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Battleline: Tourney Was No Turkey

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 8:00 am | Updated: 8:33 am, Wed Nov 28, 2012.

The leftovers have been cleaned up and the 60th Annual St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Cola Thanksgiving Tournament is history.

For many, this was one of the strongest tournaments the school has sponsored with plenty of talent from top to bottom.

Tournament champion St. Louis Christian, making its first visit to the tournament, was an exceptional team. In fact, some of the folks who have been closely attached to the tournament for a long time feel this is one of the most talented teams to come along.

The Cougars feature height that many colleges would love to have. One saw a multitude of different college logos around when the Cougars played.

With the exception of senior point guard Revaun Garaway, Christian ran a starting lineup with the smallest player being 6-4 Rasheed Swanston. The tallest was 6-11 Ikkena Okwarabezi.

The fans from St. Louis Christian supported their team and the school brought more fans than the typical squad making the trip out from St. Louis.

The coaching staff, led by Casey Autenrieth, and the administration also made friends in their sojourn in Washington.

Don’t expect to see Christian at the state tournament in Columbia though. While the Cougars played at Borgia, they’re only an MSHSAA affiliate member, meaning that they don’t play in the postseason. They’ll be the likely winner at the Missouri Christian Schools Athletic Association event next spring in Joplin though.

So, is Christian the most talented team to play in the Turkey Tournament in recent years?

Just going back over the past few seasons, the title of most talented team probably would go to the 2010-11 McCluer North Stars. The eventual Class 5 state champions ran past everyone in the 58th Annual Turkey Tournament. They hit triple digits against Carnahan in the opening round, beat a talented Maplewood-Richmond Heights team by 21 in the semifinals and rolled up to 92 points in a track meet against University City in the title game.

The 2010-11 Stars featured two big-time Division I recruits in B.J. Young (Arkansas) and Jordon Granger (Auburn). They had the quickness and speed to get the ball to shooters and were able to convert.

Young recorded a triple-double in the championship game that year with 43 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. That stands as one of the all-time best performances in the history of the event. Granger ended that game with 21 points, 20 rebounds, six blocked shots, four steals and two assists.

I think a lot of folks would love to see Christian and that 2010 McCluer North team play a game. Would be a great one, but I think the Stars would have the edge in depth over a fast-paced game. Christian had height, but only used seven players in the championship game victory over the Washington Blue Jays.

Washington had to be one of the big surprises in the tournament. Of course, having a healthy Ronnie Suggs (he missed it last year) really helped. Suggs made his mark with 36 points in the opening round win over Cardinal Ritter and picked up 22 points against Christian in the title contest.

The great thing about the Blue Jays is that they have so many role players who can step up and become the star on any given night.

Luke Schroepfer has been a solid player throughout his entire career. Brad Carpenter can’t be left alone outside the arc or he’ll burn a team for many threes. Jared Walde is a true monster in the paint. Luke Hasenjaeger understands that he needs to feed the ball to the scorers and find openings in the defense.

There are a number of others who step up as well. Chip Sodemann has a wonderful team and hopefully this should lead to a successful season.

Every year we hear that McCluer North isn’t coming back and I hope that’s not the case. The Stars make this tournament exceptionally competitive. The fact they were playing for third place shows how tough this tournament is. Rashad Lindsey just picked it right back up after moving from MICDS to McCluer North. And Randy Reed has some other gems in Jordan Boone and Dorrian Holland, to name a couple.

Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said that the Stars are supposed to be adding a 6-6 player soon. If the Stars can add some size, they might make some noise again in the Class 5 playoffs.

How often does Borgia not earn a trophy in its own tournament? Well, the last time the Knights placed as low as fourth was 1986.

At that time, the Soviet Union was still a major threat, the city of Washington was preparing to renovate the old railroad depot buildings and you could get a new two-door Chevrolet Cavalier from Modern Auto for $8,098.

Borgia should be a good team before the season is over. For the first time in a while, they don’t have a returning standout, but have three players with returning varsity experience. Borgia’s comeback win over Carnahan was huge, but the Knights couldn’t replicate those heroics against either Christian or McCluer North. Those setbacks should make Borgia better for the long run and everyone knows this veteran coaching staff will be prepared by the time the district tournament rolls around.

Cardinal Ritter and Carnahan played for the consolation title and were tightly matched. The Ritter Lions, led by another coaching legend in Marvin Neals, showed tremendous improvement throughout the event.

Before the tournament, Carnahan Head Coach Jonathan Griffin said his team might have the potential to go to state. If the Cougars can cut out the late-game comebacks they allowed against Borgia and Cardinal Ritter, that could be the case. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them play in the Class 3 playoffs, although a rematch wouldn’t happen until the tournament reached Columbia.

Of all teams to play Christian, Pacific probably gave the Cougars their toughest fight. The defending Four Rivers Conference champions will be good again this year. Cullen VanLeer is an exceptional shooter and only is a sophomore. And the Indians have a number of other players who can step up on any given night.

St. Clair seemed to suffer from a slow start in the opening game against McCluer North, being shut out through a quarter. I suspect new Head Coach Casey Korn will have this team playing much better ball by the time the conference schedule rolls around.

The 61st Turkey Tournament stands to be even better. Brad Bruns has been extremely active in trying to figure out how to improve the event. As Neier stated, Bruns did an exceptional job in running the event and making sure it was one to remember.

Three of us in the media community, Craig Vonder Haar of the Missourian, John Covington from KLPW, and I need to thank him, and Borgia’s athletic association, for the surprise on Friday night. It was nice to be recognized for the work in helping to get the word out about the Turkey Tournament.

A couple of Turkey Tournament alumni also were making news this week.

When Jack Taylor scored 138 points for Grinnell College last week in a 179-104 win over Faith Baptist Bible, Borgia graduate Evan Johnson set picks for him over three minutes of play.

Johnson, a sophomore, recorded one rebound in that game. Through four games this season, Johnson averages one point per game (all four points were scored against Rockford College Nov. 16).

It should be noted that Taylor went back to the bench for Grinnell’s 131-116 loss to William Penn Sunday, scoring “only” 21 points over 17 minutes.

Johnson played 11 minutes in that game and didn’t score.

Bryce Dolan, Borgia’s leading scorer last season, averages four points per game for Illinois Wesleyan, an NCAA Division III school. Dolan has averaged 12 minutes per game while seeing action in two of the team’s first four contests.


Area Scoreboard

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Ninth District Senior Legion Tournament

Thursday, July 17

At Westhoff Park

G1 (1) West 11, (8) Pacific 1

G2 (4) St. Charles 17, (5) Elsberry 2

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G3 (3) Washington 4, (6) Wentzville 0

G4 (2) Daniel Boone 8, (7) St. Peters 2

Friday, July 18

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G5 Elsberry 8, Pacific 3

G6 St. Peters 9, Wentzville 1

At Westhoff Park

G7 St. Charles 4, West 1

G8 Daniel Boone 7, Washington 4

Saturday, July 19

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G9 Washington 9, Elsberry 4

G10 West 9, St. Peters 6

G12 West 14, Washington 1

At Westhoff Park

G11 St. Charles def. Daniel Boone (fft)

Sunday, July 20

Rest at Westhoff Park

G13 Championship — West 2, St. Charles 1 (13 innings)

Monday, July 21

G14 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 13, West 11

Zone 1 Senior Legion Tournament

At Lindenwood University, St. Charles

Thursday, July 24

G1 West 13, Daniel Boone Post 262 8

G2 Jefferson City Post 5 11, Hannibal Post 55 2

Friday, July 25

G3 West 11, St. Charles Post 312 1

G4 Daniel Boone 10, Hannibal 2

Saturday, July 26

G5 Jefferson City 9, West 2

G6 St. Charles 11, Daniel Boone 0

G7 West 6, St. Charles 2

Sunday, July 27

G8 Championship — West 11, Jefferson City 0

G9 If-Needed Game — Jefferson City 14, West 12

Jefferson City advances to state tournament in Sedalia.

Ninth District Junior Legion Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union 7, Wentzville 1

G10 Elsberry 3, St. Charles 2

Friday, July 11

G11 Washington 12, St. Peters 11 (10 innings)

G12 Elsberry 6, Union 3

Saturday, July 12

G13 Elsberry 4, St. Peters 3

G14 Championship — Washington 3, Elsberry 1

Washington wins district, to host Zone 1 Tournament at Borgia. Schedule below.

Junior Legion Zone 1 Tournament

At Borgia

Thursday, June 17

G1 Elsberry Post 226 10, Chillicothe Post 25 2

Friday, June 18

G2 Washington Post 218 5, Elsberry 1

G3 Chillicothe 5, Elsberry 4

Saturday, June 19

G4 Championship — Washington 16, Chillicothe 0 (5 innings)

Washington advances to State Tournament in Jackson.

Junior Legion State Tournament

At Jackson

Thursday, July 24

G1 Jackson 3, Springfield Glendale 2

G2 Eureka 7, Sedalia 0

Friday, June 25

G3 Jackson 8, Washington 3

G4 Springfield Glendale 8, Sedalia 3

G5 Jackson 4, Eureka 2

G6 Washington 8, Springfield Glendale 0

Saturday, June 26

G7 Eureka 11, Washington 10 (9 innings)

G8 Championship — Jackson 7, Eureka 6

Jackson advances to Regional Tournament in Leavenworth, Kan.

Sunday, June 27

G9 If-Needed Game — G8 winner vs. G8 loser, 1 p.m.

Freshman Legion Ninth District Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 St. Peters 11, Hannibal 9

G10 Elsberry-Winfield 13, Wentzville 4

Friday, July 11

G12 Elsberry-Winfield 8, St. Peters 3

G11 Washington 6, St. Charles 0, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 1

G14 Championship — St. Charles 5, Washington 2

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 2, Washington 0

Missouri Freshman

Legion State Tournament

At Rotary Recreational

Complex - Ronsick Field

Wednesday, July 16

G1 Creve Coeur Post 397 16, St. Robert Post 331 2

G2 Ste. Genevieve Post 150 4, St. Charles Post 312 0

G3 Jackson Post 158 1, vs. Springfield Glendale Merchants 0

G4 Washington Post 218 9, Eureka Post 177 4

Thursday, July 17

G5 Springfield Glendale 11, St. Robert 1 (St. Robert eliminated)

G6 St. Charles 10, Eureka 2 (Eureka eliminated)

G7 Ste. Genevieve 4, Creve Coeur 2

G8 Washington 12, Jackson 10

Friday, July 18

G9 Jackson 12, Springfield Glendale 0 (Springfield Glendale eliminated)

G10 Creve Coeur 8, St. Charles 3 (St. Charles eliminated)

G11 Ste. Genevieve 3, Washington 2

G12 Creve Coeur 11, Jackson 7 (Jackson eliminated)

Saturday, July 19

G13 Washington 8, Creve Coeur 3 (Creve Coeur eliminated)

G14 Championship—Washington 5, Ste. Genevieve 2

Sunday, July 20

G15 Championship Game 2—Washington 3, Ste. Genevieve 0

Great Midwest Football League

July 19

Missouri Cyclones 34, Illinois Justice 0

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

7-11 at Division Meet, Westminster Christian First

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    First

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    PPD

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    Third

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

*Indicates League Games

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