Previewing the 2020 “Big Red Showcase” and Beyond
If you are a big High School basketball fan, you probably love the month of December. Multi-team exhibitions pop up every weekend, with top-tier talent in every single game. This weekend, we have a great MTE in Huntsville, Alabama at Huntsville High School.
It was previously supposed to be a “Braggin’ Rights Classic,” pitting top teams from Georgia against top teams from Alabama. COVID-19 had other ideas, as neither the GHSAA nor AHSAA would okay the travel across state lines. Huntsville High School and Head Coach Christian Schweers came up with the great idea of hosting the “2020 Big Red Showcase,” at Huntsville High School, on December 12. The “Big Red Showcase” is pitting three Huntsville teams against three teams from around the state, including Birmingham’s own Oak Mountain High School.
It all gets started at 4:30 with an Elite Eight rematch from the 7A Northeast Regional in 2020, as the fifth-ranked Oak Mountain Eagles look to repeat their Elite Eight victory over the Sparkman Senators, who are currently ranked ninth in Class 7A. At 6:00, Lee-Huntsville faces off with McGill-Toolen, who are just a few years removed from a Class 7A State Title game. It caps off with a great match-up between defending 2A State Champions, Calhoun, and 7A power Huntsville, at 7:30.
If I’m being completely honest, all six of these teams could compete to make their respective Final Four. Calhoun will not struggle in 2A competition because of a Senior Guard that goes by the name of J.D. Davidson, who recently committed to play at Alabama next season. Davidson averages well-over 30 points per game, which is more than enough production to win a 2A title, which they did last season, thanks to a buzzer-beating three by Davidson in the State Championship. McGill-Toolen and Lee-Montgomery both compete in Class 6A, which sends 32 teams to the “big dance” in February. I expect one, if not both, of these teams will at least make it to the Sub-Regional Round of 32.
This brings us to an interesting case for the three Class 7A teams. In 2020, Huntsville made it to the Sweet Sixteen while Sparkman fell in the Elite Eight. The common factor of those two losses? The Oak Mountain Eagles, who defeated both the Panthers and Senators en route to the school’s first ever Final Four birth. The Eagles and Senators both return 4 starters from those teams, making them clear favorites to return to the postseason. Huntsville will likely play Sparkman in the Area 7 Tournament Final, which would punch their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen.