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Unknown quantity: D-B, Gate City draw first-timers for 34th Arby's

STEVE WILMOTH, TriCitiesSports.com • Nov 21, 2016 at 12:34 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Dobyns-Bennett and Gate City both drew first-time Arby’s Classic participants in the blind bracket unveil for the 34th annual event on Sunday afternoon.

This year’s tournament will start on Tuesday, Dec. 27 and run five consecutive days through Saturday, Dec. 31 and sans a normal Sunday off day.

The Indians play in the fifth game of the first day at 7 p.m. against Trinity High School out of Louisville, Ky. The Blue Devils won’t play until 5:30 p.m. on the second day against Wings Academy from the Bronx, N.Y.

Trinity won its third KHSAA 7th Region title in five years last season, finishing with a 29-6 record. The Shamrocks, who return four of five starters and seven seniors overall from that squad, are ranked No. 2 in the state’s preseason poll.

See the complete game-by-game schedule

Senior point guard Jacob King averaged a team-best 14.2 points per game last season. The 5-foot-10 King has signed with Campbellsville University. King and senior guard Lukas Burkman are deadly 3-point shooters, connecting on 44 percent of their attempts last season. Trinity also features Louisville Central transfer Jay Scrubb. The 6-5 junior swingman has yet to play a high school varsity game but is said to be the Shamrocks’ most athletic player.

Wings finished 22-4 last season, advancing to the state’s final four one year after winning a state championship.

Christ School out of Arden, N.C., plays in the first game of the tournament at 1 p.m. on Dec. 27 against David Crockett, which finished fourth in the tournament last year. The Greenies feature Kingsport native and Western Carolina signee Matt Halvorsen.

Frequent tournament participant Tabernacle Baptist from Freeport, Bahamas, faces Chattanooga’s McCallie School in Game 2 at 2:30 p.m. before Sullivan East takes on Buford, Ga., in Game 3 at 4 p.m. Buford is coached by Eddie Martin, who took Greater Atlanta Christian to the Arby’s Classic title in 2013.

Tournament host Tennessee High drew defending champion Wayne, Ohio, Game 4, with Science Hill and Oak Ridge wrapping Day 1 at 8:30 p.m. The Wildcats finished fifth last year and initially appeared to be without senior Tee Higgins this season. However, recent reports suggest the Clemson football commit will suit up for the Wildcats.

Day 2 begins with a consolation bracket matchup between the losers of the first two games at 2:30 p.m. The opening round of the tournament picks back up with the Christ School-Crockett winner facing Sandy Creek, Ga., at 4 p.m.

Greeneville goes against Blanche Ely from Pompano Beach, Fla., at 7 p.m. and Day 2 wraps with the Tabernacle-McCallie winner squaring off against Washington Park from Racine, Wis.

Blanche Ely is the reigning Florida 7A state champions is under the helm of 2015 USA Today Coach of the Year Melvin Randall. Washington Park is the first-ever team from Wisconsin to play in the Arby’s and features 6-9 sophomore Nobal Days, who is already receiving significant Division I attention and has standing scholarship offers from several Big Ten schools.

The Road Runner Markets Slam Dunk Contest Presented by Frito Lay & Pepsi is set for Friday, Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m., just before the semifinals. The Fun Factory Three-Point Contest will be held on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 4 p.m., followed by the third-place game at 5 p.m. and the championship at 6:30.

Admission for each session is $10 with tournament passes available for $50. Both may be purchased at Arby’s locations in the Bristol area or at the Tennessee High School athletic department office.

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