Tickets for the 27th annual Highland Optimist Shootout Classic, set for Jan. 6 at Highland High School, went on sale Monday and are going fast, according to event director Matt Powers.
The 2018 edition will include seven games and will feature many of the top boys teams in the metro-east, including Edwardsville, Highland, Columbia and Belleville West. Also competing will be the Highland and Lebanon girls teams, which will play in the first game at 10 a.m.
The marquee game of the day will feature defending Class 3A state champion Chicago Morgan Park and University of Illinois recruit Ayo Dosunmu taking on St. Louis Chaminade in the 6:30 p.m. game. Morgan Park has five played with offers from or who have committed to NCAA Division I programs.
In 2016, the tournament’s main event pitted eventual Illinois Class 3A state champion Althoff against Missouri champ Chaminade. The Crusaders were led at the time their all-time leading scorer Jordan Goodwin, who currently starts as a true freshman at Saint Louis University. Chaminade brought five-star recruit Jayson Tatum, who after one season at Duke was drafted third overall by the Boston Celtics and is one of the NBA’s top-scoring rookies (13.7 PPG).
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Goodwin scored 23 points, but Tatum had 32 to lead Chaminade to a 81-66 victory in front of a capacity crowd of more than 3,100. It was Althoff’s only defeat of the season.
Still, Powers rates this year’s field as one of the strongest ever.
“We started selling tickets on Monday, and we’ve probably sold 25 percent of them already,” Powers said. “There’s at least 10 top-100, nationally-ranked kids and a ton of Division I recruits. It’s one of the strongest lineups in the 27 years of the event.”
There will be two sessions. Session No. 1 is for the first three games only and will be sold online by ShowClix or at the door for $8 each. Session No. 1 ticket purchasers must exit the gym after the third game. All Day Pass/Session No. 2 purchases will be sold online only by ShowClix for $12 each.
At a Glance
Following is the schedule of games for the Highland Shootout:
- Lebanon vs. Highland (girls) 10 a.m.
- Kansas City Rockhurst vs. Edwardsville, 11:30 a.m.
- Whitfield (Mo.) vs. Carbondale, 1 p.m.
- Highland vs. Columbia, 3 p.m.
- Poplar Bluff (Mo.) vs. Belleville West, 4:45 p.m.
- Chicago Morgan Park vs. St. Louis Chaminade, 6:30 p.m.
- Vashon vs. Champaign Central, 8:15 p.m.