The Times West Virginian

December 27, 2013

North Marion travels to Orlando for basketball tournament

By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — North Marion’s girls’ basketball team has started the season 4-2, outscoring opponents by a combined margin of 432-262.

What are the Huskies going to do now?

They’re going to Walt Disney World!

For the second time in coach Mike Parrish’s tenure, the Huskies will compete in the KSA Events Holiday Basketball Tournament in Orlando, Fla.

The idea of competing in a holiday tournament isn’t a new one. Most of the local basketball teams are competing around West Virginia this week. The Fairmont Senior girls’ basketball team will be hosting a tournament over the next two days at the Marion County Armory.

But Parrish said the trip to Orlando is an opportunity for his team to face top teams and see new competition they normally wouldn’t.

Nearly 100 boys’ and girls’ teams from coast to coast registered for the tournament. Organizers used last season’s records, rankings and returning players to place teams into brackets with equally talented teams.

North Marion was assigned to an eight-team bracket with teams from Florida, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Jersey, Alabama, Kentucky and Canada.

The varsity and junior varsity will each play three games starting today when the Huskies square off with Trimble County, a school from Kentucky, at 11:30 a.m.

“It’s great to play teams from different states,” Parrish said. “We’ll be against teams from all over the country and even one from out of the country.”

The Huskies will be trying to make a splash in their bracket, but they’ll also be making a more literal splash when they hit popular Disney World attractions like Splash Mountain.

You see, it won’t be all basketball this weekend. In addition to playing in the games, the group of about 70 players, coaches, parents and fans who made the trip will visit the local amusement parks, go to dinner and attend an Orlando Magic NBA game.

“It’s just a good experience for the kids,” Parrish said. “A lot of them may not get to come to Disney World otherwise.”

This isn’t the first time Parrish and the Huskies will be making the trip south. In 2007, North Marion also played in the tournament, defeating teams from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and New Jersey to win their bracket.

Parrish said that every few years he likes to take his team somewhere. Other than Disney World, the Huskies have traveled to New York City and Columbus.

“It’s always good to get out and travel and play some different teams,” Parrish said.

Email Mike DeFabo at mdefabo@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.