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Homestead and NY2LA combine to create a hoops heaven

Eight-game event last Saturday a big hit

Dec. 13, 2011

It was a lot of good basketball but it was also a lot of good income too for the Mequon-Thiensville School District when the NY2LA organization teamed with Homestead High School for an eight-game co-ed prep hoops extravaganza Saturday.

And Homestead Athletic Director Ryan Mangan was happy for the business.

"We're a little past showing it off," said Mangan of the decade-old field house that hosted the four boys games that were held there that day. "What we're really trying to do is raise money for the district by renting the place. We have a pretty good relationship with them (NY2LA), only this time around we were a little more involved because it was a high school event."

NY2LA is an organization that promotes youth and prep basketball nationwide and has been actively holding tournaments in the area for some years now. The Homestead facility is also a host to a variety of similar events in the summer, Mangan said.

"In those situations, we're pretty much hands off (in terms of organization)," Mangan said. "In those instances, we're pretty much involved with building management issues."

Homestead boys coach Marquis Hines, whose team lost a tough decision to Brookfield Central in the 6:15 p.m. tilt in the field house, also praised the arrangement.

"Tony (NY2LA Tournament Director Antonio Curro) asked us over the summer if we wanted to do something like this and then if we wanted to play in it ourselves," Hines said, "and we were willing to do that. We got a lot of good teams in it with some very competitive games. We're hoping that they're willing to come back (next year)."

In addition to the four boys games in the field house, there were also four girls games in the old gym.

Juggling locker rooms

"It gets a little hard when we try to do that, because then that brings in eight teams for both boys and girls and then we have to figure out locker rooms," Mangan said. "We use the old gymnasium for regular games (especially on the freshmen level), but it just gets a little more complicated when we're trying to do it for the entire day like we were here."

A lot of the staff was provided for by NY2LA but veteran Homestead hands were on hand here and there working the concessions (Dan Claussen) and the scoreboard (Steve O'Brien).

The event started at 2:45 p.m. with smallish crowds but they gradually improved as the day went on. That was because teams like defending state Division 1 girls champion Nicolet was busy pulling off a thriller over DSHA and area girls power Oak Creek was winning an overtime thriller over West Allis Central. The top-ranked in Division 3 Dominican girls also got a chance to showcase their skills.

The Homestead-Brookfield Central game was well attended, but it was the final boys game of the night at 8 p.m. that everyone wanted to see, as top-ranked in D1 Germantown squared off with top-ranked in D4 Dominican, with the Warhawks pulling off the victory.

Veteran Germantown coach Steve Showalter said the game had a championship feel because he had never seen the field house that full before.

"It was amazing," he said.

Mangan knows that the work NY2LA does in setting up good games, is both great for promoting area basketball as well as for the bottom line of the district. There will be another NY2LA-Homestead match up July 11-15 when a large U14 to U17 tournament is held.

"They bring in good competition," Mangan said of NY2LA. "You can't ask for much more than that."

Germantown-Falls square off

The place might reach that level again this Saturday, when Homestead and the field house host another non-Highlander event as the Menomonee Falls-Germantown border rivalry comes in for a girls-boys doubleheader starting at 5:45 p.m.

Because of the Germantown boys' lofty state status and the presence of Falls' North Carolina recruit J.P. Tokoto, a packed-to-the-rafters scenario would not surprise anyone.

"It's always nice to bring good attention to Homestead," Hines said.

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