Old Man Winter is awake, and he's ready to visit Northeast Ohio with a vengeance.
Winter Storm Harper is predicted to hit the Midwest and the East Coast hard this weekend. Meteorologists are predicting 6+ inches of snow for all of Northeast Ohio.
As a result, Saint Ignatius and Cleveland Central Catholic have agreed to move up Saturday's JV and varsity basketball games to earlier in the day. The freshmen game has been postponed.
The Wildcats and Ironmen will meet in Slavic Village on Saturday at noon for the JV tipoff, followed by varsity action at about 1:30 pm. The games were originally slated for 6 pm and 7:30 pm, but will be played earlier in the day to avoid the heavy snow predicted later in the afternoon and evening.
Saint Ignatius enters with a 5-5 record following a road loss to St. Edward last weekend. The Wildcats will also play Villa Angela-St. Joseph on Monday at the "Purple Palace." Guided by coach Jordan Duke, the Ironmen currently have a 6-5 mark. Warren John F. Kennedy will visit Slavic Village for a 7 p.m. North Coast League matchup.
Saturday's varsity contest will represent the 13th matchup of the Wildcats and Ironmen. All-time, the Basketball Cats hold a 9-3 advantage, dating back to the first meeting in the Sectional Tournament in 1972, a 69-59 win for the men of Ohio City. The Wildcats lost last year's showdown at Sullivan Gym, 44-43, but won the last time the squads faced off in Slavic Village in 2017, a 75-63 victory. The Wildcats have a 3-1 record in Slavic Village all-time.
Another historical fun fact – the Wildcats defeated St. Stanislaus in the 1959 and 1960 Sectional Finals before St. Stanislaus, St. Michael the Archangel, Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. John Cantius merged to form Cleveland Central Catholic in 1968.
As always, the SIBN will have the call of Saturday's games, live at ignatiuswildcats.com/SIBN-live