As the boys’ basketball season prepares to kick off the second portion of the season following the holiday break eyes are looking toward the 14th Annual Sugar Creek Classic. I was fortunate enough to be in on some of the first conversations when this event was in the planning stages before it became a reality and the first tournament was played on Dec. 22-23, 2006. Unlike the girls tournament which has been dominated by one team (Western Boone has won 11 of the 12 tournament titles); the boys’ tournament has been highly competitive with all four schools having won at least two titles and no school having won more than five. The tournament will take place next weekend (Jan. 10-11) at Crawfordsville, the site of the first tournament. This will mark the sixth time in the tournament’s 14 years that the event has taken place at Crawfordsville. In the first 11 years it rotated between the four participating schools. However, this will mark the third straight year it has been conducted at Crawfordsville. North Montgomery leads the field with five tournament wins (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015). Crawfordsville has won three titles (2014, 2017 and 2019) as has Western Boone (2010, 2012 and 2016). Southmont won the title twice – 2013 and 2018. North Montgomery dominated the tournament in the early years winning fourth of the first five tournaments, but has one just one title in the last eight years. The field has gotten a lot more competitive in the past five years as all four of the teams in the tournament have been able to walk away with the coveted Sugar Creek Paddle (the trophy which is awarded to the winner). The only repeat winner in the past five years is Crawfordsville who has won the title two of the past three years. Crawfordsville and North Montgomery both have the most wins as each have a total of 15 games, while Western Boone has 14 wins and Southmont has eight. Overall records stands as: - Crawfordsville 15-11 - North Montgomery 15-11 - Western Boone 14-12 - Southmont 8-18 Crawfordsville has been in the championship game the most times has it has three titles and seven runner-up finishes in its 10 championship game appearances. Western Boone has made it to the finals seven times with its three titles and four second-place finishes. North Montgomery is a perfect 5-0 when making the title game and Southmont is 2-2 in its four final game appearances. Crawfordsville hold the mark for most points in a tournament game as it scored 84 in an 84-60 win over Southmont in the first year. Western Boone tallied 82 in an 82-38 win over Southmont in the first round of the 2014 tournament. The fewest points scored by a winning team has been 39 when Southmont beat Western Boone 39-37 in the consolation game of the 2009 tournament. The fewest points scored by any team in the tournament has been 25 in the championship game of the 2015 tourney as North Montgomery beat Crawfordsville 65-25. That is also the biggest margin of victory in a championship game and the second largest overall. The biggest margin of victory overall came in the first round of the 2014 tourney when Western Boone beat Southmont 82-38. Let’s hope this year’s tournament brings us another good tittle game. In the past three championships the final scores have been decided by five points or less. Barry Lewis has been playing or covering sports in Montgomery County for more than 40 years and enjoys helping to keep our sports heritage alive with his bi-weekly column for the Journal Review.
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