Prep Basketball Preview
McCluer North Boys Tips Off
2012-‘13 With ‘Unfinished Business’
By Jim Wieners
After Coming off their second straight Class Five Boys State Basketball Championship McCluer North tips off the 2012-2013 season in Washington, Mo., with the St. Francis Borgia Thanksgiving Tournament.
McCluer North opened the season the night before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, with a 6 p.m. game against St. Clair. Then the Stars play Nov. 23 against Cardinal Ritter or Washington High at 6 p.m. if the Stars win or at 3 p.m. if the Stars lose.
The final round games are on Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. (seventh place), 4:30 (Consolation final), 6 p.m. (Third Place) and 7:30 (Championship). McCluer North is avenging their only loss from last year’s 28-1 season to Tourney host Borgia in last year’s tournament championship game but must do so by replacing nine graduated players including Jordan Granger (15 points per game) and Galen Brown (11.8 points per game).
McCLUER TO DEFEND PATTONVILLE TITLE WITH NEW COACH – McCluer Senior High opens the 2012-2013 season at the Pattonville Tournament as the Comets open the Tournament with a 4 p.m. game Nov. 26 against Rockwood Summit. It is a six-team tournament that will be played Nov. 26, 28 and 30 and the tournament closes Nov. 30 with the championship game at 7 p.m. After the Pattonville Tournament the Comets have a rare Sunday game, Dec. 2 a 6 p.m. contest at Jennings.
McCluer won the tournament last year as the Comets were 25-4 with two losses to McCluer North. However McCluer had to replace last year’s head coach Erwin Claggett, who became head coach at St. Louis University High. McCluer hired Brent Rueter, who guided Lutheran North to two state titles (2002, 2005), a second-place finish in 2008 and a third-place finish last year, all in Class Two. Rueter will have to inherit a team without graduated players Demetrious Floyd (15.4 points per game), Tyrone Griffin, Jr. (11.2 points per game) and Leon Watkins (1.2 points per game).
HAZELWOOD CENTRAL TOP SEED AT VIANNEY JERRY BOECKMAN INVITATIONAL — Prior to last season Hazelwood Central had won the St. John Vianney-Jerry Boeckman Invitational for seven consecutive years. Last year Central lost their second-round game to eventual tournament runner up Belleville (Ill.) West and the Hawks took third place. This year Hazelwood Central opens the 2012-2013 season as the top seed at the Vianney-Boeckman Invitational.
Hazelwood Central opens the Vianney-Boeckman Invitational Nov. 26 with a 5:30 game against Farmington. A Hawk win sends them to the Nov. 28 5 p.m. game against Belleville West or defending tournament champion Vianney and then to a Nov. 30 game at 6:30 for first place or at 5 p.m. for third place. A Hawk loss on Nov. 26 sends them to the Nov. 27 consolation semifinal at 5 p.m. and then to a Nov. 29 game for consolation honors at 6:30 or for seventh place at 5 p.m.
Hazelwood Central was 19-7 last year and won the Ameritime Classic, a tournament they will return to defend Jan. 21-25, 2013. Jordan Martin (14.4 points per game) returns to the Hawks while Marcus Lampley (13.7 points per game) and BJ McLaughlin (11.6 points per game) graduated.
LUTHERAN NORTH HAS NEW COACH, TO DEFEND TWO TOURNAMENT TITLES — Anthony Hall has some big shoes to fill as he replaces Rueter as the Lutheran North head coach after Rueter became the new McCluer head coach. Last year the Crusaders were 25-8 and took third place in Class Three State. The Crusaders, besides winning districts, won the St. Charles West Warrior Classic and the Mary Institute-Country Day School Holiday Tournament. Lutheran North returns to defend the Warrior Classic the week of Dec. 3 and the MICDS Holiday tournament the weeks of Dec. 17 and Dec. 24.
Hall will have a key returnee in Anthony Virdure — who averaged 22.6 points per game, have made over 55 percent of his shots from the field and made 71.2 percent of his free throws.
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