News coming out of the Pizza Hut Invitational Basketball meetings

Posted by Andy Durham on November 10, 2009 at 4:13 pm under High School | Comments are off for this article

News coming out of the Pizza Hut Invitational Basketball Tournament meetings today at the Greensboro Coliseum has NewBridge Bank joining the Tournament. You can read all about it below….

Our news is that Keenan Allen and Maurice Harris want in. New Northern Guilford boy’s basketball coach Ryan Freeman told us today that Allen and Harris will try our for basketball at Northern after football season is complete. Allen and Harris have told Coach Freeman that they want to try out for the basketball team…….

This could be a big boost for Northern and for the tournament. Jon Frye, Dylan Berry, Jon McBeth, Keenan Allen, Maurice Harris, DC Arendas and others for Northern could give the Nighthawks a shot at the title and add more interest to the Pizza Hut Invitational and to the entire Northern Guilford 2009/2010 boy’s basketball season.

GDS is number one, Grimsley #2, NWG #3 and Northern #4 on the boy’s side and the Nighthawks will have a tough first-round opponent in the Ragsdale Tigers, who finished #2, right behind Greensboro Day School last year.

We wrote about Grimsley here yesterday and the Whirlies have that young depth and NWG is a team with an abundance of untapped returning talent. Vebber and Coble are the X-Factors going into this thing….Greensboro Day is deeper than just about any team in the state, public or private and with six guards and the three big men up front, good luck in your quest in dethroning the Champs….

We will write more on this later but, the Northern Guilford girls have a compliment to Samantha Coffer and it is her little sister. She is actually her younger sister and Amanda may be bigger than Samantha size wise already. Amanda Coffer is only in the 9th grade and Coach Furlough said she has never seen a freshman like this, and that includes her time at Northern and at Southeast Guilford….

Not the twin-towers, but the sister-act with the Coffers set to be sending back the 0’fers if you bring your shot into the lane against the Northern Guilford Nighthawks and the women’s team. Amanda is going to be real big and real strong before it is over and with Tessitore, Tohmased, Johnson, Williamson, Hayes, Robinson, Milton and all the other Nighthawks, beware before you come in here…..

Other company news coming out of the Pizza Hut meetings today:

â–º Pizza Hut Extends Sponsorship: Pizza Hut, through local franchise Commodore

Restaurants, has signed a five-year extension of its Pizza Hut Invitational title sponsorship. The new agreement begins with the 2010 tournament, the 35th annual Pizza Hut Invitational. While terms of the agreement will not be announced, Pizza Hut’s extension also continues the tradition of Pizza Hut pizzas being provided free of charge to tournament patrons with access to the VIP Hospitality area during the tournament. Eight local Pizza Hut restaurants are operated in the Greensboro area by Commodore Restaurants.

“Our relationship with the Greensboro Sports Council and the Pizza Hut Invitational has been excellent for Greensboro-area Pizza Hut restaurants and our franchise, Commodore Restaurants,” Greensboro-area coach James DuBose said. “This tournament has helped us increase awareness of the Pizza Hut brand, and we are very happy to continue this sponsorship. One of the reasons we began sponsoring this event is that all of the money the tournament raises goes back to the participating schools, and with the economy where it is, we understand how important these funds are to the schools.”

Additional information about Pizza Hut and Commodore Restaurants is available at

â–º NewBridge Bank Joins the Tournament: NewBridge Bank is the new presenting sponsor of the Pizza Hut Invitational. NewBridge Bank’s five-year agreement begins with the 2009 tournament. NewBridge Bank is a full-service, state-chartered community bank headquartered in Greensboro, N.C. NewBridge Bank ranks among the 10 largest banks in North Carolina with assets of approximately $2 billion and is the largest community bank in the Piedmont Triad based on deposit market share. NewBridge Bank has six banking offices in Guilford County and an additional 26 offices in the Piedmont Triad. The stock of NewBridge Bancorp, the Bank’s parent company, trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “NBBC.”

“NewBridge Bank is proud to continue our tradition of supporting high school athletics,” NewBridge Bank Director of Marketing Jillian Gibson said. “We are honored to become the presenting sponsor of the historic Pizza Hut Invitational basketball tournament and look forward to its continued success in the upcoming years.”

For additional information on NewBridge Bank, please visit

► Record-breaking tournament: The 2008 Pizza Hut Invitational set records in overall fundraising, contributions to the participating schools and attendance. Following the 2008 tournament, $96,000 was distributed to the participating schools from the Greensboro Sports Council, the body that operates the tournament, due to increased attendance and fundraising. Schools in Guilford County have received more than $914,000 in Pizza Hut Invitational proceeds from the Greensboro Sports Council in the last 10 years. Record crowds attended last year’s tournament with more than 15,000 basketball fans watching the three-day event. In addition, the tournament enjoyed a 10 percent increase in overall fundraising over the previous year. This Greensboro holiday tournament donates 100 percent of its proceeds to the participating schools and other local charitable causes every year.

► Charity: In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the Pizza Hut Invitational makes other charitable contributions. Past tournament proceeds have been contributed to Greensboro Urban Ministries, the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer, Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test, the Eastern Guilford High School Fund, the Joey Cheek Fund, North Carolina State Games and the Girls and Boys Club.

► Unusual Dates: The 2009 Pizza Hut Invitational will actually be contested in 2009 and ‘10 due to the way the calendar falls this year. Since Christmas is on a Friday, the tournament’s traditional dates would place the semifinal round on Sunday, Dec. 27, but the North Carolina High School Athletic Association does not permit its schools to play on Sundays. Due to Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center availability, the next window for the tournament is Dec. 31, 2009-Jan. 2, 2010.

► 2008 Tournament: In last year’s Pizza Hut Invitational, Greensboro Day School won the men’s tournament for the fourth consecutive year. The Bengals now have nine Pizza Hut Invitational championships; only Dudley High School has more with 10 titles. Ragsdale High School won the women’s tournament after defeating the top-seeded Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings in the semifinals. Ragsdale won the tournament in its first championship-game appearance.

► The Tournament: The Pizza Hut Invitational was founded in 1976. At that time, the Big Four Atlantic Coast Conference schools, Duke, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest, competed in the Big Four Tournament in the Greensboro Coliseum. The Pizza Hut Invitational was created to mirror the tournament that showcased North Carolina’s ACC teams and raise funds for the participating high schools’ athletic programs. The Pizza Hut Invitational is now widely considered the most successful holiday basketball tournament in North Carolina.

► Honorary Chairmen: The 34th annual Pizza Hut Invitational coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro Sports Council. The founding members of the Greensboro Sports Council will serve as this year’s honorary chairmen. This year’s tournament will be played in honor and memory of the Greensboro Sports Council’s founding members.

► Women’s Stats: The Page Pirates have won more women’s tournaments than any other school with 10 titles. The Lady Pirates have played for the championship 14 times, also more than any other team.

â–  Championships â–  Title Game Appearances

â–  Page High School – 10 â–  Page High School – 14

â–  Grimsley High School – 5 â–  Dudley High School – 9

â–  Western Guilford – 4 â–  Smith High School – 7

â–  Northeast Guilford – 3 â–  Grimsley High School – 7

â–  Smith High School – 2 â–  Western Guilford – 6

â–  Northwest Guilford – 2 â–  Northeast Guilford – 5

â–  Dudley High School – 1 â–  Northwest Guilford – 5

â–  Ragsdale High School – 1 â–  Eastern Guilford – 2

â–  Ragsdale High School -1

► Men’s Stats: Dudley High School has won more men’s championships than any other school taking top honors 10 times. The Panthers have played for the championship in 19 of the 33 previous Pizza Hut Invitational title games.

â–  Championships â–  Title Game Appearances

â–  Dudley High School – 10 â–  Dudley High School – 19

â–  Greensboro Day – 9 â–  Greensboro Day School – 13

â–  Page High School – 7 â–  Grimsley High School – 12

â–  Grimsley High School – 5 â–  Page High School – 10

â–  Smith High School – 2 â–  Smith High School – 7

â–  Eastern Guilford – 1

â–  Southeast Guilford – 1

â–  Southwest Guilford – 1

â–  Northeast Guilford – 1

â–  Ragsdale High School – 1

► Overtime Championships: The Pizza Hut Invitational championship game has gone to overtime twice, and both times, it was a Dudley – Greensboro Day title tilt. In 1987, Greensboro Day beat Dudley 57-55 in Greensboro Day’s first Pizza Hut Invitational appearance. In 1992, the tables were turned as the Panthers beat the Bengals 66-63.

► Scholarships: The Bill Lee Memorial Scholarship was established in 2001. Lee was a Greensboro native and resident who was a major supporter of local sports. He was deeply involved with Greensboro’s minor league baseball efforts, basketball and golf. The Greensboro Sports Council established the scholarship following Lee’s death in 2001. Recipients are nominated by their schools, and the Greensboro Sports Council awards the scholarships. Each nomination is considered with the following criteria: 40% academic, 40% athletic and 20% civic. Four student-athletes receive a scholarship each year; 32 scholarships have been awarded since 2001.

â–º Sponsorship: Pizza Hut Invitational revenue comes from ticket sales and sponsorships. The Greensboro Sports Council is very active in raising funds for the tournament, and for the sixth consecutive year, participating schools are sharing in the sponsorship efforts. Each school is soliciting a minimum of $1,500 in sponsorship. Pizza Hut Invitational sponsorship is among the most economical sports marketing opportunities available to local companies.

â–º 2009 Participating Schools: Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School, Northeast Guilford, Northern Guilford, Northwest Guilford, Page High School, Smith High School and Ragsdale High School.

â–º Tickets: Pizza Hut Invitational tickets are available through the participating schools or at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office. Tournament books containing tickets for all games are $15. Single-session tickets are $7 for the opening and semi-final rounds and $10 for championship day. Single session tickets are only available at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center box office.

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