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Anderson County's biggest home basketball game of the year might turn into one of the high school's biggest nights of the year.
Any hoops fan knows that when Collins comes to town on Friday, Jan. 4, the Bearcats will be hosting the highest-ranked team on their schedule this year. Collins entered the 2012-13 season as the favorite to take the Eighth Region championship. Through a month of the season, the Titans have only strengthened that status with a 9-2 record. The Titans boast a 9-2 record and have the deepest and most athletic team in the Eighth Region. Senior forward Dez Marshall's 6-foot-5 size is the only thing keeping him away from the major colleges at this time. The Bearcats and Titans are scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
In the first game of a double-header, the girls' teams square off as well. In that one, the roles are reversed as Anderson entered the season as one of the favorites, but after a great December, is widely considered the team to beat. Collins has been solid at 5-5 but is not considered to be much more than a spoiler for the Anderson girls. The Titans do have a nice player in senior Aaliyah Wells, who started as an eighth-grader and freshman at Shelby County before moving to Collins when the school was formed. She has over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. That game tips off at 6 p.m.
The school, however, has planned many other activities in an effort to reach out to the community and connect with parents beginning at 4 p.m.
“We will have our regular parent connection night conferences from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” assistant principal Josh White said in an e-mail. “Once parents enter the building, they will have the opportunity to browse an art gallery of student work, bid on items at an FFA silent auction, meet our college coach, browse the FCCLA back sale, enjoy the National Anthem performed by the advanced chorus, enjoy a warm bowl of chili for a $5 donation and numerous other activities will be going on to showcase the talents and skills of students at ACHS.”
White said that during the basketball double-header, the school will sponsor several prize drawings and student games or challenges.
The school will also crown the annual basketball homecoming queen.
In addition to the showcasing of the school and students, White says the school is working to help Open Hands Food Pantry stock its shelves. “We are encouraging everyone who attends the game to bring a canned good or non-perishable food item to donate to Open Hands Food Pantry,” White said.
White said David Montgomery, director of Open Hands, will be present to greet fans, who can donate to the Pantry.
Students can also donate $5 to receive a t-shirt that will admit them to the basketball games and allow them to have a bowl of chili, sponsored by the FFA Alumni Association. The donation will go directly to Open Hands.
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