It doesn’t take a genius to spot a gem. However, sifting through the coal for that yet-to-be-discovered diamond is always a thrill, especially when you come up with the one undiscovered gem everyone else overlooked. It takes a keen, experienced eye to do so, but the rewards can be great. The talent hitting the floor…

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Chocolate and peanut butter. Peas and carrots. Salt and pepper. Basketball and Amish Country? While the first three are things which obviously go together hand-in-hand, one might not consider Amish Country and high school girls basketball a perfect match. Yet, after 11 wonderful seasons, Classic in the Country, one of the premier high school girls basketball showcases…

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By LEAH BROWN There are tournaments all around the state of Ohio. Let’s face it, we’re a basketball state. But one of the things that makes the Classic so special is the reason why it’s held every year: to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and Perry Reese Jr. who both worked hard and endured much…

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BERLIN — The 11th annual Kaufman Realty & Auctions Classic in the Country Challenge powered by Under Armour will be held over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, beginning Saturday at 10 a.m., and continuing nonstop through Monday with the final game set for 8:30 p.m. There will be 20 games played over the weekend, with…

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By MIKE DYER The 11th annual Classic is primed for yet another memorable weekend this month from Jan. 18-20 at Berlin Hiland High School with some of the top Ohio girls’ basketball teams invited to this premier showcase. Tom Jenkins, director of the Classic and director of the Ohio Girls’ Basketball Report, is able to rattle off statistics…

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By DAVE MAST Holmes County, Ohio has always been well known for its rolling, scenic landscape, stunningly beautiful sunsets, cows grazing in the pasture, horse and buggies and the simple style of the Amish culture. But basketball? You better believe it. For the past decade, the round orange ball has taken center stage as part…

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By ANDREW VOGEL Daily Record Sports Writer The success of the girls basketball programs at Hiland, Orrville and West Holmes make deep postseason runs an expectation every year. While mid-January typically marks the season’s halfway point, this weekend’s Classic in the Country Challenge will give the three local squads the March-like atmosphere they have come…

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BERLIN—The motto of Classic in the Country Challenge IX is “Where Champions Compete & Hospitality is King.” You also can add “An economic boon to Holmes County and the surrounding area.” The ninth annual get-together, featuring some of the finest high school girls basketball programs from across the state, begins its three-day run at the…

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As Classic in the Country IX pulls into the Perry Reese Memorial Center for another weekend of incredible high school girls basketball Jan.14-16, many locals who haven’t been here may be wondering what is in it for them. Whether you are a high school hoops fan or not, whether you want to watch one or…

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When Tom Jenkins and Dave Schlabach transformed Berlin into a winter wonderland of girls basketball over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, they knew that if they did it the right way, they could have a major impact both on the landscape of girls basketball and on the economy of Berlin during a time when tourism is usually struggling.

Over the past eight winters, Classic in the Country has achieved national recognition as one of the best high school basketball events in the nation, and it has injected millions of dollars into the local economy.

However, the two men realize that in those eight years, they have gone about as far as they can with the generous support of the local community. “The people and businesses of Holmes County have been amazing through their support and volunteering to help us make Classic in the Country a success,” said Schlabach. “We will be forever grateful to everyone who has helped us make our dream a reality.”

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