Stop calling Matt Powers.
He has no more tickets to the 25th annual Highland Optimist/Scott Credit Union Shootout.
“We knew it was going to sell out, but in a week’s time we sold 3,000 tickets,” said Powers, the shootout organizer whose group took the unprecedented step of selling tickets online this season knowing the demand would far exceed availability. “The demand has been off the charts. We’re still getting inquiries every day from probably half a dozen people.”
His reply? Sorry, but no tickets remain for the five-game extrvaganza Saturday being capped by an 8:15 p.m. battle between Althoff (11-1), the top-ranked Class 3A team in Illinois, and Chaminade (11-3). Chaminade’s top drawing card is Duke recruit and the nation’s No. 1 senior, 6-foot-9 superstar Jayson Tatum.
Tatum also was the top player at the Highland Shootout last season
Tickets were $10 for an all-day pass or $6 for the first three games. Powers made sure participating schools had groups of tickets available a week before they went on sale to the general public on Dec. 7.
That did little to curb enthusiasm for what has become the hottest one-day ticket for metro-east basketball in at least a decade. The event sold out in a week.
“Obviously most of it comes from the Althoff-Chaminade game,” Powers said. “We added about 600 seats this year and Highland’s gym has a ton of standing room areas. It still is completely sold out.”
Power said the shootout website (HighlandShootout.com) will offer live streaming of Saturday’s games.
The Shootout include eight of the nation’s top 100 players, including Tattum, Columbia (Mo.) Father Tolton High junior Michael Porter Jr., and Althoff’s array of Division I players led by Jordan Goodwin, Tarkus Ferguson and Brendon Gooch.
The Saturday schedule includes a girls game between Highland and Triad at 11 a.m. Along with Althoff-Chaminade, boys games are Okawville vs. Central at 1 p.m., Hazelwood Central vs. Springfield Lanphier at 2:45 p.m., Highland vs. Vianney at 4:45 p.m. and Peoria Manual vs. Father Tolton at 6:30 p.m.