(ISN) – Charlottetown, PEI —The University of Prince Edward Island announced it will host the first annual “UPEI Panther ‘Ho Ho Give and Go’ High School Basketball Showcase” this Friday, December 19, at the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre, game time 5:30 pm.
The Panthers are teaming up with the PEISAA to showcase a matchup of two of the top teams in the men’s high school basketball league this year. The Charlottetown Rural Raiders, two-time defending provincial champions and winners of last weekend’s Three Oaks Christmas Classic will take on their crosstown rivals the Colonel Gray Colonels, two-time provincial runners-up and silver medal winners at last weekend’s Irving Cup in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Both teams have a strong group of senior players. The Raiders seniors include sharp shooting guards Jack MacAuley and Mark Lloyd, a versatile playmaker and scorer Logan MacDonald, and two strong two-way posts players in Fola Oluyede, and Brayden White. Two third-year starters Max Ramsay and Jeremy Thompson lead Colonel Gray, with a strong supporting cast in rookie Alex Campbell, point guard Yousef Sefau, a gritty hard working Mark Smith, and big man Zach Visser.
This will be the first matchup for the teams this year. It will be an exciting showcase of high school basketball. The Raiders are co-coached by former AUS standout point guard Ryan Keliher and long-term Athletic Director and basketball coach Mike Lloyd, now in is 35th and possibly final year at the Rural. The Colonels’ head coach is Tim Butler who was a highly spirited point guard for four years with the UPEI Panthers. Also on the bench are Greg Morrison and former Panther David Canvin.
In promoting the Christmas spirit, admission to the game will be a non-perishable food item donation, a toy for a child, or a donation of one’s choice to be given to support families across the province.
“We’re expecting an exciting game between two strong teams—both of whom want to win—but we hope that a big turnout will help some Island families in need during the holiday season—and that’s a bigger win,” said Keliher.
Butler agreed. “We as a team are very excited to be a part of UPEI’s Christmas outreach event. It’s a great way to promote high school basketball and support a great cause. Playing against Charlottetown Rural always creates an element of excitement for the players, coaches, and schools alike. This year they (Rural) have one of the top starting lineups in Atlantic Canada. Our boys are excited to see how we size up,” he said.
Chris Huggan, Director of UPEI Athletics and Recreation and former Colonel Gray Athletic Director said he is pleased to host the high school showcase at UPEI. “We are excited about starting a Christmas tradition of promoting high school basketball through this annual ‘showcase game,’ while giving back to the community,” said Huggan. “Colonel Gray and Charlottetown Rural have great programs with a long standing healthy rivalry, and we expect it will be an exciting game and a fun night for all.”
UPEI Panther Basketball kicks-off the second half of its regular seasons at home on January 9–10, with double headers against the league leading men’s and third overall women’s Dalhousie Tigers, game times 6:00 and 8:00 pm.