(12-31-22) Two local High School Holiday Basketball Tournaments ended their runs this past week. The OVISCO Classic, the girls basketball tournament will end after 37 years and the Asset Allocation for boys basketball tournament held in Coldwater also ended. Both tournaments feature four Mercer County schools, Celina, Coldwater, Marion Local and St. Henry.

SSN sent emails to Celina and Coldwater school administrators for input on the situation and the reason for the changes.

Email from Coldwater AD Eric Goodwin on the change –

For the Holiday Invite at Coldwater, this is the final year of it for now.  We have been trying to keep it going for a couple of years now and this ended up being the last year of it.  One school wanted to look in a different direction and wanted out, some schools and coaches were having concerns over playing each other so close together during the season (including MAC games within a few days of the tournament), the always possible issue/concern of what to do if weather becomes an issue with makeups, along with several other factors. 

We looked at possible alternative options and decided for now it was best that it has run its course.  Coldwater has replaced the games already by adding Mississinawa Valley on for next year for the girls and Ansonia for the boys.  We are also bringing down Cardinal Stritch for a Quadruple header on Saturday, December 30th for the boys and girls to replace the Holiday Invitational.  That will replace our two games for each program. 

There are a lot of logistics involved that people don’t realize from weather concerns, scheduling issues, coaching changes with their different thoughts, where various programs are at each year, obtaining sponsorships, etc.  We appreciate the participation over the past 11 years, appreciate the sponsorships, especially from Asset Allocation Associates, and look forward to our schedule changes for the future.

The longtime sponsor of the girls tourament, OVISCO, was surprised at the ending of the Classic after this season.

Celina Athletic Directior Derek Wenning replied –

The Holiday invite at Celina, this is the final year for now. Piggybacking off what Eric Goodwin sent, there are a lot of factors that went into this decision. As for Celina next year we plan on holding a two day (12/29 & 12/30) Holiday Showcase at the Historic Celina Field House. We will have a quadruple header each day playing JV Girls, JV Boys, Varsity Girls, and finally Varsity Boys. We are in contact with several teams to finalize a schedule.

OVISCO’s Kevin ‘Snuffy’ Smith has been the long-time sponsor of the girls tournament was caught by surprise about the change –

My phone has been non stop asking why I’m not returning as a major sponsor of 37 years. My response was first don’t know what you are talking about. Then I heard “gas station” talk about this new Showcase and no more OVISCO Classic. I was certainly caught way off guard.

The two tournaments both served the Mercer County community well over the past several years…short trips for both the fans and teams. With high cost of gas it cuts down on traveling expenses with great rivalry games. The many positives will now take a page in local sports history.

Did you know…

The Asset Allocation boys basketball tournament replaced the long running Mersman Shoot-Out that was held in Celina during the reign of Celina AD Mike Hyland.

The OVISCO Classic was first incorporated by Hall of Fame Coach Jack Clouse and for many years was played at the Celina High School gym. During the first years and until recently it featured a variety of teams, the 1st year included both Minster and Van Wert. The OVISCO would then switch to the four Mercer County schools.

The OVISCO started the next season after the St. Henry girls tournament ended.