The E-Town Showdown is back at Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena.

So are rivals Evanston and New Trier.

The two schools will play a varsity girls-boys basketball doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, the first time since the 2012-13 school year that the rivalry will be held on the NU floor.

Tickets for the doubleheader are for sale at GoFan. Tickets cost $10 on GoFan, or $15 cash at the door and are good for both games. Parking is free. Masks must be worn, and concessions and outside food are not allowed since there is no a vaccination requirement for spectators. To purchase tickets in advance, contact GoFan.

Welsh-Ryan Arena. (Northwestern University photo) Credit: Northwestern University

“We are so excited to merge our Bost Family Classic with the E-Town Showdown this year, as it provides the safest environment for the largest number of fans and is perfect for Illinois’ greatest rivalry,” said Evanston Township High School Athletic Director Chris Livatino. “There have been so many classic games played between our two schools, and the rankings and the records always go out the window in Welsh-Ryan Arena. I can’t wait!

“Beyond the games, the best part about the Northwesten experience has always been seeing the alumni that come back to support our kids and see old friends,” he said. “It’s like an all-class reunion.”

Evanston and New Trier first met at Northwestern back in 2001-02 to allow more fans to witness the rivalry matchup. Both programs gave up games on their own home courts and played twice a year at Welsh-Ryan until 2010-11, and three years later the series switched back to the high school gyms.

Varsity girls games were added to build the event to a doubleheader in 2003-04 and crowds between 5,000 and 7,000 were common at that stage in the rivalry. New Trier has the edge in games played at Northwestern, with the Trevian boys winning 13 of 22 matchups and the New Trier girls scoring seven wins in 10 tries.

Evanston actually played the original E-Town Showdown at Northwestern in February 2020, a three-game slate that matched the ETHS girls against No. 1 ranked Benet Academy and the ETHS boys against a team with one of the top-ranked recruits in the country. The longest night in the school’s basketball history didn’t end until the girls lost in two overtimes and the boys won in three overtimes.

Boys head coach Mike Ellis wanted to keep the E-Town Showdown brand name alive and Friday’s showdown is a game he and his players have anticipated all season. New Trier is currently ranked in the top 10 in Illinois.

“We gave up a home game to schedule this, that shows how important it is to us,” Ellis said. “We have played well there before and it’s on a court that literally separates the two schools’ boundaries. It’s a great place to watch a game, and it’s always a great game when Evanston and New Trier hook up.

“We have difficulty committing to hosting another shootout with everything so uncertain due to the pandemic. It was a challenge because you didn’t know if teams or their best players would be available, so this seemed like a safer play for us.”