High school boys basketball teams are hoping to find their identity in advance of the Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tournament, which begins next week.
Valmeyer seems to be on the right track, having won five straight. The Pirates (5-2) won 67-57 at rival New Athens on Friday night,
The Pirates were led by Philip Reinhardt and Jacob Rowold, who each scored 19 points on the night.
Last Tuesday, Valmeyer ran all over Lebanon, winning 77-27. Rowold led five Valmeyer players in double digits with 19 points.
The Pirates have three players averaging double-digits in scoring, led by Rowold at nearly 17 points per game. Reinhardt is next at 15.1 points per game, followed by Rily McCarthy at 11.3 points per game.
All three are shooting 71 percent or higher from the free-throw line.
Henry Weber is another key player for the Pirates, averaging 6.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.14 blocks per game.
Valmeyer hosts Dupo on Friday and plays at Red Bud on Saturday.
Columbia (4-3) is still searching for consistency under first-year head coach Brooks Demijan.
The Eagles won 47-43 at home over Roxana lastTuesday. Jacob O’Connor led the way with 14 points.
On Friday, Columbia lost 80-44 to Granite City. Jackson Holmes led the Eagles with 13 points and six rebounds. The Eagles shot 1-for-12 from three-point range.
On Saturday, the Eagles lost to MICDS, 69-56. Sam Horner led the way with 16 points. Columbia was outscored 22-9 in the fourth quarter.
Holmes leads the team at 16.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.57 blocks per game this season.
O’Connor is averaging nine points and five rebounds per game.
Columbia hosts Freeburg this Friday night.
Gibault (3-4) has dropped three straight following a 3-1 start.
The Hawks lost 53-47 at home to New Athens last Tuesday. Ryan Bollinger led the Hawks with 11 points. Gibault led 13-5 after one quarter, but a 23-7 run in the third quarter for New Athens turned the tide.
Gibault lost 55-53 in overtime at home to Metro-East Lutheran on Friday and dropped a 44-32 contest to Duchesne at MICDS on Saturday.
Bollinger led the Hawks with 20 points on Friday. Kameron Hanvey paced the team with nine points Saturday.
Bollinger, Max Kostelac and Will Simonton are leading the team in scoring this season, all at about nine points per game.
Gibault plays at Mater Dei on Friday before hosting cross-town rival Waterloo on Saturday night.
Waterloo (0-6) dropped a 67-43 contest at home Friday to Triad. Ty Lenhardt and Jake Wade each scored 11 points for the Bulldogs, who were outrebounded 45-16.
Last Tuesday, Waterloo lost 45-40 at home to Freeburg. Wade was tops in scoring with 15 points. The ‘Dogs were outrebounded 29-15.
The Bulldogs play at Jerseyville on Friday before traveling across town Saturday for the showdown with the Hawks.
Dupo (2-8) won 63-17 over Lebanon on Friday but lost 59-21 to Red Bud on Saturday. Tyler Touchette led the Tigers in both games with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Carter Wiegard led Red Bud on Saturday with 19 points.
Last Wednesday, Dupo posted a 32-23 win over Grandview. Touchette, who leads the team at 12.4 points per game on the season, poured in 18 points.
Dupo plays at Valmeyer on Friday.
See next week’s paper for the full Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tournament bracket. This year’s tourney is played at Columbia and features all five local hoops teams in action.