Now that the football season is completed, we can turn our attention to winter sports and there is plenty to talk about. On the basketball court, there will be plenty of storylines to play out this season while on the wrestling mats around the area, the keyword that will be said is parity.
One of the big early season tournaments on the boys’ basketball schedule is the Webster Classic at Roberts Gymnasium. This year’s field is loaded again with a pair of state champions taking part in the tournament.
The action started Thursday evening with John Burroughs opening the Classic with a 78-74 win over St. Mary’s. The Bombers trailed the Dragons at the half 42-39 before outscoring St. Mary’s 21-11 in the third quarter to grab a 60-53 advantage and held off a Dragons comeback in the final period to claim the victory. Trevor Reed paced the Bombers with 32 points that included a 12-for-15 night at the charity stripe. Zyree Collins led the Dragons’ attack with 29 points with Kaliel Boyd adding another 18 points for St. Mary’s in the loss.
In the second game of the night at Webster Groves, the defending Class 6 champions Christian Brothers College Cadets improved to 2-1 on the year with a 70-48 victory over McCluer North. It was a balanced attack for the Cadets as four players scored in double figures. Bobby Alford and Terron Garrett each scored 13 points while Nassir Binion and Calvin Ross both added 11 markers for CBC in the win.
On the bottom of the bracket at Webster, the defending Class 5 champs and tournament hosts Webster Groves needed overtime to defeat Lee’s Summit 73-67 to improve to 1-1 on the year. The Statesmen got off to a cold start as Lee’s Summit took an 18-3 lead after a quarter of action, but Webster Groves started to find their footing in the second quarter as they cut the deficit to 27-20 at the half. Lee’s Summit extended the lead to 51-40 at the end of the third quarter before Webster outscored them 21-11 to force overtime. In the extra session, the Statesmen raced out to a six lead and never turned back in getting the win. Jalen Purvey led the way for the Statesmen with 20 points while Iziah Purvey added 18 points in the victory.
In the nightcap, Whitfield got out to an early lead and cruised to a 61-27 win over Confluence to improve to 3-1 on the year.
Action in the Classic resumes Friday with St. Mary’s taking on McCluer North at 4 p.m. and Lee’s Summit playing Confluence at 5:30 p.m. on the consolation side of the bracket. The semifinals will begin at 7 p.m. with CBC facing off against John Burroughs with Webster Groves and Whitfield playing at 8:30 p.m. The championship game of the tournament will be Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
In girls’ action Thursday evening, the streak is still in tack as Incarnate Word is playing in a tournament in Hawaii and won their first game over Campbell, Hawaii 75-39 to push their consecutive game-winning streak to 71 games. The Red Knights will take on Iolani, Hawaii Friday night at 11:50 p.m.
One of the best girls’ tournaments in Jefferson County wraps up Friday evening as Lutheran South will take on North County in the title game of the Town & Country Bank Tournament at Herculaneum. The Lancers defeated Notre Dame 54-38 in the first semifinal this past Wednesday evening while North County gained a 46-31 victory over the host Blackcats. The title game is slated for 8:30 p.m. Friday evening with Notre Dame and Herculaneum playing in the third-place game at 7 p.m.
On the coaching side of things, Parkway South girls swimming and diving coach Blakeleigh Mathes was named the Missouri State High School Activities Association Coach of the Year after she led the Patriots to the Class 2 state title this past February.
In the football coaching ranks, St. Louis University High School announced that Adam Cruz will remain as the head coach of the Jr. Bills football program. Cruz was named the interim coach back in late May and led SLUH to a 3-7 mark this past season against one of the toughest schedules in the state.
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 email@example.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan