Boys Basketball

Highland and O’Fallon bringing elite talent and teams to shootouts

The area’s two most prestigious basketball shootout events — the 25th annual Highland Optimist Shootout and the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout —have set their schedules and are bringing numerous elite level teams and players to the metro-east this season.

The Highland Optimist Schedule is Jan. 9, 2016 and features the two top players in the Midwest in Duke recruit and Chaminade All-American Jayson Tatum from St. Louis and Columbia (Mo.) Father Tolton junior Michael Porter Jr.

It also features a highly anticipated game between last season’s Illinois Class 3A runner-up Althoff and St. Louis powerhouse Chaminade in a finale battle between two of the top high school programs in either state.

Porter already has offers from Duke, Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and many more schools. The Highland Shootout includes eight nationally ranked player and at least 24 Division I players.

The second annual Bank of O’Fallon Shootout is Feb. 6, 2016 and also set its finale to include Althoff, this time against Chicago Kenwood.

Althoff’s top recruits include senior Southern Illinois University Carbondale recruit Brendon Gooch, senior Illinois-Chicago recruit Tarkus Ferguson, one of the Midwest’s top junior recruits in Jordan Goodwin plus another junior receiving Division I offers in Marvin Bateman.

Highland Optimist Shootout Schedule (Jan. 9)

  • Highland (girls) vs. Triad, 11 a.m.
  • Okawville vs, Central, 1 p.m.
  • Hazelwood Central vs. Springfield Lanphier, 2:45 p.m.
  • Highland vs. Vianney, 4:45 p.m.
  • Columbia (Mo.) Father Tolton vs. Peoria Manual, 6:30 p.m.
  • Althoff vs. Chaminade, 8:15 p.m.

Among the Division I recruits or players already committed at this shootout include Chaminade’s 6-foot-9 Tyler Cook (Iowa), Hazelwood Central’s 6-6 Xavier Sneed (Kansas State), Tolton 6-9 sohomore Jontay Porter (committed to Washington), Chaminade’s Mike Lewis (Duquesne), Springfield Lanphier point guard Xavier Bishop, Chaminade 6-10 center Will Gladson, Vianney’s 6-8 sophomore Carteare Gordon, Okawville junior Noah Frederking, Manual’s Damonte Williams and A.J. Youngman.

Anticipating a large crowd, the organizers are selling all-day passes for $10 that will go on sale online at Tickets for the first three games only are $6 and will be available at the door.

Bank of O’Fallon Shootout Schedule (Feb. 6):

  • Columbia vs. Peoria Richwoods, 10:30 a.m.
  • Nashville vs. St Joseph-Ogden, noon
  • Centralia vs. Hinsdale South, 1:30 p.m.
  • O’Fallon vs. DeKalb, 4:15 p.m.
  • CBC vs. Westchester St. Joseph, 5:45 p.m.
  • Hazelwood Central vs. Morgan Park, 7:15 p.m.
  • Althoff vs. Chicago Kenwood, 8:45 p.m.

A year ago the Bank of O’Fallon burst onto the scene with a sellout crowd and a showcase game that featured the first meeting between Althoff and Westchester St. Joseph. The teams met again in the 3A state championship game, with St. Joseph defeating Althoff in March.

Among the top recruits at the shootout are Gooch, Ferguson, Goodwin and Bateman from Althoff, Hazelwood Central’s Sneed, Morgan Park’s Charlie Moore, Jarrin Randall (Western Michigan) and Ayo Dosunmu, St. Joseph’s Nick Rakocevic and Jordan Boyd, Hinsdale South’s Barret Benson (Northwestern), Kenwood’s Nick Robinson (Indiana State) and Zion Morgan (Valparaiso), and DeKalb’s Michael Pollack (Northern Michigan).

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders