Cancer is main adversary at Central gym on Saturday

Cancer is main adversary at Central gym on Saturday
There may be a jumpball that leads to heated tempers on Saturday (weather permitting) at Obion Central.
Don’t be fooled, though, for that’s not what the real fight will be against.
The Rebel basketball teams will host their second annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic on the Troy hardwood on Saturday with pink adorning many of the players and spectators.
The event, which OC girls’ coach Lyle LaRue said came to fruition due to seeing friends and loved ones battling the disease and also as a result of similar events at the college and professional level, is a fund raiser with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.
“There’s probably not anyone on our team who hasn’t been affected by cancer,” Obion Central girls’ coach Lyle LaRue said while touting the cause. “So many local families have been hit very hard by it. I know, personally, that cancer is usually the cause of death in the LaRue family.
“My brother is Colin is 36 and he’s had three kinds (bone, lung and skin). I truly believe he is here today because of fund raisers like this one that help to finance research to combat the disease.”
Last year, Obion Central had just three games in its first-ever installment of the event. According to LaRue, about $600 was donated to the ACS after expenses were paid.
Admission for Saturday’s day of hardwood action is $7, although families will be admitted for $25. Anyone wearing a pink shirt will receive $2 off the price of admission.
Action is to get under way at 10 a.m. and run through the evening hours.
Locally, Union City tips off against Brighton in girls’ action at 5:30, while the Rebel boys play Hickman County at 7.
The No. 4 OC girls battle No. 3-ranked Liberty at 8:30.
“My goal from a basketball standpoint is to make this an event that teams want to come to and get the best competition possible before district tournaments,” LaRue said. “I think with three of the top 10 girls’ teams in the state here that we’ve accomplished that this year.”
Play is set to begin in the main gym at 10 a.m. with the Dyer County girls vs. Halls.
The Halls boys will play Munford at 11:30. After that, Munford takes on Jackson Southside in girls’ play at 1 p.m.
Then, the Southside boys battle Dyersburg at 2:30. At 4, the D’burg girls — ranked sixth in the state’s Class 2A ranks — battles Bolivar.
Freshman and jayvee action will also take place in Central’s auxiliary gym on Saturday.
The OC freshman and junior varsity teams are both scheduled to play twice.
The Lady Rebels will battle Graves County at 11 a.m. (freshman) and noon (junior varsity).
The OC girls’ freshman squad will play again at 1 against Halls, while the JV team takes on Dyersburg at 2.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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