Saturday 10:30am

When we schedule the KHQA/SUBWAY Superfan Shootout, we put a heavy emphasis on creating unique, interesting pairings.

Not just in terms of teams, but head-to-head individual matchups as well.

And Saturday's tete-a-tete between Payson Seymour's Cody Hildebrand and Knox County's Royce Poore is reason alone to set your alarm clock early.....

Zach Summers: "Royce is a kid that is going to be capable of playing college basketball somewhere in the next couple of years and for him to get a chance like this and get exposed like this is a great opportunity for him. And it's got to be fun for a kid to get challenged because Cody (Hildebrand) is a heck of of Basketball Player. You see highlights on him every single night and I've watched a little film on him and he is just a special kid who does what it takes to score. If someone takes one thing away he's going to find something else to beat you at; to be able to score that way. You can't teach scoring. It's just something that kid of develops over time and it's a gift you have. And he has it. And Royce also has it. To let them go head to head and just kind of let them play it out and see what happens is going to be fun to watch."

Knox County's first trip to The Pit this season, during the Tip Off Tournament, proved a disappointing affair. But if you haven't paid the Eagles any attention since, you've missed out on a team that has evolved nicely. And one that is eager to give fans at 10th and Jackson a far better show the second time around.

Summers: "We're getting close. And it's a testament to our kids and buying into what we are trying to do and each one of them just got a little bit better every week. We're really playing at a pace that we want to play at right now. And that's the thing we talk about crossing over into Illinois and playing those games against those teams. It's the pace of the game and the strength of athletes that play the game. It is a different kind of basketball. And when you can force your teams over here to play at that team and that pace that we are used to playing; that fast, it helps us and makes us successful. Our kids are starting to do that right now. And when we dictate the tempo of basketball games over here, we are starting to become pretty successful."

Part of that owes to the further assimilation of low post transfer Lee Tague...

Summers: "Lee..last night kind of....really something clicked there where he figured out that 'I can take the ball and get to the rim on anybody.' He is a 6'3" athlete that's strong and can get a shoulder on somebody, go to the rima nd score. He's starting to put up some serious numbers for us. Not only points but rebounds, blocks, steals. He's very aggressive on the Defensive end too..."

And in that spirit...Payson Seymour may be a perfectly timed litmus test.