Belleville East fields

Belleville East fields one of the top teams in the metro east area. The Lancers are led by 6’4” senior Jordan Pickett, 6’4” senior Antwine Wilson and 5’10” senior Mason Mosley.

The Highland Optimist Shootout is annually one of the top high school basketball events in the Midwest region. It is always a fantastic way to kick off the new year.

 This year’s event is Saturday, January 7 at Highland High (IL). The Shootout features nine games with top teams from Missouri, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

 Here is a look at the lineup from the 2023 Highland Shootout:

 Highland (IL) vs. Waterloo (IL), girls, 8 a.m. – A girls’ game will open the event featuring host Highland, which is currently 15-4 and led by senior Grace Wilke. Waterloo is led by 6’0” senior Norah Gum, who averages nearly 20 points a game.

 Highland (IL) vs. Quincy Notre Dame (IL), 9:30 a.m. – The host Highland Bulldogs are led by junior guard Jake Ottensmeier, who averages 16 points a game. Quincy Notre Dame is a veteran team paced by seniors Jackson Stratton, Alex Connoyer and Josh Bocke.

 Belleville East vs. Hillcrest (IL), 11 a.m. – Belleville East fields one of the top teams in the metro east area. The Lancers are led by 6’4” senior Jordan Pickett, 6’4” senior Antwine Wilson and 5’10” senior Mason Mosley. Hillcrest features an excellent senior duo in 6’8’ forward Darrion Baker and 6’3” guard Quentin Heady.

 Bloomington Central Catholic (IL) vs. New Madrid Central (MO), 12:30 p.m. – New Madrid Central is an excellent team out of Southeast Missouri. The Eagles are led by the dynamic duo of 6’5” junior Jadis Jones and 6’0” junior guard B.J. Williamson. Central Catholic is led by talented 6’4” junior Cole Certa and 6’6” junior forward Colin Hayes.

 East St. Louis (IL) vs. Staley (MO), 2 p.m. – This is a heavyweight matchup featuring one of the best teams in Missouri against one of the best in the state of Illinois. East St. Louis is led by 6’6” senior forward Macalaeb Rich, who is headed to Kansas State, 6’5” Cal-State Fullerton recruit Antwan Robinson and 6’8” senior Demarion Brown. Staley is a Class 6 powerhouse from the Kansas City area that features Division I recruits Kayden Fish (Iowa State), Kyan Evans (Colorado State) and Cameron Manyawu (Indiana State).

 CBC (MO) vs. Sacred Heart Griffin (IL), 3:30 p.m. – This is a battle of teams coming off state championship seasons. CBC is a talented young team coming off a Class 6 state championship. The Cadets are led by 6’4” junior Nassir Binion, 6’2” junior Anthony Gause and 6’5” sophomore Terron Garrett. Sacred Heart Griffin won the Illinois Class 3A state title a year ago. They feature 6’3” senior Jake Hamilton, 6’4” senior Zack Hawkins and 6’3” senior Will Hamilton.

 Chicago St. Rita (IL) vs. Chaminade (MO), 5:15 p.m. – A battle between two talented teams representing St. Louis and Chicago. Chaminade features a talented backcourt of 6’0” senior B.J. Ward and 6’3” senior Nilivan Daniels along with 6’10” sophomore Ben Winker. St. Rita is loaded with size and talent with 6’9” juniors James Brown and Morez Johnson along with 6’2” senior Kaden Space, 6’2” senior Nashawn Holmes and 6’4” junior Nojus Indrusaitis.

 Imhotep (PA) vs. Chicago Simeon (IL), 7 p.m. – This is another heavyweight battle featuring the best of Illinois against the best of Pennsylvania. Nationally ranked Imhotep Charter is coming off the championship of the City of Palms Classic in Florida. They are led by 6’7” senior Justin Edwards, who has signed with Kentucky. Senior guard Rahmir Barno has signed with Florida Gulf Coast. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the City of Palms. Simeon features 6’8” senior twins Miles and Wesley Rubin, who are both headed to Loyola of Chicago, along with 6’5” senior Sam Lewis and 5’10” senior Jalen Lewis.

 Vashon (MO) vs. Moline (IL), 8:30 p.m. – Vashon fields another talented team that is seeking its third consecutive Class 4 state championship. The Wolverines are led by 6’6” senior forward Kennard Davis Jr., 6’5” senior guard Jayden Nicholson, 6’5” senior Cameron Stovall and a talented cast of underclassmen. Moline is paced by 6’0” senior point guard Brock Harding and 6’10” senior Owen Freeman, who are two of the best prospects in the state of Illinois.

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