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Beasts to converge on 'Peake

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Some of southeastern Ohio's best boys basketball teams converge on Chesapeake High School for a Saturday event.

It isn't a tournament, so no one will be able to decipher who's the best.

However, it is a one-day classic to determine who is a Beast.

The fourth Beasts of the Southeast is sure to bring quality basketball to Norm Persin Court.

"So far, that's been the way it is," event director Tom Ross said. "We've had pretty decent games and it's really helped our cause."

While basketball is the immediate focus of the games, perhaps the tournament's greatest accomplishment is what it does for the players following their high school days.

The tournament's proceeds go toward scholarship money for Chesapeake's graduating basketball seniors every single year.

To this point, it is a cause that has not been taken for granted.

"School tuition keeps going up and this is just another avenue to help make sure students go to college," Ross said. "Fortunately, almost every single senior has taken advantage of the scholarship money. You don't get the money if you don't go to school and they've taken advantage."

In its first three years the event helped fund 13 scholarships for the Panthers' graduating basketball players.

This year, Ross announced two additional scholarships based solely on academics will be funded for those outside of the basketball team.

It's all part of Ross and head coach Ryan Davis' initiative on continuing educational opportunities through sports.

The event is viable because of the Chesapeake community's support of its students and the Panthers' basketball team.

Ross praised his volunteers for their continued effort and said despite a rough financial year across the country, sponsors have stepped up to ensure the event's success.

"Really, I'm pleasantly surprised how people have supported -- not just day of, but our sponsors, too," Ross said. "It's been a great blessing."

The four-game event gets underway at 2 p.m. with South Webster taking on Vinton County. South Webster is coached by Chesapeake alum Steven Ater.

Fairland takes on Athens in the 4 p.m. contest before Logan Elm -- the event's lone newcomer -- takes on Eastern Brown at 6 p.m.

The final contest of the evening will feature the host Panthers against Waverly at 8 p.m.

"Waverly just beat Wheelersburg and Oak Hill," Ross said. "That was Oak Hill's first loss, so it should be a good day of basketball all around."

Admission for all four games is $7. Raffles will be conducted throughout the day for a variety of prizes.