Posted On: 02/8/17 10:00 AM
There have been some impressive turnaround seasons in the Show-Me State this year. Here is a look at some of the teams that have shown tremendous improvement from 2016 to 2017.
Park Hill: The Trojans were 11-11 last year, but are currently 13-4 with one of the most talented teams in Class 5. Park Hill is led by athletic 6’1″ 2018 guard Ronnie Bell, who is a dynamic athletic, as is 6’2″ 2017 guard Dru Hill. The Trojans have one of the top 2019 prospects in the state in 6’9″ forward Roman Wilson, who is an imposing force on defense.
Hancock: After an 11-17 season in 2016, the Tigers have emerged as one of the small schools to watch in St. Louis with a 17-3 record. The Tigers are led by athletic 6’4″ freshman Sam Richardson, who is averaging more than 16 points a game. The Tigers are also getting excellent play frm 6’4″ 2018 forward Jamel Warren, who averages 14 points and 10 rebounds a game, and 5’11” 2017 point guard Antoine Williams.
St. Joe Central: The Indians were actually a solid 15-11 last season, but now they are currently 17-3 and have emerged as a bonafide contender in Class 5. The Indians boast one of the top backcourts in the state in 2017s Jaiden Bristol and Matt Austin. Both guards are 1,000-point scorers in their careers. Both can score, rebound, pass the ball and play excellent defense.
Wentzville Liberty: The Eagles finished 7-19 in the program’s third year of existence last year, but now they have improved to 13-6 with a solid group of young veterans. Liberty is led by athletic 6’4″ 2018 guard Kaleb Overall, who is averaging 16 points a game. 2018 guard Jaylen Sims, a transfer from Timberland, averages 12 points a game while 6’4″ 2017 forward Brian Jones averages 10 points. Liberty pulled off a signature win about three weeks ago when it defeated DeSmet in the consolation bracket of the Ameritime Tournament.
Hallsville: The Indians were 12-15 a year ago, but have improved to 16-5 this year as they have become one of top Class 3 teams in Mid-Missouri. Many of the top players are juniors, including 6’2″ guard Graham Moser and 6’3″ forward Ethan Thompson, who are the team’s leading scorer. The Indians’ top 2017 performer is 6’5″ forward Brayden Blakemore.
Risco: The Tigers are enjoying one of the best turnaround seasons in Southeast Missouri. After a 10-17 season in 2016, Risco is currently 18-2 which includes a victory over local Class 1 power Advance two weeks ago. The top scorer is 5’10” 2019 guard Nathan Burnett, who is averaging 23 points a game while shooting 44 percent from 3-point range. 2017 forward Drew Fortune is a 6’4″ post player who averages 14 points while 6’2″ 2018 forward Morgan Ludwig averages 12 points.
Warrenton: The Warriors were 10-16 a year ago with a young team, but they are now 15-3 with a team full of young veterans. The balanced Warriors are led by 6’8″ 2018 Caleb Strauss, who averages 12 points a game. He forms a strong frontcourt duo with 6’5″ 2017 forward Trevor Alberternst. The backcourt is led by solid 2018 guard Randy McRoberts and 2019 sharpshooter Jake Tonioli.
Cape Notre Dame: The Bulldogs were 14-14 in a rebuilding season in 2017, but they have improved to 15-6 this season, which included a nine-game winning streak. Notre Dame also won the championship of the Houlihan’s Classic in Springfield. They have a fine inside-outside duo of 6’4″ 2018 forward Dawson Dohogne and 2017 guard Blake Bauwens. Dohogne averages 13 points a game while Bauwens averages a team-high 14 points a game.
Priory: The Rebels were 11-15 a year ago, but have improved to 13-5 this season with a big upset victory over No. 4 ranked Helias in the semifinals of the Fort Zumwalt North Tournament. The Rebels are led by 6’6″ 2017 forward Dan Kacmarek, who averages 16 points a game. Guards Will Hanley, Charlie Berns and John Forshaw are solid 2017 performers.
St. James: The Tigers have improved from 11-16 last year to their current record of 13-6, which includes the championship of the Hermann Tournament. St. James is led by 5’9″ 2017 guard Trey Marshall, a sharpshooter who averages 17 points a game. 2018 guard Ryan Harlan is a solid lefty who can handle the ball and score.
South Shelby: The Cardinals have improved from 8-17 last year to their current record of 13-7, which includes the championship of the North Shelby Tournament. They are led by 6’3″ 2018 forward Alec Patterson, who is averaging 19 points and nine rebounds a game. The backcourt is led by 2019 guard Brock Wood.