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Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 11:00 am

Ready or not, the 60th Annual St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Cola Thanksgiving Tournament is here and starts Wednesday night.

The four-day event, marking its 60th playing, will run through Saturday evening at the Ray DeGreeff Memorial Gymnasium.

Eight teams are playing in this year’s event, an increase of two from last season. That means the tournament will go back to being a full bracket with winners moving forward while losers are relegated to a consolation bracket.

Two first-round games are scheduled for Wednesday night with two more set for Thursday night.

Friday will feature all four second-round games while all four event finals are scheduled for Saturday.

There are four local teams and four St. Louis city or county teams in this year’s event.

The tournament features two defending state champions, three district winners and a conference champion in the field.

The tournament tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with top-seeded McCluer North taking on No. 8 seed St. Clair.

McCluer North-St. Clair

Randy Reed’s McCluer North squad comes into the event having won the past two Class 5 state championships. The Stars were 28-1 last season with the lone loss coming to Borgia in the championship of the 59th Annual St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Cola Thanksgiving Tournament.

“I expect, as every year, that we will be very good,” Reed said. “We have some size, athleticism and skills to be as good as last year.”

Hit hard by graduation, McCluer North receives a big pickup in transfer Rashad Lindsey, a 5-11 junior point guard who moves over from MICDS. He averaged 12.7 points for the Rams last season.

Other key returners include junior swing player Dorian Holland, junior point guard Jordan Boone, junior forward Chris Busbee and senior guard Terrance Bush.

The Stars last won the Turkey Tournament title in 2010.

St. Clair features a new coach and a veteran lineup.

The Bulldogs went 9-19 last season, but return most of their depth from last season.

Casey Korn, a Northwest High School graduate, takes over as St. Clair’s head coach this season.

“We have to shoot the ball better than we did last year and find a way to win close games,” Korn said. “I think we have a great chance to be competitive this season with eight returning seniors, four returning starters and two all-conference players returning. Most of our scoring is back and our key injury from last year is healthy this season.”

Seniors Neyko Dominguez, Adam Brott, Brandon York and Evan Murphy are returning starters. Dominguez and Brott were the team’s leading scorers at 14.8 and 9.9 points per game, respectively. York missed much of last season due to injury.

Reno Jones, a junior guard, is expected to be a key newcomer to the team this season.

The Bulldogs have never won a Turkey Tournament title, but have finished second five times, most recently in the 2007 Gold Division (the last year of two divisions) to Washington.

St. Clair also finished second to Borgia in the inaugural tournament in 1953

Ritter-Washington

Wednesday’s second game features a 7:30 p.m. start between tournament newcomer Cardinal Ritter, the fourth seed, and fifth-seeded Washington.

A team with a lot of basketball tradition, Cardinal Ritter is new to the Turkey Tournament this season.

The Lions have won six MSHSAA state titles and won their district this past season while going 21-6.

Head Coach Marvin Neals has coached Cardinal Ritter to four of those state championships and a runner-up finish during his career.

“We will be small, but competitive,” Neals said. “We feature a pressing and fastbreak style of basketball.”

Junior forward Charles Jones and sophomore point guard Jahmouri Robinson are top returning players.

Another player to watch is junior forward Sean Clancey.

Chip Sodemann’s Washington Blue Jays are seeded fifth for this year’s event.

Washington went 10-15 last season, but return four starters for this year’s squad.

“We are looking for a competitive season,” Sodemann said. “We play a tough schedule and hope to keep improving heading into district play.”

Luke Schroepfer, a 6-3 swing player who has signed with Colorado School of Mines, is one of the team’s top returning players.

Junior swing player Ronnie Suggs has played varsity ball since his freshman season. Junior guard Brad Carpenter had an impressive 2011 tournament from the perimeter.

Senior Jared Walde has starting experience inside the paint. Additionally Sodemann has others with considerable playing experience including senior guard Luke Hasenjaeger and senior forward Trevor Lampkin.

Thursday’s action starts at 6 p.m. with second-seeded Borgia playing seventh-seeded Carnahan School of the Future.

Borgia-Carnahan

The host Knights open the tournament against Carnahan at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Borgia went 22-6 last season, winning a district title. The Knights also are the defending Turkey Tournament winners.

“The group has a chance to be a very strong team,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier stated.

Three seniors with starting experience, guards Jordan Miller and John Baumstark and forward Casey Kuchem, are back this season. They will be supplemented by a number of others, including some with varsity experience and some who move up from last year’s JV team.

Neier said the Knights will be a little smaller than last season with the tallest player being 6-5, but will have a solid squad.

Borgia has won a Turkey Tournament title 29 times, including last year over McCluer North, 48-46, and the first-ever tournament in 1953 over St. Clair, 48-39.

Neier is two wins away from reaching 600 victories for his career. The Missouri Basketball Coaches Association hall of fame member has won all of his head coaching victories at Borgia, his alma mater.

Carnahan School of the Future, the seventh seed, returns after a one-year hiatus.

The Cougars were 14-8 in 2011-12, including going 7-2 in the Public High League in St. Louis.

Head Coach Jonathan Griffin expects big things from his team this season.

“I believe my team can go all the way to state,” Griffin said. “The state of mind is we must work hard and intelligent every day when we get an opportunity.”

After upsetting Maplewood-Richmond Heights, Carnahan lost to Cardinal Ritter in the district championship game.

Griffin feels Steven Baynham, Kendall Brinson, Raymond Holmes, Matt Dobson, Imani Reid, Trevor Roberts, Dejon Shelton and Eric Williams are players who should lead the team. Of those Reid, Roberts and Baynham are expected to be key players.

“In comparison to last year’s team, I believe this team has a chance to be deeper and more talented,” Griffin said. “The reason is because we should have a rotation of players who can come in and have immediate impact off the bench. I believe because I have a year under my belt, I can prepare these players even better than I did last year.”

Brinson, Martez Joseph, Kortez Nobles, Emmanuel Primer and Mico Polk are newcomers expected to make an impact.

Christian-Pacific

St. Louis Christian (not to be confused with Archdiocesan Athletic Association member O’Fallon Christian) enters the tournament as a two-time Missouri Christian Schools Athletic Association state champion.

The Cougars were 19-11 last season while playing as a MSHSAA affiliate member. That included the consolation title at the Owensville Tournament.

Casey Autenrieth, a Christian graduate, is the team’s head coach.

“Our team this year is young,” Autenrieth said. “We have a lot of size and athleticism that I think if we can harness in the right way, will pay off as we get into the meat of our schedule. I expect to see a lot of growth from our young guys. We will play hard on both ends of the court. As they get more comfortable with each other and our system, I expect us to be a real force. We will need to be as our schedule has us going up against some of the top teams in the nation. Our hope is we can compete at the level we know we are capable.”

His team returns one starter, senior guard James Keaton.

Junior center Ikenna Okwanzarbi, senior forward Javier Martinez, sophomore forward Anthony Pratt and freshman point guard Jehvaun Faulder are players expected to step up this season.

Christian faces a team it didn’t see at the Owensville Tournament last year, event champion Pacific, in the first round at Borgia.

Pacific, last year’s Four Rivers Conference champion, is looking to improve upon last season’s 17-9 record.

The Indians are led by veteran Head Coach John VanLeer, who also played in the Turkey Tournament as a member of the Union Wildcats.

“We will be fairly athletic,” said VanLeer. “We should be a good defensive team that can score in a variety of ways.”

Pacific returns three varsity starters in 6-2 sophomore point guard Cullen VanLeer, 6-3 senior forward Zeth Boyer and 6-2 junior forward Jeffrey Hinkle.

VanLeer is expected to be the point of attack again. He led the Indians in scoring last year and made the all-tournament team at Borgia as a freshman.

Players expected to make bigger contributions this year include senior guards Neil DeBold and Brendan Jett-Kell and juniors Logan Armstrong, Tanner Brown and Zach Kraus. Armstrong is a forward and the other two are guards.

/

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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