State champions as well as many of the top players and teams in the St. Louis-area will display their talent today at the 22nd annual Highland Optimist-Scott Credit Union Basketball Shootout at Highland High School.
The two-time defending Class 2A state champion Quincy Notre Dame girls team headlines the field, which also includes perennial Wisconsin boys state title contender the Madison Memorial Spartans and local powers East St. Louis, Belleville East, Mater Dei, Marquette and Roxana.
The Highland boys and girls teams also are in action in the five-game event which begins at noon when Notre Dame battles the host Bulldogs in the lone girls game.
Marquette will play Mater Dei at 1:45 p.m. and will be followed at 3:30 p.m., when Belleville East will take on St. Louis power DeSmet.
Madison Memorial will play East St. Louis at 5:15 p.m. and Highland will take on Roxana in the finale at 7 p.m.
Tickets will be on sale at the gate and are priced at $5 for students and $8 for adults. Tickets are good for all five games and include a souvenir program.
Highland Athletic Director Steve Lanxon said the 2013 event is loaded from top to bottom.
"We feel we have a very good group of teams and just some outstanding players for people to come out and watch on Saturday," Lanxon said. "Starting with the girls game, Notre Dame has won consecutive state championships and have one of the best players in the state in Jordan Frericks, then Belleville East has Malcolm Hill, DeSmet's got a Division I player in Nolan Berry, East St. Louis has DeShawn Munson and Memorial has Brendan Ortiz.
"We're looking for a great day of basketball and we hope people come out to watch."
Following are individual capsules on the matchups at the Highland Optimist-Scott Credit Union Basketball Shootout.
Highland vs. Quincy Notre Dame (Girls), noon: Frericks, a 6-foot, 1-inch forward headed to Missouri, leads the way for a deep and talented Spartans team, which is competing in Class 3A this season after winning consecutive Class 2A titles.
Highland, although plagued by inconsistency, has one of the top underclassmen in the area in Olivia LaPorta
Marquette vs. Mater Dei, 1:45 p.m.: Making their debut in the Highland Shootout, the Explorers have three of the top small school players in the area in Jake Coddington, Deion Lavendar and D'Tae McMurray.
Mater Dei, a regular in the event making its 11th appearance, features a balanced attack led by Adam Etter.
Belleville East vs. DeSmet, 3:30 p.m.: Led by one of top players in the state in senior Macolm Hill, the Lancers will look to get back on track after losing to East St. Louis in the semifinals of the Collinsville Tournament. Hill, an Illinois recruit, along with junior Darreon Reddick, are among the top duos in the area.
DeSmet, also making its debut, is led by 6-9 Butler recruit Nolan Berry, who has been sidelined by injury this season.
East St. Louis vs. Madison Memorial, 5:15 p.m.: After a shaky start, the Flyers have been soaring the past few weeks and are coming off a title at the Collinsville Tournament. Gifted senior point guard DeShawn Munson leads the Flyers attack.
A Wisconsin state champion twice in the last five seasons, Memorial is led by NCAA Division recruit Brendan Ortiz.
Highland vs. Roxana, 7 p.m.: First-year Highland coach Matt Elledge has his team off and running. But the Bulldogs will face a severe challenge in trying to stop Roxana's 6-9 senior Hunter Reine.
Senior Mitch Carriger leads a balanced Highland attack.