One of the best girls’ holiday tournaments begins play this Saturday while many local teams are heading to Mizzou Arena for the annual Norm Stewart Classic this Thursday thru Saturday.

Let’s prepare for a busy basketball weekend in the week’s edition of the Friday Fast Break!

The Visitation Holiday Tournament begins play on Saturday with eight games in the tourney’s first round. Incarnate Word is the top seed in the classic with a perfect 5-0 record and is currently on a 73-game winning streak as they will take on Webster Groves Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The Red Knights are led by Nebraska commit Natalie Potts, who is averaging 17.3 points per game. Potts is also averaging 6.7 rebounds per contest while Zoe Best is grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game. The Statesmen are currently 1-3 on the season and are paced by Ellie Heimann with an 8.8 points-per-game average.

The second seed in the tournament is John Burroughs as the Bombers will open play against Nerinx Hall Saturday at 10 a.m. in the first game of the day. Burroughs enters the game with a 7-1 record and is the defending Class 4 champion and will make the move to Class 5 in the 2022-23 season. Allie Turner is the leader for the Bombers as she is averaging 18.9 points per game and has a team-high 38 assists on the year. Monet Witherspoon is also a big part of the Bombers’ offense with 16.1 points per contest. The Markers are 3-4 on the year and have a very even-balanced scoring attack with Caroline Ritter leading the way with 9.5 points per game while grabbing 5.7 boards a contest.

Eureka is the No. 3 seed in the tournament and has played a very difficult schedule to start the season as they are currently 5-3 on the season with losses against John Burroughs, Hickman, and O’Fallon. Maison Smith paces the Wildcat offense with 12.4 points per game while grabbing 7.6 boards per game. Bailey Boulay also averages double figures in scoring with 10.6 points per game and has handed out 18 assists on the year. The Wildcats will take on a young Parkway West squad Saturday at 2:30 p.m. that enters the tournament with a 4-2 record. Ava Albanese leads the Longhorns’ offensive attack with 19.5 points a game and has grabbed 5.7 caroms per contest while Lexi Etchason has added 10.8 points per game.

Pattonville is a newcomer to the tournament as will start play as the fourth seed and will play Westminster Saturday at 4 p.m. The Pirates are 3-0 on the season and return everyone from last year’s team. Zoe Newland leads the way for Pattonville with 13.5 points per game while Jasmine Gray is averaging 13.3 points per contest. Kennedy Horton has been outstanding on the boards by grabbing 10.3 rebounds per game. The Wildcats are 1-2 on the year and will lean on Julia Coleman to lead the way as she is averaging 15.0 points per game with Addie Kane adding 15.3 points per contest.

The rest of the games Saturday include No.5 seed Civic Memorial taking on Edwardsville at 5:30 p.m. with No. 6 Visitation playing Lift for Life at 1 p.m. Gateway Legacy Christian will replace Whitfield in the classic and take on Parkway South at 11:30 a.m. while No. 8 seed Cardinal Ritter takes on Cor Jesu.

The annual Norm Stewart Classic started Thursday night at Mizzou Arena in a showcase that features 22 games over three days. The event was started by Coach Stewart back in 2007 with four games in a day and it has expanded to the current format. The main reason for the Classic is to raise awareness of cancer as the main benefactor of the event is the Coaches vs Cancer, which Coach Stewart started many years ago.

The Lutheran South girls’ basketball team will open play for the local teams Friday at 2 p.m. against Southern Boone while Vashon plays right after the Lancers at 4 p.m. against North Little Rock. Lutheran St. Charles wraps up the girls’ portion of the classic at 6 p.m. against Columbia Hickman.

Webster Groves kicks off the locals’ action on the boys’ side as the Statesmen take on Bishop Miege out of Kansas Friday night at 10 p.m. while Cardinal Ritter takes on New Madrid County Central in the midnight affair. In an all-St. Louis match-up at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, Principia will play Christian High School out of O’Fallon while Chaminade takes on Hickman in the noon match-up. In the final two games featuring area teams, East St. Louis and Jefferson City will battle at 4 p.m. while CBC and Kickapoo play at 6 p.m.


Jim Powers
Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan