with 12 points each, as each player made four two-point baskets, one 3-pointer, and both were 1-of-2 from the free-throw line. The rest of Whiteoak’s final scoring included Crowe (8), Igo (4) and Hite (2). 

WHS finished 4-of-6 from the free-throw line, and CMHS didn’t attempt a free-throw shot. 

The loss sends Whiteoak to an overall record of 3-5. The Falcons improve to 6-5 overall. 


Game 3
McClain earns 2nd win of season

Following a tough double-overtime loss the previous night, less than 24 hours later the McClain Tigers gained their second win of the 2023-24 season, as they held on to defeat the Athens Bulldogs by a 41-39 score Saturday at the Chad Hodson Classic held at Fairfield High School in Leesburg. 

The Tigers led 12-8 after the first quarter following a frame where Michael Noszka Jr. and Seth Weller each made a 3-pointer, followed by Jordan Bell making two free throws. Owen Sykes and Andrew Potts also each made a basket for their 12-point first quarter. Athens had a 3-pointer by Luke Mullins, three points scored by Zachariah Mullins and a two-point basket made by Easton Nuzum in the opening frame. 

MHS won the second frame as well, this time outscoring the Bulldogs, 10-8 as Noszka connected twice from beyond the arc, giving him three 3-pointers in the first half. Sykes added four points of his own in the quarter with two baskets from the field, putting McClain ahead at halftime 22-16.

Athens in the second quarter had two points each from Zachariah Mullins and Nuzum, plus two points scored by Leo Martin. 

The Tigers held Athens to only six points in the third frame with all six of the Bulldogs’ points coming from the free-throw line. McClain built a 12-point third frame with Noszka making his fourth 3-pointer of the game, plus he made two free throws. MHS also had Weller make four free throws on four attempts, and Sykes scored four points off two baskets, putting the Tigers’ lead at 34-22 after the third quarter was finished. 

Athens nearly took the win away from McClain in the fourth frame, as the Bulldogs scored 17 points in the quarter, while the Tigers scored seven points to hang on for the two-point victory. McClain in the fourth quarter scored all seven of their points from the free-throw line, going 7-of-12 from the line in the frame. Weller scored three points in the fourth, while Bell and Noszka each made two free throws. 

In the fourth quarter, Athens had seven points from Martin, Sam Trainer scored five points, Luke Mullins made a 3-pointer and Zachariah Mullins sank a two-point bucket. 

From the free-throw line as a team, Athens was 15-of-21, while McClain finished 14-of-24. 

Martin led Athens with 13 points.

The Tigers were led by Noszka with 15 points, followed by Weller and Sykes with 10 points each. The rest of the final scoring for the Tigers included Bell with four points and Potts scoring two points. 

The win sends McClain to a 2-9 overall record this season. Athens falls to 2-8 overall.


Game 4
Lady Lions fall to Wilmington 

At the second annual Chad Hodson Classic on Saturday afternoon, the Fairfield Lady Lions lost a home non-conference game to the visiting Wilmington Hurricane, 49-40.

Fairfield ended the first quarter trailing 13-11 to the Lady ’Cane, with Fairfield having Faith Donley scoring six points for FHS, while Isabelle Hale scored two points and Kassi Miller sank a 3-pointer. 

In the 13-point Wilmington first frame, Miya Nance scored nine points (one 3-pointer), and four points were scored by Elle Martin.

Wilmington added 11 points in the second frame with Martin scoring six points for WHS. Allison Bayless added four points, and Tana Walker scored one point. 

Fairfield also scored 11 points in the second as Hale made a two-point basket, Miller connected with three free throws, Rilee Quickle sank a 3-pointer, Kelsey Clark scored a two-point basket Donley made a free throw.

As Fairfield trailed 24-22 at halftime, they came out of the locker room and outscored the Lady ’Cane 12-10 with Donley scoring 10 points, and Miller made two free throws for two points. 

Martin scored five of Wilmington’s 10 third-quarter points, Walker chipped in with two points and Allison Martin scored three points from the free-throw line.

In the fourth quarter, Fairfield scored six points with Hale netting two points, Meri Jackson scoring a two-point basket and Miller adding one point. 

Wilmington finished the fourth frame with 15 points. 

Donley led Fairfield with 17 points, and Miller ended the game with 10 points. The Lady Lions also had Hale total six points, and Quickle finished with three points. Also for the Lady Lions, Clark scored two points and Jackson also scored two points. 

Fairfield now stands at 3-8 overall, while Wilmington moves to 5-5 this season. 


Game 5
Indians unable to keep pace with red-hot Adena 

The Hillsboro Indians suffered their second straight loss and just their third loss of the season on Saturday evening, losing by their largest deficit to date, as they fell to the Adena Warriors, 80-57 at the second annual Chad Hodson Classic in Leesburg. 

Playing at a neutral site as the home team, the Indians allowed three quarters of at least 20 points scored against them, resulting in a first frame where they trailed 23-16 at the end of the opening eight minutes of in-game action. 

Adena hit four 3-pointers in the opening quarter, resulting in 12 of their 23 points scored. In that frame, Easton Henness totaled eight points, while teammate Cayden Lee scored five points. Adena also had a 3-pointer by Joedy Ater and Lucas King, and two points apiece from Bryson Smith and Jackson Hick. 

The Indians’ first frame had six points scored by Dorian Stewart, four points from Tate Davis, a 3-pointer by Brayden Hunter, two points off a basket by Steven Kibler and a free throw from Nic Burns. 

The Indians won the second quarter at 15-14 but trailed at halftime by a 37-31 score. 

Hillsboro’s second-quarter scoring consisted of six points scored by Davis, four points by Kibler, three points from Jack Howland and a two-point basket by Hunter. 

Adena’s 14-point second-quarter scoring was their lowest of the game, but they had five players score points in the frame, including Ater with four points, three points each from Henness and Christian Heath, plus two points apiece scored by Lee and Smith. 

The second half was controlled by the Warriors, with the Warriors outsourcing HHS, 43-27 combined in the third and fourth frames. 

Adena’s third quarter saw Ater score nine points, King add seven points, Smith score four points and Heath net three points. The fourth quarter for the Warriors had Ater collect 14 points off six two-point baskets and two made free throws. Adena also had two points each scored by King, Henness and Smith in the final quarter. 

Hillsboro’s second half saw a 12-point third frame where Davis and Stewart each scored four points, while Hunter and Kibler each made a two-point bucket.  

Stewart sank three baskets for six points, Burns added four points, and scoring two points each were Kibler and Davis in the Indians’ 14-point fourth quarter.

For the game the Indians were 12-of-18 from the free-throw line and committed just nine turnovers. HHS made one 3-pointer in the game, by Hunter in the first quarter. 

Stewart and Davis each led the Indians with 16 points, while Kibler totaled 10 points. The rest of the Indians’ scoring included Hunter (7), Burns (5) and Howland (3). 

For Adena, Ater led all scorers with 30 points, making 12 two-point baskets, one 3-pointer and he was 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. 

The Warriors also had King with 12 points, Henness with 13 points, Smith scoring 10 points, Lee finishing with seven points, Heath totaling six points and Hick scoring two points. AHS also finished 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. 

Hillsboro’s loss moves them to 6-3 overall, while Adena is now 6-4, winning five consecutive games. 


Game 6
Fairfield win tough battle with Western Latham 

It wasn’t their easiest game of the season thus far, but the Fairfield Lions hung on to gain their 12th victory of the season Saturday night by defeating visiting Western Latham, 45-42 in the finale of the 2024 Chad Hodson Classic at Grandle Gymnasium at FHS. 

The Lions trailed by a 14-6 score at the end of the first frame, something the Lions aren’t accustomed to in the past couple seasons. Fairfield’s six first-quarter points were scored by Trey House with four and Gabe Fouch with a two-point basket. 

Western’s 14-point first quarter saw Drew Haggy net five points with a 3-pointer and two-point basket, while Tyler Kerns, Logan Lightle and Foster Davis each made a 3-pointer, with the first 12 points of the game scored by the Indians all coming from beyond the arc. 

Fairfield came back and won the second frame at 10-7, but for Western, their points came from five points by Haggy (including a 3-pointer), plus two points scored by Davis. 

The Lions’ second frame saw a 3-pointer drilled by Chase Newman, three points from Logan McIntosh, two points from House and a free throw made off an attempt by Fouch. 

With the Lions trailing 21-16 at halftime, they came out with a fury on both sides of the court in the third quarter, scoring 19 points and holding the Indians to eight points. 

McIntosh started things in the third with a basket to get the Lions to within three points of tying Western at 21-18, and following a turnover by WHS, McIntosh drained a 3-pointer with 6:35 on the clock for a 21-21 score. The Lions jumped into the lead with a free throw made by Larkin Friend at the 6:16 mark, then added more to their lead with a layup by Fouch and the assist from House. 

Fairfield’s lead later went to 28-25 with a basket by House, and then to 30-25 after Fouch made another bucket in the paint with 2:30 left in the third. Western cut the Lions’ lead to two points with free throws made by Kam Janes, but a jumper by House, then a minute later a free throw also made by House, put the Lions ahead at 33-27 with 1:00 remaining in the quarter. 

Western, again, made two free throws by Janes, only to see House end the quarter with a basket at the buzzer for a 35-29 Lions advantage. 

Fairfield was outscored 13-10 in the fourth but never lost the lead as their 10 points were scored by Friend with six, House with two and Fouch with two. 

In all for the Lions, they were 7-of-10 from the free-throw line, and Western went 7-of-12. 

For the Indians, Haggy led the way with 21 points, followed by Janes with eight, Davis with seven, and with three points each were Kerns and Lightle. 

Fairfield was led on the scoreboard by House with 15 points, followed by Fouch with 10 points, and Friend scored nine points. The rest of the Lions’ final scoring included eight points from McIntosh and three points from Newman. 

Fairfield is now 12-0 overall, while Western moves to 3-8 on the season.