The 35th Bass Pro Tournament of Champions returns to JQH Arena Jan. 17-19. The field for the nation’s top attended high school tournament has been released. Eight teams from across the country make up the field for the three day event, including local contenders Springfield Parkview (9th appearance) and Springfield Catholic; the Irish making their T of C debut.
Newcomers to the field include Belleville West (IL), Rock Bridge (MO), Shadow Mountain (AZ) and Sunrise Christian (KS). Making a return to the T of C are McEachern (GA) and Memphis East (TN).
Belleville West High School, Belleville, Illinois
Belleville West High School will be a first time entry into the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Belleville West finished this past season with a record of 32-2 and the Illinois Class 4A State Champions. Coach Joe Muniz’s team finished the season ranked 13th nationally according to Max Preps. Belleville West will be led by 6’7” Senior, EJ Liddell, currently ranked #42 in the country according to Rivals. Liddell was named the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year.
Springfield Catholic High School, Springfield, Missouri
The Catholic Fighting Irish will be the first private school in Springfield, Missouri to be an entry into the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions field. Springfield Catholic finished the 2017-2018 season with a 22-9 record, but not before becoming the Blue & Gold Tournament Gold Division Champions and finishing as a Class 3 Quarterfinalist in the MSHSAA Show Me Show Down Basketball Tournament. Coach Dustin Larsen’s team will be led by 6’1” Senior Guard, Jake Branham and 6’1” Senior Guard, Charlie O’Reilly.
McEachern High School, Powder Springs, Georgia
McEachern High School will be making its second appearance, (first in 2009), in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Coach Mike Thompson returns a team that finished 26-3, ranked number 1 in Georgia and 40th in the country according to Max Preps. The McEachern roster features 3 top 100 players in the country according to Rivals led by 6’5” Senior Forward, Isaac Okoro, (25th ranked), 6’4” Senior Guard, Charles Smith IV, (96th ranked), and 6’0”Junior Guard, Sharife Cooper, (23rd ranked).
Memphis East High School, Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis East High School returns to the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions making their 3rd appearance in the field. Memphis East won the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in 2017. The Mustangs finished the 2017-2018 season 31-3, ranked number 1 in Tennessee, 2nd nationally according to Max Preps, and captured the Division 1 Class 3A Tennessee State Basketball Championship. Memphis East features two top 50 players in the country according to Rivals, including 6’11” Senior Forward, James Wiseman, (2nd ranked), and 6’8” Senior Forward, Chandler Lawson, (49th ranked), who was a 2017 Tournament of Champions All-Tournament Team recipient.
Parkview High School, Springfield, Missouri
Parkview High School will make their 10th appearance in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. The Vikings return numerous players from a team that shocked the Ozarks this spring capturing the MSHSAA District 11 Basketball Tournament, before eventually losing in the Class 5 Quarterfinal game to Columbia Rock Bridge. The Vikings concluded their season with an 18-11 record, and ranked 46th in Missouri according to Max Preps. Coach Landon Cornish’s team will be led by 6’6” Senior Forward and Missouri State University commitment, Tyem Freeman.
Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Missouri
Rock Bridge High School finished the 2017-2018 campaign with a 27-2 record, taking 3rd place in the MSHSAA Class 5 Show Me Show Down Basketball Tournament. The Bruins, our fellow Missourians to the north, will make their 1st appearance in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions field. Coach Jim Scanlon’s team will be led by 6’4” Senior Guard, Isiaih Mosley, currently ranked 113th according to Rivals.
Shadow Mountain High School, Phoenix, Arizona
Coach Mike Bibby, and the Matadors, will make their first appearance in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Shadow Mountain finished the 2017-2018 season with a 25-2 record, ranked 7th nationally by USA Today Expert Rankings. The Arizona State Basketball Tournament Champions lost in the Quarterfinal game of the GEICO National High School Basketball Tournament to the eventual runner-ups. Shadow Mountain is led by Arizona State commitment, 5’11” Senior Guard, Jaelen House, who is currently ranked 103rd by Rivals.
Sunrise Christian Academy, Bel Aire, Kansas
Sunrise Christian Academy will be making their first appearance in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Sunrise Christian Academy finished this past year with a 23-2 record, and 6th nationally according to USA Today Computer Rankings. Coach Luke Barnwell’s team will be led by two top 50 players in the country according to Rivals, 6’2” Senior Guard, Grant Sherfield, (52nd ranked), and 6’10” Junior Center, N’Faly Dante, (10th ranked).