Millard North already was going to close its regular season next February with games against Bellevue West, Lincoln North Star and Omaha Central.
Now insert the defending Geico national invitational champion IMG Academy from Bradenton, Florida, into that eight-day stretch for the Mustangs, who are considered to have four future Division I players.
“We’re going to try to use all the plusses,” Mustangs coach Tim Cannon said Thursday after the lineup was announced for the Feb. 15 Heartland Hoops Classic in Grand Island.
“The downside is it’s a lot of games in a short time, but they’re all good opponents and we’ll try to simulate what we’ll see in districts and we hope state.”
IMG is one of three national-caliber teams who will be in Grand Island. Sunrise Christian, from suburban Wichita, Kansas, will face Bishop Walsh from Cumberland, Maryland.
The Heartland Hoops Classic also will include returning state champions Auburn from Class C-1 and Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur from Class C-2. All the instate teams were at the state tournament last season except for Elkhorn Mount Michael, which lost by one point in a district final.
Millard North’s lineup is expected to include senior Max Murrell, juniors Hunter Sallis and Jadin Johnson and sophomore Jasen Green. Murrell, Sallis and Green have power-conference scholarship offers.
The Mustangs will play at Bellevue West, which has high-major prospect Chucky Hepburn, on Feb. 14. Their home game with North Star and Husker commit Donovan Williams is Feb. 18, and they face Central with Division I prospect Latrell Wrightsell on Feb. 21.
Tickets for the Heartland Hoops Classic go on sale Dec. 1, and will be available at the Heartland Events Center box office and ticketmaster.com. General admission tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for students, and are good for all eight games. A limited number of courtside seats are available for $75 each.
» 8:30 a.m. Falls City Sacred Heart vs. Fullerton
» 10:10 a.m. Yutan vs. Elm Creek
» 11:50 a.m. Elkhorn Mount Michael vs. Kearney
» 1:30 p.m. Hastings vs. BRLD
» 3:15 p.m. Ogallala vs. Auburn
» 5 p.m. Bishop Walsh vs. Sunrise Christian
» 6:45 p.m. IMG Academy vs. Millard North
» 8:30 p.m. Grand Island vs. Grand Island Central Catholic