Much of the hype heading into the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout this week centers around the finale of the seven game hoops extravaganza when Webster Groves, Missouri takes on Belleville West on Saturday.
That game will be second in a little over 24 hours at the Panther Dome for the Maroons who will take on O’Fallon in a Southwestern Conference contest at 7 p.m. Friday.
With his team currently at 18-2 overall and 8-0 in the SWC with six league games remaining, Maroons coach Joe Muniz said his attention this week will be on playing the Panthers.
“We do not prepare any differently than what we would for a typical Friday and Saturday night weekend. Our number one concern this week is making sure we are ready for O’Fallon. That is the most important game of the weekend. We want to continue to win in the SWC,” Muniz said. “O’Fallon is playing better and have knocked off East St. Louis and Collinsville the last few games.
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“Then we come back on Saturday and play a very good Webster Groves team. They will pose quite a challenge for us but again playing them will only make us a better team. Very similar to playing Chaminade and Champaign Central in the Belleville East Tournament.”
The Maroons-Panthers game will be one of three at O’Fallon on Friday in the first session. The Bank of O’Fallon Shootout will begin when Jennings (Missouri) takes on Decatur MacArthur at 5:30 p.m. followed by the West-OFallon contest at 7 p.m. Southern Illinois power Pinckneyville will battle Whitfield (Missouri) at 8:30 p.m.
O’Fallon (9-11), coming off a four-point win over Collinsville, will take on Normal West in the opening game Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. Springfield Lanphier takes the floor against Bollingbrook at 5:30 p.m. while Chicago Curie plays Chaminade, of St. Louis, at 7 p.m.
The West-Webster Groves game follows at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at the Bank of O’Fallon or online. Tickets are priced at $7 Friday, $10 Saturday or $15 for both days. All tickets are general admission. If there are tickets available, they will be sold at the gate.
Muniz said its an honor to be invited to play in the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout. He thinks the competition will help West as it prepares for the postseason.
“We are really looking forward to playing in the O’Fallon Shootout. It is one of the best shootouts in the Midwest and get a chance to play a very good Webster Groves team,” Muniz said. “It is an honor to get invited to play in shootouts like Highland and O’Fallon. I think it is important for our guys to play in big games like this with big crowds. I think this will only help us in preparation for the postseason.”
Local teams struggle at Pinckneyville Shootout
The Cahokia Comanches helped salvage a tough day for local teams at the annual Pinckneyville Shootout on Saturday, beating Webber Township 45-36 in the second game of the annual event.
Richard Robinson scored 12 points to lead a balanced attack for Cahokia (10-10), which built a 26-16 halftime lead.
Three other local teams fell short as Wesclin dropped a 68-55 decision to Confluence Academy of St. Louis, Marion defeated Mater Dei 47-36 and host Pinckneyville rolled past Althoff 75-50.