HAECO Invitational Basketball Tournament History and Notes:2019 Tournament December 26-28 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center

HAECO Invitational Basketball Tournament History and Notes
***HAECO Americas and Aviation Careers: As part of its effort to expose Piedmont Triad high school students to their industry and encourage them to discover the available opportunities in the aviation and aerospace fields, HAECO Americas staff will be onsite throughout the HAECO Invitational to talk with students and their parents who want to learn more about HAECO Americas and the aviation industry at large. The HAECO display will be located in the alcove between the concessions stand and the exit at the south end of court No. 1.

++++Early Championship Games: With ACC powerhouse Clemson University playing in the College Football Playoffs semifinals at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28, the HAECO Invitational championship games will be played earlier than usual. The women’s championship game will tip at 3:30 p.m. with the men’s finale slated for 5:30 p.m. The early tip times should give everyone time to enjoy the Clemson – Ohio State game at 8 p.m.

***Opening-Round Court Assignments: New last year, both top seeds will play their opening-round games on court No. 1. The top half of both the men’s and women’s brackets will open play on court No. 1 with the bottom half of both brackets opening play on court No. 2.

+++Championship Game Teams Celebrate at HAECO: For the last several years, HAECO Invitational championship teams have been invited to HAECO Americas for a championship celebration and tour of the facility. In 2017, in an effort to expose more tournament participants to its facility, HAECO expanded this event to also include the tournament runner-up teams. The four teams participating in the HAECO Invitational championship games will be invited to the celebration on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at HAECO Americas at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Winning teams in the four semifinal games will receive additional information after their semifinal victories

***Contributions to the Schools: Many things make the HAECO Invitational exceptional, but what makes it unique is that tournament proceeds are donated to charity and the participating schools. Last year, the eight participating schools each received $10,000 meaning the tournament donated $80,000 to the schools. In recent years, the Greensboro Sports Council made the following donations to the HAECO Invitational participating schools: 2008: $96,000, 2009: $80,000, 2010: $86,000, 2011: $100,000, 2012: $108,000, 2013: $112,000, 2014: $112,000, 2015: $112,000, 2016: $100,000, 2017: $100,000, 2018: $80,000. That’s a total of $1,086,000 since 2008.

+++Follow the HAECO: The HAECO Invitational is on social media – follow the HAECO on Twitter: @HAECOInvit and on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HAECOInvitational.

***Charity: In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the HAECO Invitational makes charitable contributions. This year, outgoing HAECO Invitational chair Frankie Jones, Jr., selected Ready for School, Ready for Life for the tournament’s charitable donation. Ready for School, Ready for Life is a collaborative effort to build a connected, innovative system of care for Guilford County’s youngest children and their families. Its vision is that every child in Guilford County, born in 2021 and beyond, will enter kindergarten developmentally on track in five key areas: physical development, language and communication, social-emotional development, cognitive development and approaches to play and learning. For more information, please visit www.getreadyguilford.org.

Past tournament proceeds have been contributed to Backpack Beginnings, Greensboro Urban Ministries, Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test, the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer, the Bryan Family YMCA, the Children’s Home Society, the Eastern Guilford High School Fund, the Joey Cheek Fund, North Carolina State Games, the Greensboro Aquatic Center’s ‘Learn to Swim’ program, The First Tee of the Triad, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and Youth Focus.

***Bill Lee Scholarship: The Bill Lee Scholarship is awarded to four HAECO Invitational participants each year. Since its inception in 2001, 77 high school seniors have now been awarded this scholarship which was established in memory of Bill Lee, 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.

+++Partners Help with Advertising: Multiple HAECO Invitational partners are helping advertise the tournament through their in-kind partnerships. Lamar Advertising Company is once again providing digital billboards showcasing the tournament. WFMY News 2 and Entercom radio stations 98.7 Simon, 102 Jamz, 97.1, QMG and 93.1 The Wolf are also advertising the tournament as in-kind partners.

***Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes: Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes, a halftime basketball shooting contest, returns to the HAECO Invitational this year. Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes will be conducted during each tournament game except for the two championship contests. During halftime, a maximum of 50 people may purchase a Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes ticket for $1 for one chance to shoot a free throw. Those that make the shot will advance to the next round until one shooter remains on each end. Those two shooters will shoot again to determine a winner for that game who earns a Steak ‘N Shake gift certificate and a HAECO Invitational T-Shirt. Winners from individual games do not advance to a winner’s competition; each halftime features its own complete competition.

+++The Tournament: More than four decades ago, seven Greensboro Sports Council members envisioned a high school basketball tournament that would raise funds for its participating schools. The HAECO Invitational was founded in 1976 as the Little 4. At that time, the Big Four Atlantic Coast Conference schools, Duke, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest, competed in the Big 4 Tournament in the Greensboro Coliseum. The HAECO Invitational was created to mirror the tournament that showcased North Carolina’s ACC teams. In 1978, the tournament expanded to eight teams with Ragsdale, High Point Andrews, High Point Central and Thomasville High School joining the original four. In 1979 and ’80, the tournament returned to its original schools before expanding to eight teams permanently in 1981. The women’s side of the tournament began in 1980. For a more complete look at tournament history, please visit https://www.HAECOInvitational.com/.

***2018 Tournament Recap: The Ragsdale High School Lady Tigers upset top-seeded Northwest Guilford ending the Vikings’ run of four-straight titles. The second-seeded Lady Tigers defeated Grimsley High School and Page High School on the way to the championship game. It was Ragsdale’s second title and coach Ben Bradford’s first. The story was the same in the men’s tournament where the second-seeded Northwest Guilford Vikings upset top seeded Greensboro Day School in overtime ending the Bengals’ seven-championship run. Northwest Guilford defeated Grimsley High School and Smith High School on the way to the title game. The Northwest men’s championship was the first for both the school and coach Lee Reavis.

Tournament Notes:

+++The Greensboro Day School men won their seventh-consecutive tournament championship in 2018 and made tournament history. No other team had ever won seven-consecutive titles. Going back to their 2011 title, the Bengals won 23 consecutive HAECO Invitational games before losing to Northwest Guilford in the 2018 championship game.

***Greensboro Day men’s coach Freddy Johnson is the only coach in tournament history who won seven-consecutive HAECO Invitational titles. His seven-year run (2011-’17) followed the four-year run he enjoyed during 2005-08. Johnson has 16 HAECO Invitational titles – more than any other coach in tournament history. Coach Johnson is a member of the North Carolina and Guilford County Sports Halls of Fame.

+++The Greensboro Day School men have enjoyed an impressive presence in the HAECO Invitational championship game. The Bengals played for the title in 13 of the last 15 years and 20 of the last 27 years.

***The Page High School women (1988–’92), the Western Guilford women (1992-’95), the Greensboro Day School men (2005-’08) and the Northwest Guilford women (2014-’17) are the only teams that won four consecutive HAECO Invitational titles.

+++The Greensboro Day School men lead the overall HAECO Invitational history with 16 tournament championships; Page High School leads the women’s tournament history with 13 tournament titles.

***Former Page High School coaches Luke McKeel, Deborah Jones and Kathy Turner won the Pirates’ 13 HAECO Invitational women’s championships. McKeel won seven of the first nine tournaments, Jones won four including three straight from 2011-’13, and Turner won the other two Lady Pirate titles.

+++Either Page High School or Northwest Guilford played in every women’s championship game since 2003. Page played in five of the last nine, and Northwest played in 13 of the last 16 including each of the last six. In addition, either the Lady Vikings or the Lady Pirates won seven of the last eight tournaments.

***The Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings have played in the championship game in 13 of the last 16 years winning seven times. Former coach Darlene Joyner joined the Vikings in 2002, and all of their championship-game appearances came under Coach Joyner meaning she made 13 appearances in the championship game in her 17 seasons as the Vikings’ coach. Joyner was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

+++Page star Paris Kea became the first three-time MVP in tournament history in 2014. Five players did it twice, but only the former Page Pirate did it three times.

Women’s Stats: The Page Pirates have won more women’s tournaments than any other school with 13 titles. The Lady Pirates have played for the championship 18 times, also more than any other team.

Women’s Championships

Page High School – 13

Northwest Guilford – 7

Page High School – 5

Western Guilford – 4

Smith High School – 3

Northeast Guilford – 3

Ragsdale High School – 2

Dudley High School – 1

Title Game Appearances

Page High School – 18

Northwest Guilford – 13

Smith High School – 10

Dudley High School – 9

Grimsley High School – 7

Western Guilford – 6

Northeast Guilford – 5

Ragsdale High School – 2

Northern Guilford – 2

Eastern Guilford – 2

Men’s Stats: Greensboro Day School has won more men’s championships than any other school taking top honors 16 times in 21 title-game appearances.

Men’s Championships

Greensboro Day – 16

Dudley High School – 10

Page High School – 8

Grimsley High School – 6

Smith High School – 2

Northwest Guilford – 1

Title Game Appearances

Greensboro Day School – 21

Dudley High School – 19

Grimsley High School – 13

Page High School – 13

Smith High School – 8

Northwest Guilford – 4

Northern Guilford – 2

Northeast Guilford – 2

Northern Guilford – 1

Southeast Guilford – 1

Southwest Guilford – 1

Eastern Guilford – 1

Ragsdale High School – 1

Coaching Statistics:

Women’s Wins by Coach:

– Darlene Joyner (NWG) 7

– Luke McKeel (PHS) 7

– Deborah Jones (PHS) 4

– Ginger Moore (WG 4

– Phil Weaver (GHS) 3

– Mike Bradley (NEG) 2

– Rick Hartsook (GHS) 2

– Kathy Turner (PHS) 2

– Ben Bradford (RHS) 1

– Kris Britton (DHS) 1

– Hank Bullard (SHS) 1

– Crystal Hazelwood (NEG) 1

– Ashton Jeffries (SHS) 1

– Lou Roshelli (SHS) 1

Men’s Wins by Coach:

Freddy Johnson (GDS) 16

Mac Morris (PHS) 7

David Price (DHS) 7

Phil Weaver (GHS) 4

Lee Reavis (NWG) 1

Darren Corbett (GHS) 1

Bill Chambers (DHS) 1

Jack Chatham (DHS) 1

Steve Hankins (DHS) 1

Robert Kent (PHS) 1

Jerry Fuqua (RHS) 1

Art Wade (SHS) 1

Bill Walton (GHS) 1

***Winning Coaches: Of the 16 men and women coaching in this year’s HAECO Invitational, only four have won the tournament. Freddy Johnson won all 16 of his HAECO Invitational titles at Greensboro Day; Ben Bradford led the Ragsdale Tigers to their first women’s championship in 2018, Lee Reavis led the Northwest Guilford Vikings to the men’s championship last year and Darren Corbett led Grimsley to the title in 2009.

+++Welcome New Coaches: The HAECO Invitational welcomes five coaches making their first HAECO Invitational appearances: Titus J. Duff (Grimsley women), Evan Fancourt (Page men), Haley Hackett (Northwest women), Sylvia Hammock (smith women) and Kellen Parrish (Northern men). Grimsley men’s coach Darren Corbett returns to the Whirlies bench this year.

***Overtime Championships: The HAECO Invitational championship game has gone to overtime only four times, and all of them involved the Greensboro Day School Bengals. The first two were between Dudley and Greensboro Day. In 1987, Greensboro Day beat Dudley 57-55 in Greensboro Day’s first HAECO Invitational appearance. In 1992, the tables were turned as the Panthers beat the Bengals 66-63. In 2013, the title tilt included the Bengals and Page High School; the second-seeded Bengals upset the top-seeded Pirates 53-51 after one extra stanza. In 2018, second seeded Northwest Guilford upset the top-seeded Bengals 68-67 in overtime.

+++2019 Participating Schools: Dudley High School, Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School, Northern Guilford, Northwest Guilford, Page High School, Ragsdale High School and Smith High School.

***Tickets: HAECO 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.

2019 Women’s Seeds (Please see brackets on the Live Updates page):

1. Ragsdale High School

2. Northwest Guilford

3. Greensboro Day School

4. Northern Guilford

5. Dudley High School

6. Grimsley High School

7. Page High School

8. Smith High School

2019 Men’s Seeds (Please see brackets on the Live Updates page):

1. Greensboro Day School

2. Smith High School

3. Northwest Guilford

4. Dudley High School

5. Page High School

6. Grimsley High School

7. Northern Guilford

8. Ragsdale High School

The HAECO Invitational is an annual high school basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Founded in 1976 as the Little 4 Invitational, the tournament features men’s and women’s teams representing eight high schools located in Guilford County. The tournament is played at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Tournament proceeds are donated to local charities and the participating schools; the HAECO Invitational is planned and implemented by the Greensboro Sports Council. For more information, please visit www.HAECOInvitational.com and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit.