By CLAY KALLAM & MARK TENNIS
Contributing: RONNIE FLORES, DOUG HUFF, PAUL MUYSKENS
The place to be this weekend is Berlin.
No, we’re not talking the Berlin on the other side of the pond. And you also wouldn’t expect the best girls’ basketball event in the country this weekend to be in Amish country, but that’s exactly where Berlin, Ohio, happens to be — and so is the three-day Classic in the Country.
Starting with Minster (Ohio) vs. Mogadore (Ohio) at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hiland High School in Berlin, 20 games are on the schedule, and though college coaches probably won’t be congregating for the opener, you can bet they’ll out in force by the time University (Newark, N.J.) and 6-foot Maryland-bound Lauren Mincy take on Regina (South Euclid, Ohio) and 5-foot-7 Florida State-bound Tay’ler Mingo.
It only gets better after that, including a battle of in-state powers Hathaway Brown of Shaker Heights and Mount Notre Dame of Cincinnati (both nationally ranked in preseason). Then, in the nightcap, FAB 50 No. 41 Potter’s House Christian of Florida takes on Hiland, the host school which hasn’t lost yet this season.
Since it’s Amish territory, there are no games Sunday morning to allow everyone to go to church, but the gym should be packed by 3:30. The nightcap certainly is worth staying up for when Mount Notre Dame and FAB 50 No. 36 Start of Toledo, a relative newcomer to basketball prominence in Ohio, will go head-to-head.
The pace slows a little on Monday, but a game between Start (featuring Seton Hall signee Tiffani Blackman) and Potter’s House (which has literally traveled all over the country this season) will have a major impact on next week’s FAB 50.