The reigning Class 2 State Champions have been added to the 2021 Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions.
The Hartville Eagles will replace Philadelphia Roman Catholic as one of eight teams in the annual high school hoops tournament in Springfield.
“We are excited to welcome his high energy and tough nosed team into our event,” SPS District Director of Athletics, Josh Scott said.
The Eagles return all but one player from their 2019-20 team that beat Skyline at JQH Arena in March for the state championship.
Holton Simmons was the lone graduate with Ryce Piper, Braden Branstetter, Cody Mahan, and others returning.
“Hartville has a rich basketball tradition, very rich, and there’s been a lot of great players and coaches come through the program,” said Hartville coach Brett Reed said winning the school’s second title.
Hartville will join Kickapoo and Greenwood as local teams from the Ozarks in the Tournament of Champions. The T of C has grown to be known as one of the top high school tournaments in the nation with many games nationally televised on cable.
In 37-years, the Tournament of Champions has seen Marvin Bagley, Jayson Tatum, Lonzo Ball, John Wall, Lamar Odom, Alonzo Mourning, and others on the court in Springfield.
This year among the D-I talent coming to JQH Arena will be Branson Huntley-Hatfield and Jarace Walker (ranked 5th and 6th nationally) from IMG Academy in Florida and Kendal Brown (ranked 14th natiionally) from Sunrise Christian in Wichita.
The local stand-outs will include Greenwood’s Aminu Mohammed, a five-star recruit receiving multiple D-I offers. Mohammed is ranked as second best shooting guard in nation by rivals. Kickapoo features Anton Brookshire who has verbally committed to Mizzou.
The 2021 Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions is scheduled for January 14-16 at JQH Arena.
The bracket will be released in January, but right now also includes DeSmet from St. Louis, Bishop Gorman from Las Vegas, and Pace Academy from Atlanta, to go along with Sunrise Christian, IMG Academy, Kickapoo, Greenwood, and Hartville.