By Cloverleaf High School Journalism Staff
The Medina County rivalry between the Cloverleaf and Buckeye girls basketball teams will be decided in the middle of downtown Cleveland this year.
The two teams split the season series last year as the Bucks took the first game 56-47 on Nov. 26 at Cloverleaf, and then the Colts got their revenge in the District Semifinals at Elyria High School as they ended Buckeye’s season with a 53-39 decision.
Cloverleaf and Buckeye will meet at 3 p.m. Nov. 27 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Later that night, the Cavs will take on the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m.
The game will be played the day before Thanksgiving and on a day that both schools will be off for the holiday.
“It worked out nicely with the date and we hope that everyone from both communities will get to come out and enjoy our game and the Cavs game that night,” Cloverleaf Head Coach John Carmigiano said. “Our kids have really enjoyed this experience in the past and we hope to make many good memories again.”
Cloverleaf is 2-0 on the Cavs home floor as they beat Springfield in the 2016-17 season and Triway in the 2017-18 campaign.
“The wins were great, but in both cases, the girls were able to experience something that they will remember and cherish for a lifetime,” Carmigiano said. “The first year we played there, some of our players ran into Kyle Korver, Kay Felder, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson on the elevator. That doesn’t happen every day, obviously, and was a special moment.”
Cloverleaf senior point guard Cam Tripp will be playing for her third and final time on the Cavs floor.
“It’s really exciting to play on the same court as the Cavs players, LeBron and other professional athletes,” Tripp said. “It is cool to see the differences in the courts and the atmosphere from a normal high school game. We are looking forward to the opportunity.”
Buckeye will be playing downtown for the first time. The Bucks are very excited about the opportunity to play right before the Cavs against a county rival.
“Standing on the floor the Cavaliers play on is a dream come true for most of the players and the coaching staff,” Buckeye Head Coach Ron Clady said. “Although it will just be one game in the early season, it will have the energy of a tournament game. And who knows, maybe a few Cavaliers players will be watching us play instead of the other way around.”