Football has left us. Now it is time for basketball on the hardwood. Always a fun time for me as I cover High School sports and keep a beat on the NCAA including the Redhawks who hope to make vast improvements. But what local teams might make an impact or catch our eye this year?
Sikeston returns this year as the 2nd ranked team in Class 4, after their 4th place finish in state last season. They return the Class 4 player of the year in Fred Thatch. Look for Sikeston to be one of the best teams in the area again this season.
Poplar Bluff is another team a lot of people are talking about. They return freshman standout Marcedes Leech. Leech is a young man with a ton of talent with already a bundle of colleges looking at him. Oh, and don’t forget about Bluff’s big man Willie Lucas, who might be the best big man in the area.
What about the likes of Jackson, Note Dame, Cape Central, Charleston, Scott County Central, Saxony and others?
For Jackson I look for them to improve upon last year’s 16-14 season. I think they will be in the mix with big men Jake Leet and Cameron Hester. They will need their guards to step up and fill the void left by Jacob Smith and Garrett Walker.
Cape Central might be the most athletic team in the area. Austin Parker is a solid swing man. They lose Al Young to graduation, but Cape Central might just surprise some people this year, if Coach Drew Church can get his guys to play together.
I really like Saxony Lutheran this year as well. All 5 starters return from last year’s 24-5 season. The Crusaders are a senior laden team with experience and hunger to get to the next level. If I am a team this year and I have them listed on my schedule, I am circling that game. Watch out for them.
I also look for Scott County Central to rebound this year. I think this team could cause problems for a lot of teams. I think we might see another district title in their future.
For teams like Notre Dame, Woodland, Bloomfield, and New Madrid we might see some ups and downs. More of a rebuilding year for these teams with some youth coming up in the ranks.
Advance, Oran, Scott City, and Charleston I think will have solid seasons. But do they have what it takes to get to the next level? Can they make a run come district tournament time? Time will tell.
Agree or disagree with my opinion? Let me know your thoughts! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @rusty_hendricks
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