St. Joe Draws Tough Matchup Against Carthage At Prepcasts Elite Girls Basketball Shootout On Saturday
Angels are still ranked No. 2 in the area, and No. 2 in state, despite suffering first loss of the season in the Viz championship game. Carthage is 10-2 after a second-place finish at the Neosho Tournament.
Just about every time the St. Joseph's Academy girls basketball team takes the floor, they will be the featured attraction.
No matter how big or prestigious the event is, the St. Joe girls almost always draw top billing.
It was that way at the Visitation Holiday Tournament over the break, where the Angels went 3-1 and took second place, following a championship game loss to No. 1 Incarnate Word Academy.
And it will be that way again on Saturday at De Smet High, when St. Joe will play in the marquee matchup of the 5th Annual Prepcasts Elite Girls Basketball Shootout. against Carthage (MO) High.
The Angels will match up against one of the top teams from the southwest Missouri area, Carthage High, which owns a 10-2 record this season, after going 21-8 and reaching the state sectionals last year.
Guards Chloe Shepherd and Vanessa Pawlak are Carthage's top players with both earning all-tournament team honors at the Neosho Invitational last week in Neosho, MO.
The Tigers finished second in the gold division of what is recognized as one of southwest Missouri's best girls' tournaments.
Carthage's only loss at Neosho was to highly-ranked Pierce City, a team many believe is the top contender to win state in Class 2 this year.
On Saturday though, it'll be St. Joe that once again gets the favorite spot on the marquee, as the 7-1 Angels will be playing in an event they helped turn into one of this area's best annual girls hoops showcases of the year.
Seniors Sydney Stipanovich, Erin Nelson, and Emmie Haring have been St. Joe's top performers so far this season, with Stipanovich and Nelson leading the team in scoring (15.3 points and 15.0 points per game, respectively), and Haring leading the team in assists and steals.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:15 p.m., but as the fifth game in a five-game event, it is likely the game's actual start time might not be until closer to 8 p.m.
Here's the full schedule of this year's Prepcasts Girls Basketball Shootout, with a short game synopsis provided by Prepcasts.com:
Dexter (MO) vs. Webster Groves -- 1 p.m.
The Dexter Lady Bearcats were a state quarterfinalist team in Class 4 last season. This surging program has upgraded their schedule significantly and travels to St. Louis as part of that effort. Coach Chad Allen (108-32) has taken 2 Dexter teams to the Final Four in his 6 year tenure. Dexter returns 8 players from a last year and is led by the 2011-12 SEMO Girls Player of the Year, Brittany Harris. The Lady Statesman has surprised some observers with this strong start this season. Coach Patti Perkins has her team at 5-2 with impressive wins over #10 ranked, Hazelwood Central and Lafayette.
Parkway South vs. Ozark (MO) -- 2:30 p.m.
Coach Yancey Little (247-122) brings in his Ozark Tigers, a state quarterfinalist in Class 5 last year, for the 2nd consecutive year. Hannah Cook leads the Tigers in scoring and the strong defense, unselfish offense provides some wonderful basketball to watch. The Parkway South team returns to the Shootout this year after being one of the teams in the inaugural Shootout. Coach Thomas Williams (243-161) has a powerful team, currently 5-1, with four-year starter, Becca Steins, as a key cog in the offense. The Lady Patriots, a state tourney team last year, love to pressure the ball, play aggressive and run.
Columbia (MO) Rock Bridge vs. Marian (IL) Catholic -- 4:15 p.m.
This one looms to be a great one! The Defending Class 5 Missouri Champions, the Bruins return a full complement of players, including Sophie Cunningham, for another year of play. Returning again to the Shootout, Rock Bridge is led by coach Jill Nagel (166-31), who has led the Bruins to two state championships, eagerly looks forward to this game against a top-flight team from Chicago. Marian Catholic (10-0), currently ranked #4 in Chicago are led by coach Annie Basic-Byrne (184-49). With three players already signed for college careers, the Spartans make the trip to St Louis to compete against the defending Class 5 Champion.
Republic (MO) vs. Westminster Christian Academy -- 5:45 p.m.
Two teams from the Final Four of Class 4 of 2012, get the rare chance to tangle in the regular season. Coach Kris Flood (269-95) has led the Tigers into the state tournament 8 times and will bring another power-house team. Westminster Christian, coached by former Mizzou great and NBA first-round draft pick, Steve Stipanovich, have arrived on the big stage in a hurry. Coach Stipo brings a team that has many of their players returning from his Final Four team of last year including Sadie Stipanovich.(17 ppg). Each team realizes that their opponent could be seen again in March in Columbia, MO!
St. Joseph's Academy vs. Carthage (MO) -- 7:15 p.m.
Carthage makes their first appearance in the Shootout. Coming off a 21-8, state tournament team. Coach Jim Moore (194-67) has previously led Fair Grove to the state tournament, so he knows how to build a winner. The St. Joe Angels, led by coach Julie Matheny (290-90) are annual visitors to the state tournament and often the Final Four. Sydney Stipanovich (cousin of WCA's Sadie Stipanovich) and Erin Nelson provide the 1-2 inside-outside punch for the Angels.