Gifts of basketball abounded during holiday tournaments. Here are some highlights of the year-ending action as teams prepare for conference seasons.
Incarnate Word dominates
Incarnate Word Academy continued its dominance in girls’ basketball by winning the Visitation Christmas Tournament championship. The Red Knights defeated Cardinal Ritter in the semifinals 65-55, then topped Whitfield 69-47 in the title game.
Senior Saniah “Big Game” Tyler and junior Natalie Potts scored 18 points each in the championship game. Tyler was chosen the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. With the championship, Incarnate Word is riding a 48-game winning streak into the 2022 portion of the season.
Vashon conquers Southern Illinois
The Vashon Wolverines made their first appearance at the historic Centralia Holiday Tournament in Southern Illinois and came home with the championship. After a 51-49 win over Mt. Vernon in the semifinals, the Wolverines defeated Evanston 61-38 in the championship game.
Juniors Kennard Davis and Jayden Nicholson were selected to the All-Tournament Team. The 6’6” Davis was named to the first team after averaging 12 points and eight rebounds a game in the four victories. The 6’5” Nicholson averaged 12 points and seven rebounds, including a game-high 14 points in the championship game. Vashon is now 12-0.
Webster Groves wows
Webster Groves won the championship of the Coaches vs. Cancer Holiday Tournament with a thrilling 81-79 victory against DeSmet in an overtime classic at Lafayette High.
Junior guard Justin Duff of DeSmet banked in a 30-footer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Senior guard Matt Enright scored a game-high 29 points to lead Webster Groves, winning its second tournament of the year. Junior forward Iziah Purvey scored 16 points, while senior guard Ethan Chartrand added 14. Duff scored 22 points for DeSmet, and senior guard Brian Taylor added 24.
MICDS doubles up
The boys and girls’ teams at MICDS won respective championships at the newly named Don Maurer Invitational, hosted by MICDS. The boys’ team defeated Whitfield 60-49 to win its own tournament for the first time since 1987. Senior forward Brandon Mitchell-Day averaged 19 points, six rebounds, and two blocks to lead the Rams.
The MICDS girls defeated Pattonville 50-42 to win its first tourney title since 2017. Junior forward Binta Fall scored 16 points to lead the Rams, while sophomore guard Genesis Starks scored 13 points off the bench, including three 3-pointers to spark the team.
SLUH wins Legends of Winter
Host St. Louis University High won the championship of the Legends of Winter Classic with a 51-43 victory over Lift for Life. Senior guard Nick Kramer scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Jr. Billikens. Senior guard Jaden McClain scored 12 points, while junior forward Zach Ortwerth added 11 points.
CBC takes third at King Cotton
The CBC Cadets brought home a third-place trophy from the King Cotton Holiday Classic, held in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Senior guard Rob Martin was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 21 points, four rebounds and six assists in the three games. Martin also picked up a scholarship offer from Division I school Arkansas-Pine Bluff after the tournament.
Highland Shootout highlights
A top event on the high school basketball calendar is the Highland (Illinois) Shootout. The 30th edition will be held on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, with eight games featuring teams from Missouri, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. If you want to watch some good high school hoops from the early morning to the late evening, Highland is the place to be this weekend.
Here is the schedule for Saturday.
Freeburg vs. Highland (girls), 8:30 a.m.
Wesclin vs. Highland, 10 a.m.
Cardinal Ritter vs. Belleville East, 11:30 a.m.
Father Tolton vs. Mascoutah, 1 p.m.
Chicago St. Rita vs. Peoria Notre Dame, 3 p.m.
Chaminade vs. Yorkville Christian (Illinois), 4:45 p.m.
Vashon vs. Imhotep (Pennsylvania), 6:30 p.m.
CBC vs. Kenwood (Illinois), 8:15 p.m.