logo-proof
midwest-showdown-proof
Kale Catchings dunk
Ollie Stephens
Cam Potts
Telly Wright

AREA TOP 10 REGARLDESS OF CLASS

1. Vashon Wolverines
The defending Class 4A State Champs are again loaded and a heavy favorite to
repeat this year in Class 4A. The Wolverines will play a very tough schedule that will
see them play top national teams like nationally ranked Wheeler out of Georgia and
two of the favorites in Class 5 in Webster Groves and SLUH. Coach Tony Irons has a
very deep and talented team that will have leading the way for Vashon will be 6’8
Kansas State University signee Levi Stockard and 5’11 senior point guard Daniel
“Peanut” Farris. Both have been varsity starters for now 4 years and form a deadly
tandem that has won a lot of games. Stockard is a big and strong post with great footwork and a feathery touch, while Farris is a natural leader that is known for putting the team on his back late in the fourth quarter to close out wins. Farris is being recruited by several D1 schools including: UMKC, Eastern Illinois and others. The plethora of talent doesn’t stop with these two as senior guard Casey Cody-Jackson is also a catalyst for this team and the top on ball defender in the area if not the state. Casey hawks the opposing teams top perimeter players and does an amazing job on them. 6’4 high flyer Koray Gilbert had a big state tournament last year in somewhat of a coming out party and is expected to have a breakout year. Gilbert is a nice shooter that gets above the rim in transition. Junior Joe Reece who could be the team’s top long-term prospect is expecting a big junior season. Reece is a highly skilled 6’8 wing with a good jump shot and length for days. Super sophomore Mario Mckinney is one of the state’s top sophomores and he is a warrior on the court. The 6’0 highly athletic Mckinney is blessed with toughness and grit that you don’t find in many players nowadays. He is an outstanding defender and rebounder that excel in transition. He is on the tongues of many D1 coaches. 6’0 seniors Darren Huntley and 6’8 Tromon Westen will also contribute heavly. Huntley is a strong guard that plays with toughness, while Westen was a project that is really starting to figure it out and is a rebounding and shot blocking specialist. This team will be fun to watch and they are the premier team in the area regardless of class.

2. Webster Groves Statesmen
Coming off a 26-2 season last year Coach Jay Blossom and the Statesmen came up short
in the District Championship. This is a new year and expectations are high this year at
Webster with a very talented team and a very tough schedule. Not many schools have
the honor to boast 2 top high level top 30 nationally ranked players but Webster will
this year with 6’3 junior point guard Courtney Ramey and 6’8 junior forward Carteare
Gordon. Ramey who boasts over 24 Division 1 offers from such schools like: Louisville,
Illinois, Ohio State, Texas, Florida, Missouri, Kansas State, Purdue and others and is
coming of being named to the All State team and conference POY. Ramey led the
Statesmen in every statistical category last year while receiving those honors. Gordon
who transferred in from Vianney last year is one of the premier post players in the
country. Gordon who recently committed to St. Louis University over offers from
several high major schools like Kansas, Illinois, Missouri and others is a very dominant player that controls the game with his mobility and physicality. He is a great ball handler and passer for a big man that makes him very hard to guard. Webster is far from a 2 man team as one of the area’s most underrated and also improved players is 6’0 senior Cameron Potts. Potts is an extremely athletic player who plays above the rim with ease, score through contact and can easily create his shot off the bounce. Potts should have a great senior season this year. Add in a big transfer in 6’2 Isaiah Ford who moved into the district this year after having an all conference season last year at Affton. Ford is a scorer with good basketball instincts. Although he averaged 24 points per game as a junior at Affton, the athletic Ford is a really good passer. Two of the area’s top shooters will help out Webster tremendously in 6’2 sophomore Ray Adams and 5’10 junior RJ Wright. Both players are lethal from deep and have quick releases that will bold well for Webster this year. Also contributing heavy this year will be: 5’8 senior point guard Kevin Butler is a defensive dynamo and brings incredible amount of energy on both ends, 5’11 senior football star Donovan Daniels is back and will bring a very good offensive game to the team this year as he was a vital scorer off the bench last year. Daniels is a D1 football recruit, 6’7 sophomore Malachy Simpson will add good size to the team also and is more of a face up stretch four player with great three point range, and 5’11 Blake Fields is elgible this year after transferring in last year from Chaminade. Fields is a strong guard with good defensive skill and a great outside shot. Blossom stepped his schedule up with non conference games versus: Chicago Uplift, Chicago Morgan Park, Poplar Bluff, SLUH, Vashon and others.

3. Edwardsville Tigers
Rumors have it that this could be legendary Coach Mike Waldo last year and if true he picked
a very talented team to go out with. Returning his top four scorers from last year the Tigers
are primed for an even better year than last year’s 25-5 season. 6’6 senior AJ Epenesa who
has signed to the University of Iowa is a force on the football and also on the basketball court.
The athletic bruiser averaged a team best 17 points per game and 13 rebounds per game last
year and could have played D1 basketball but chose basketball where is one of the nation’s
top prospects. 6’4 senior point guard Mark Smith is as good as it gets and is a natural in this
offense that saw him average 14 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds per game last year.
Originally a University of Missouri baseball recruit, Smith decided to open his recruitment
and focus on basketball. After a very solid summer of AAU ball with Ramey-Jets United
Smith turned a lot heads and picked up 7 Division 1 scholarship offers from schools:
Indiana State, Northern Illinois, Wright State, SIUE, Western Illinois, Elon and
Oral Roberts. Also back is senior sharpshooter Oliver Stephen who is a marksman from
deep with good athleticism. Stephen averaged 14 points per game last year while hitting
98 three pointers on the year at over 58%. 6’6 junior forward Caleb Strohmeier is coming off a very good season last year that saw him breakout a little. Strohmeier averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds per game and did an outstanding job with his role. 6’5 senior Zach Doornink and 5’11 junior Sammy Green are also expected to provide quality minutes. This team is the favorite in an always good Southwestern Conference and is primed for a deep run again in the playoffs with the talent they have back. Smith is a powerful lead guard that is blessed with great athletic ability and a high IQ, while Epenesa is a rare high school player with his size, strength, and athletic ability, while Stephen is a game changer from behind the arc and you add the wizardry of Coach Waldo, good luck beating this team.

4. St. Louis University High School Billikens
Coach Erwin Claggett has won district championships and made it to state the last 2 years
and this year he returns a very strong nucleus. 6’2 UMKC signee Brandon Mckissic is one
of the premier guards in the state and is known for his competitiveness and being a clutch
player. He is a four year varsity performer and ranks as one of the most successful players
in schools history. SLUH Has great size in 6’7 senior big man BJ Wilson is a load in the front
court and has a nice touch and add in fellow senior Brent Smith who is 6’7 and very athletic
and hits the offensive boards well. Both 6’7 seniors averaged 7 points per game last year and
cause a lot of havoc with their length. 6’6 junior Matt Leritz is an up and coming player who
should have a breakout year this year for the Billikens after a very solid sophomore season
that saw him contribute a lot. Leritz is a face up player with very good range out to three and
is also very bouncy as he finishes over the top with ease. On the perimeter senior Anthony
Hughes is a very talented guard that can score off the bounce and was a vital contributor down
the stretch for the Bills. Junior Guard Michael Sanders is a 3 year varsity performer who is very
competitive and doesn’t shy away from the moment. He is a knock down shooter who plays lights out Defense. 6’5 strong senior post Andrew Grassi and 6’2 sophomore Christian Hughes-Wallace will also add quality minutes. Losing 4 year varsity player Matt Nester who did a lot for the Billikens last year will be hard to replace along with the Jackson twins who brought a lot of athleticism and energy, especially on the defensive end will be very hard but the majority of these guys have won a lot and are seasoned and have a lot of talent. The BIllikens play in a very tough conference that prepares them for playoffs and they should be right there again this March in the thick of things.

5. Chaminade Red Devils
Coming off a Class 5A state championship last year the Red Devils lost arguably one of the
best players to play High School ball in Missouri in Jayson Tatum who is now at Duke and
also three other Division 1 players in Tyler Cook, Mike Lewis, and Will Gladson who all
were incredible talented in their own right. Don’t feel sorry for Head Coach Frank Bennett
just yet because he not short on talent this year. Back from last year title run is 6’4 Division
1 football recruit senior Reggie Crawford who is a four year varsity performer and one of
the area’s top defenders and 6’7 junior Jerricole Hellems who is one of top juniors in the
area and blessed for a breakout junior season with his inside outside game that is creating
a lot of buzz amongst several division 1 college programs. Both Hellems and Crawford
managed to average 6 points per game last year on a loaded team. 6’6 junior Karrington
Davis has seen his stock rise tremendously over the past year and has picked up s Division
1 scholarship offers from: St. Louis University, Kansas State and Middle Tennessee State.
Davis a very versatile player with great length and shooting ability. The Red Devils will add
a big new comer this year who had to sit out last year because of transfer rules in 6’10 junior Liam Courtney who is also a heavily recruited player with offers from Winthrop, Virginia Tech and Niagra. Courtney is a highly skilled post player that runs the floor and shoots it very well. 6’0 junior Jadis White will handle the point for Coach Bennett after playing sparingly last year and is primed for a very good year along with sophomore Keyyaun Batchman who was brought up at the end of last year and is considered one of the top sophomores in the area. Senior sharpshooter Marin Vrucinic showed flashes last year and is a deadly shooter. Freshman Luke Kasubke is turning a lot of heads and will be one to watch this year and following years. All in all this team is not blessed with senior talent it had last year but they are blessed with a lot size and talent nonetheless. Playing in the always tough MCC and also having a tough non conference schedule will have Chaminade ready to defend its states title.

6. Belleville Althoff Crusaders
Coming off winning a Class 3 state championship last year Coach Greg Leib lost several top
players including 2 Division 1 players but return a very strong cast. That cast will be led by
not only one of the area’s best players but one of the nation’s best in 6’4 senior Jordan
Goodwin. Goodwin is as tough of a player there is and loves to compete. He averaged a
team best 19 points per game last year for the Crusaders and has signed to play at St. Louis
University next year after also receiving offers from programs like: Illinois, Missouri,
Michigan State and others. The hardnosed guard had a tremendous summer playing for the
St. Louis Eagles in which he cemented his status as a top 50 ranked player nationally. The
show is not all about Goodwin as 6’2 lead guard CJ Coldon is back after averaging 11 points
per game last year. Coldon is a top notch defender also and also brings a lot of toughness
and grit. 6’5 sharpshooting wing Marvin Bateman averaged 11 points per game last year also
and is one of the state and areas top shooters. Coldon will play D1 football and Bateman is getting strong interest from several D2 and some low D1 schools. 6’6 wing Edwyn Brown is back and fully healthy after missing the majority of last year due to injury. Brown is a stellar football recruit is also a top level athlete with a very good skill set. This year’s Crusaders team will be very good again as a strong core of players are back for one more ride after playing all 4 years together and are accustomed to winning and there should still be a lot of that this year also.

7. St. Mary’s Dragons
Coach Kelvin Lee brings back a lot of experience after a very good 21-8 season last year
that saw them come up just a little short in a Class 4 district championship to eventual
state champion Vashon. Coach Lee team is still very young with his core players still
being underclassmen which bolds well for not only this season but for the future.
Leading the way for the Dragons will be 6’2 junior guard Tony Burkes who averaged a
team best 15 points per game while also bringing down 5 rebounds a contest. Burkes is a
slashing finisher who playswitha lot of confidence. 6’6 junior post player Yahuza Ross is
coming off a very good season last year where he averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds a
game. Ross is a very active player that runs the floor and has a nose for the ball. He is
best on the offensive glass. Thekey to this team is super sophomore point guard Yuri
Collins. Collins is a 5’10 sophomore who put together a great freshman season last year and is considered one of the top lead guards regardless of class. Collins averaged 9 points and 7 assists last year for the Dragons. Coach Lee will get a big boost from 6’2 junior forward Dominic Mitchell who transferred in from MICDS, where he averaged double figures last year. Juniors Miles Jones who is a 6’4 workhorse and averaged 6 points per game last year and 6’2 Isaiah King who is smooth wing who averaged close to 5 points per game last year will be major factors this year. This Dragons team is primed to be a real contender this year and is a fairly deep team with a lot of athletic bodies that will all fill contributing roles.

8. Belleville East Lancers
Headling this very talented Lancers team this year for Coach Abel Schrader will be
University of Illinois signee Javon Pickett. The 6’5 wing who had a breakout
season last year is a stellar scorer who finds way to score the ball. Pickett averaged
a team best 24 points & 6 rebounds per game last year and is coming off a very
strong summer of AAU with Jets-Ramey United. Also returning for the Lancers who
went 18-11 last year is 6’2 combo guard Enrico Sylverster who averaged 13 points per
game last year and is a knock down shooter that can get hot at any moment. Look
for two juniors to really have good years this year after very strong summers with
the SW Illinois Jets and showing moments last year in 6’2 Malachi Smith and 6’3
Jordan Yates. Smith is a scorer that is at his best facing up and shooting the ball. Smith also has to the ability to score off the bounce, while Yates is a strong and super athletic player that is does his work around the basket. Yates is considered a junk yard dog type player as he really attacks the offensive glass hard. This year’s Lancers team is not really deep but has a lot of promising young players mixed in with some good upperclassmen that should help balance everything out and have the Lancers in the mix come playoff time.

9. CBC Cadets
Head Coach Justin Tatum will always be in the mix when it comes to teams and this year
is no different. True it will be hard to replace the backcourt that has been so successful
for Tatum and the Cadets for 4 years and a D1 post player from a year ago but Tatum
will have some solid options. Those options will be led by area’s premier athletes in
6’5 junior Kale Catchings. Catchings has really opened up his game and is know more
on the perimeter rather than in the post like years past but his best attribute is
attacking the rim where he does it with vengeance and has put down some of the
top dunks over the past couple of years. 6’2 senior guard Sam Orf who can score it off
the bounce and shoot it from deep is getting tons of college attention with an already
offer from SEMO, several D2 schools, and strong interest from other D1 & D2
schools will be a primary scoring option this year. 5’10 senior point guard Josh
Nunn is back and is a strong competitor that plays with a lot of toughness and
energy. Look for Sophomores 6’6 Josh Wallace who started several games last
year and 5’10 Lawrence Brazil to be heavy contributors this year along with junior Davis Aufdembrink who is one of the area’s top shooter. Coach Tatum will also have two of the area’s top freshman in the area this year in 6’2 Caleb Love and 6’10 Davion Bradford. Both players are highly touted and will contribute from day 1 as Love is a stellar lead guard with great instincts and feel for the game and is already on the lips of several college coaches, while Bradford should be the premier prospect for this class as you just can’t teach size and he has tons off it. Junior point guard Jai Love will also be looked to contribute this year also. Coach Tatum will have his guys playing tough and hard and will be a formable foe in the always super tough MCC.

10. Hazelwood Central Hawks
Coach Josh Martin lost a ton of players last year including Xavier Sneed who is now
playing at Kansas State but the Hawks still sport a very talented team. This year’s
Hawks team won’t be blessed with a lot of sized like years past but they will be
blessed with a lot of speed and athleticism. 6’3 junior Shawn Williams will be put into
the lead role for the Hawks this year after starting last year and averaging 7 points
per game. Williams who is getting strong interest from several Division 1 programs is
blessed with top level athletic ability and a strong body that allows him to attack off
the bounce and finish through contact. 6’4 junior wing Cameron Williams is looked
on for major contribution this year and he is a high energy player with great athletic
ability. 5’9 junior Telly Wright should have a breakout junior season after showing
flashes last year as a sophomore. Wright who is being recruited by several D2
programs is a true point guard with great passing ability and also is blessed with very
good speed and an ability to be a very consistent shooter with range out to three. 6’5
junior Maurice Hayes is athletic also and is a match up problem with his ball handling
ability. 6’2 senior guard Evan White has a lot of ability and will be relied on to contribute a lot this year. 6’2 senior Keon Brown should be a pleasant surprise this year after not playing varsity last year. Coach Martin got 2 good transfers in that will contribute immediately in 6’4 big body Devontae Jefferies who comes over from Hazelwood West and is a space eater that should bring some force in the post and 6’3 Jhalen Covington-Berry who is an athletic wing that scores well in transition and should be a major piece to this team this year. The Hawks will be smaller than normal but this group plays well together and they play fast and will be fun to watch. Opponents shouldn’t take this team lightly by any means.

vashon peanut
CarteAre-Gordon-EYBL
mark smith
Mckissic
JErricole
Jordan Goodwin ALthoff
Yuri Collins
BE-JavonPickett-608x280
Sam Orf
Shaun Williams

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