Patch High School Hoops Roundup: JBS Boys, St. Joe Girls Remain Unbeaten Heading Into Holiday Break
An inside look at what went down this week in local high school basketball, along with a look at what's coming up next week.
As the Missouri high school basketball season passes the quarter pole, two things have become crystal clear.
The John Burroughs boys team is really good. And so is the St. Joseph's Academy girls team.
Those points have been driven home emphatically, as both teams have begun the new season with unblemished records.
The JBS boys are 7-0, following a sensational 56-45 win over O'Fallon Christian at the Terrell Ramey/Midwest Showdown Shootout at Lindenwood University last Saturday.
That victory capped an incredible week for the Bombers, who won all three games they played, adding in triumphs over Brentwood (65-31, back on December 10) and Clayton (60-59 on Decmeber 13).
Senior guard Foye Oluokun has been stuffing the stat sheet all year for JBS, with a team-leading 15.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 3.0 steals per game average.
Teammates Ezekiel Elliott (12.6 points a game) and Jimmy Carney (13.7 points and a 43.5 percent three-point shooting percentage) have also played key roles in JBS' hot start.
Over the break, the Bombers, who made their debut in the area Top 20 rankings by snagging the No. 10 spot, will play in the Chaminade Tournament, which begins on December 26, and will conclude with the third-place and championship games on December 29.
The St. Joe girls had the easiest week of anybody -- because they didn't play any games.
And by press time, the Angels will have had 12 days off since their last game action, back on December 8.
But it was still an eventful week for St. Joe, which found out it will be the No. 2 seed at the best girls holiday basketball tournament -- the Visitation Holiday Invitational.
The Angels will open up tournament action with a game against Francis Howell Central on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Should St. Joe win that first round matchup, it would advance to the Viz quarterfinals on December 26, against either Hazelwood Central or Webster Groves.
The other red-hot team in the area (even if they actually dared to lose a game this year) is the MICDS girls, who head into the winter break with a 7-1 record.
The Rams, who are ranked No. 7 in the area, might be the most balanced team in the area, with no one averaging double-figures in scoring, but four players averaging 7.0 points or more a game, and two other girls averaging 6.0 points or more.
Last week, all that balance paid off big time, as MICDS won all four games it played, including two blowout wins over a pair of teams from Tennessee, last Friday and Saturday in Nashville.
The John Burroughs girls are also having a terrific start to the season, with a 6-2 record so far.
The Bombers had won four straight, until suffering a 56-46 loss to Ladue last Tuesday. But they bounced right back, with a 36-34 come-from-behind win over Lutheran North last Friday.
Junior forward Steph Kelly was once again key in that last JBS win, leading the Bombers in just about every category, with 11 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
For the season, Kelly is already the Metro League leader in scoring and rebounding, with a 16.7 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game average.
JBS is one of the few teams not playing in any holiday tournament this year. So their next game action won't come until a January 4 home rematch against Lutheran North.
The other two girls teams in the area are struggling a bit.
Villa Duchesne is 1-5 on the season, with four straight losses.
But with an almost complete new roster that features a number of inexperienced underclassmen, the Saints will surely be a better club in the second half of the season than they have been during the first half.
And sophomore Grace Lombardo has been spectacular for Villa, averaging 12.0 points a game, and shooting a whopping 54 percent from three-point land.
The Ladue girls have slipped to 5-4 overall, after starting the year 3-0.
But a big reason for that dip, is the Rams are playing without their best player -- senior center Taylor Robinson, who hasn't played since November 29, and is taking some "personal time", according to head coach Cord Dockery.
In Robinson's absence, sophomore guards Cate Meyer and Kaitlynn Walker have really stepped up their games.
Meyer has been averaging a team-best 11.4 points a game in the five games Ladue has played without Robinson, while Walker is right behind, with an 11.2 point average, with four double-digit scoring efforts in the last five games.
The Rams are playing in the Ritenour Tournament, which begins on December 26, and will face Confluence Academy, in a 1:30 p.m. contest in that event's first round.
The Ladue boys are 5-2 heading into the break, following last week's victory over Westminster and loss to Chatham Glenwood.
The Rams were very close to winning both those games, but in a 47-44 loss to Glenwood, Ladue didn't score a point in the final six minutes, and missed five three-point attempts in final minute that could've tied the game.
The numbers still look good though for junior point guard Cornell Johnston, who leads the team with a 13.6 points per game average, and ranks second in the area, with 8.4 assists a game.
The Rams are playing in the MICDS Boys Holiday Invitational, and will open up that tournament action on Saturday morning, with a 9:30 a.m. game against winless Francis Howell.
And speaking of MICDS, the Rams finally got back on the winning track by claiming both games it played on that trip to Nashville.
The Rams, now 3-5 on the year, won a tight ballgame last Friday, 56-55, over Montgomery Bell Academy. Then closed the weekend, with a 55-24 blowout win over the University School of Nashville.
Senior guard Trey Pettus was huge on both games, scoring a game-high 15 points in the win over Montgomery Bell, then coming back the next night to score 10 points against University.
In the MICDS Tournament, the Rams are seeded No. 14 (due to the surprising 1-5 start) and will play No. 6-ranked Westminster, Saturday night at 6:30 p.m., in the first round.