HAECOisHiring.com Invitational Basketball Tournament Seedings and Pairings

Day One December 27
Dec. 27
No. 1 Northwest vs. No. 8 Dudley
3 p.m.
Court 1

No. 4 GSO Day vs. No. 5 Page
5 p.m.
Court 1

No. 2 Ragsdale vs. No. 7 Grimsley
5:30 p.m.
Court 2

No. 3 Smith vs. No. 6 Southeast
7 p.m.
Court 2

** Game times are
approximate and
will tip 15 minutes
after previous game

Day One December 27
Dec. 27
No. 1 GSO Day vs. No. 8 Southeast
6 p.m.
Court 1

No. 4 Dudley vs. No. 5 Smith
7:30 p.m.
Court 1

No. 2 Grimsley vs. No. 7 Ragsdale
2:30 p.m.
Court 2

No. 3 Northwest 7:30 p.m. vs. No. 6 Page
4 p.m.
Court 2

** Game times are
approximate and
will tip 15 minutes
after previous game

2021 Women’s Seeds

1)Northwest Guilford
2)Ragsdale High School
3)Smith High School
4)Greensboro Day School
5)Page High School
6)Southeast Guilford
7)Grimsley High School
8)Dudley High School

2021 Men’s Seeds
1)Greensboro Day School
2)Grimsley High School
3)Northwest Guilford
4)Dudley High School
5)Smith High School
6)Page High School
7)Ragsdale Guilford
8)Southeast High School

GREENSBORO, N.C. – – The 45th HAECOisHiring.com Invitational is set for December 27-29, 2021 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. The tournament returns after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-tournament notes along with the tournament seeds and brackets are below:

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 career opportunities in the aviation and aerospace fields, HAECO staff will be onsite throughout the HAECOisHiring.com Invitational to talk with students and their parents who want to learn more about HAECO and the aviation industry at large. HAECO personnel will be located just inside the tournament’s main entrance giving families the opportunity to stop by on their way in or out of the tournament. In addition, HAECO will have an information station near the Hangar hospitality area at the north end of court No. 1.

Welcome Southeast Guilford High School: Southeast Guilford High School returns to the HAECOisHiring.com Invitational for the first time since the 1980s. In 1983, Southeast advanced to the men’s championship game but lost to Dudley 62-60. Southeast replaced Northern Guilford High School after the Nighthawks withdrew from the tournament due to conference realignment.

Opening-Round Court Assignments: New in 2019, 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. Second-round consolation games will be played on court 2 with the men’s and women’s semifinals on court 1.

Championship Game Teams Celebrate at HAECO: For the last several years, HAECOisHiring.com Invitational championship and runner-up teams have been invited to HAECO for a championship celebration and tour of the facility. The four teams participating in the HAECOisHiring.com Invitational championship games will be invited to the celebration in early January at HAECO 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 HAECOisHiring.com Invitational exceptional, but what makes it unique is that tournament proceeds are donated to charity and the participating schools. In 2019, the eight participating schools each received $12,500 meaning the tournament donated $100,000 to the schools. In recent years, the Greensboro Sports Council made the following donations to the HAECOisHiring.com 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, 2019: $100,000, 2020: $22,000 (no tournament). That’s a total of $1,208,000 since 2008.

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

Charity: In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the HAECOisHiring.com Invitational makes charitable contributions. This year, HAECOisHiring.com Invitational chairs, Tyler Key and Charlie Hall, selected Out of the Garden Project for the tournament’s charitable donation. Out of the Garden Project fights childhood food insecurity, and the Greensboro/High Point market ranks ninth in the nation for childhood food insecurity. Out of the Garden Project serves some 1,900 students and families each week and has provided 15 million meals since 2009. For more information, please visit www.outofthegardenproject.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, Ready for School, Ready for Life and Youth Focus.

Bill Lee Scholarship: The Bill Lee Scholarship is awarded to four HAECOisHiring.com Invitational participants each year. Since its inception in 2001, 85 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.

Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes halftime shootouts will not happen in 2021.

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 HAECOisHiring.com 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 HAECOisHiring.com 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/.

2019 Tournament Recap: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HAECOisHiring.com Invitational was not played in 2020 so the 2019 winners are defending their titles in 2021. In the women’s tournament, the second-seeded Northwest Guilford Vikings reclaimed the throne from the top-seeded Ragsdale High School Lady Tigers who won in 2018. The Vikings defeated Page High School and Greensboro Day School on their way to the championship game. It was the Vikings’ fifth title in the last six years; it was first-year coach Haley Hackett’s first HAECOisHiring.com Invitational championship and Northwest’s 14th tournament title. On the men’s side, it was a similar storyline as Greensboro Day School defeated Smith High School 62-57 to reclaim the title after losing it to Northwest Guilford in 2018. The Bengals defeated Ragsdale High School and Page High School on the way to the championship game. It was the 17th HAECO title for both coach Freddy Johnson and Greensboro Day School.

Tournament Notes:

The Greensboro Day School men won their seventh-consecutive tournament championship in 2017 and made tournament history. No other team had ever won seven-consecutive titles. Going back to their 2011 title, the Bengals won 23 consecutive HAECOisHiring.com 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 HAECOisHiring.com Invitational titles. His seven-year run (2011-’17) followed the four-year run he enjoyed during 2005-’08. Johnson has 17 HAECOisHiring.com 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 HAECOisHiring.com Invitational championship game. The Bengals played for the title in each of the last nine tournaments and 13 of the last 15 tournaments.

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 HAECOisHiring.com Invitational titles.

The Greensboro Day School men lead the overall HAECOisHiring.com Invitational history with 17 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 HAECOisHiring.com 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. In addition, either the Lady Vikings or the Lady Pirates won eight of the last nine tournaments.

The Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings have played in the championship game in 14 of the last 17 years winning eight times. Former coach Darlene Joyner joined the Vikings in 2002 and was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. Current coach Haley Hackett led the Vikings to the title in her only previous tournament.

Page star Paris Kea is the only three-time MVP in tournament history earning that honor in 2011, ’12 and ’13. 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.

    Championships                                       Title Game Appearances

    Page High School        - 13                       Page High School                    - 18

    Northwest Guilford      - 8                          Northwest Guilford                - 14

    Page High School        - 5                          Smith High School                 - 10

    Western Guilford        - 4                          Dudley High School                - 9

    Smith High School       - 3                          Grimsley High School              - 7

    Northeast Guilford      - 3                         Western Guilford                   - 6

    Ragsdale High School    - 2                          Northeast Guilford                - 5

    Dudley High School      - 1                          Ragsdale High School              - 3

                                                       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 17 times in 22 title-game appearances.

    Championships                                       Title Game Appearances

    Greensboro Day          - 17                        Greensboro Day School           - 22

    Dudley High School     - 10                           Dudley High School            - 19

    Page High School       - 8                          Grimsley High School            - 13

    Grimsley High School   - 6                             Page High School             - 13

    Smith High School      - 2                           Smith High School               - 9

    Northwest Guilford     - 1                          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:                                                    Men's Wins by Coach:

Darlene Joyner (NWG)                  7                                  - Freddy Johnson (GDS)      17
Luke McKeel (PHS)                     7                                   - Mac Morris (PHS)          7
Deborah Jones (PHS)                   4                                    - David Price (DHS)        7
Ginger Moore (WG                      4                                  - Phil Weaver (GHS)          4
Phil Weaver (GHS)                     3                                  - Lee Reavis (NWG)           1
Mike Bradley (NEG)                    2                                  - Darren Corbett (GHS)       1
Rick Hartsook (GHS)                   2                                  - Bill Chambers (DHS)        1
Kathy Turner (PHS)                    2                                  - Jack Chatham (DHS)         1
Ben Bradford (RHS)                    1                                  - Steve Hankins (DHS)        1
Haley Hackett                         1                                  - Robert Kent (PHS)          1
Kris Britton (DHS)                    1                                  - Jerry Fuqua (RHS)          1         
Hank Bullard (SHS)                    1                                  - Art Wade (SHS)             1                     
Crystal Hazelwood (NEG)               1                                  - Bill Walton (GHS)          1
Ashton Jeffries (SHS)                 1                                 
Lou Roshelli (SHS)                    1

Winning Coaches: Of the 16 men and women coaching in this year’s HAECOisHiring.com Invitational, only five have won the tournament. Freddy Johnson won all 17 of his HAECOisHiring.com Invitational titles at Greensboro Day; Haley Hackett led Northwest Guilford to the women’s title in 2019, 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 in 2018 and Darren Corbett led Grimsley to the title in 2009.

Welcome New Coaches: The HAECOisHiring.com Invitational welcomes three coaches making their first HAECOisHiring.com Invitational appearances: Michael Bolton (Smith women), Josh Prince (Dudley men) and Tamera Thorpe (Greensboro Day women).

Overtime Championships: The HAECOisHiring.com 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 HAECOisHiring.com Invitational appearance. In 1992, the tables were turned as the Panthers beat the Bengals 66-63 when Vincent Whitt hit a three pointer at the end of overtime. 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.

2021 Participating Schools: Dudley High School, Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School, Northwest Guilford, Page High School, Ragsdale High School, Smith High School and Southeast Guilford High School.

Tickets: HAECOisHiring.com Invitational tickets are available through the participating schools or at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office. Tournament books containing tickets for all games are $20. Single-session tickets are $10 for the opening and semi-final rounds and $15 for championship day. Single session tickets are only available at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center box office.

The HAECOisHiring.com 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 HAECOisHiring.com 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.

Courtesy of Rob Goodman

2 thoughts on “HAECOisHiring.com Invitational Basketball Tournament Seedings and Pairings

  1. I don’t remember the Panthers Girls ever being a #8 seed, wow! Amazing how they were just #1 in the State 3A back in the spring, was a strong contender for the NCHSAA Championship before that 1st rd upset by Charlotte Catholic. Wow!

    Not trying to make anyone mad, but I wish GDS Boys would go to a National Tourney like in Raleigh or Charlotte. Let another Guilford school like SW, NE or Eastern in. GDS is like the Alabama of Guilford Co Basketball and their chances of winning is 99.0% every year. Yes once in a while Page, NW or Dudley will have a squad that can hang with them, and will have 1 or 2 players that can go toe to toe with GDS. But none of these public schools have the depth or height to compete against that program. They have beaten mighty Oak Hill too!

    Make the tourney a toss bag and the element of surprise.

  2. @Perry Greensboro Day lost to Northwest Guilford in the boys final a couple of years ago, in case you forgot.

    The reality is that without Greensboro Day there might not be a tournament these days. The Bengals buy a lot more ticket books than any other school, and GDS alums buy almost all of the sponsorships. GDS does play in a national tournament, the City of Palms in Fort Myers, FL, the week before the HAECO in a field with about six national Top 25 teams.

    As to the three schools not in the HAECO field that you mentioned, Southwest and Eastern aren’t interested because they have their own tournaments, and Northeast got bounced when Dudley decided to come back because Northeast bought no tickets or sponsorships. That’s the economic reality.

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