In full-on countdown mode for the 2013 KHQA SUBWAY Superfan Shootout, this is Duerrisms for January 29th.
We are presented here, as always, by our good friends at GAMEMASTERS. Got a chance to spend some time with Don and crew earlier last week for their 10th Anniversary Celebration featuring special guest Mike Matheny. What a neat event for the Quincy Community and what a rare opportunity for Gem City Cardinal Fans to get a rare audience with the Redbirds Manager. A big thanks to the GAMEMASTERS Folks for all the neat things they do for our community and for affording us a little of Mike Matheny's time for the live interview on Tuesday Night at 6pm. Found the Cardinals Manager to be a strong ambassador for his club and incredibly (almost shockingly) candid and open in answering questions that the fans had for him about specific players. He was also quick to point out that he considered his time spent in a deer stand wielding a bow his own personal "psychotherapy" from his regular gig. Makes me think I need a better hobby...but I digress.
Big week here at KHQA. Obviously, we are hosting some kind of football game on our airways on Sunday but that is small potatoes here. This is KHQA/SUBWAY Superfan Shootout Week, easily my favorite event of the winter. Three Games on Friday. Nine Games on Saturday. One location. One low ticket price as we are offering you access to all twelve basketball games for six dollars in advance (on sale now at all participating schools) or eight dollars at the door. That works out to roughly a fifty cent layout per game. Try finding a cheaper way to entertain your family. I dare you. Plus we will have great food, plenty of intriguing halftime entertainment, and good conversation with fellow basketball lovers from all corners of the Tri-States and beyond. The event has really become a bit of a basketball summit over the years and a fun chance for folks to get together and see some truly great talent. Plus, if you show up for the opening game on Saturday morning, I hear tell there is a fair chance you might get a free breakfast out of the deal. So I hope you can make it out to The Pit at some point on Friday and/or Saturday to take in the fun. If you do, come on up and introduce yourself or say hello. Ross and I will be there all day with video cameras in hand. And if you can't make it to Quincy, be sure to watch our Special OVERTIME wrap up show on Saturday Night will all manner of breakdowns and fun from the festivities. But we are still going to try and entice you to make the trip, nevertheless, with all manner of previews in the coming days: both in this space and on the TV-side.
Lest, I forget...we are giving you a chance to match wits prognosticating the outcome of this year's KHQA/SUBWAY Superfan Shootout event with the rest of the Tri States as well as myself, Ross Green, and Celebrity Guest Expert Jack Cornell. Just go to the top of the KHQA Sports Page at ConnectTriStates.com, click on the icon for the Superfan Shootout and make your picks. And we will see just how smart a fan you really are....or just how dumb a fan I happen to be.
A reminder to all you social media users out there: you can follow me on Twitter (
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KHQA STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK presented by CELL TECH, PETERS HEATING and AIR, and SUBWAY
Now in its eighth year of existence, the KHQA Student Athlete of the Week Award celebrates the best and brightest examples of achievement in Tri State Athletics. Every Wednesday Night at 6:00pm, we will profile a deserving senior selected from a pool of applicants by our independent nominating committee. It's a look beyond just their highlights into the mindset and determination that make these young men and women successful in all that they do; a reminder to all of you just how much good there is out there to be celebrated in this generation. And at year's end, we will once again award scholarships to the top boys and girls scholar athletes in our area.
If you know of a deserving senior who sports a minimum 3.5 GPA, please contact your high school athletic director and have them fill out a form on that student's behalf. Or help expedite the process yourself by printing a nomination form from our website (which can be found on the Student Athlete of the Week Page) and turning it in to your local athletic director so that they can submit it to us. Our LAST nominating session is in March, at which point we will pick our final 15 honorees from the pool of seniors. The window of opportunity to nominate a deserving applicant is closing fast. We don't want to miss anyone in the process and sincerely hope you will help us out in that spirit. Act Now!!!
Week One: DALTON POWELL, Hannibal High Football/Basketball/Baseball
Week Two: INDIA GREEN, Quincy High Volleyball
Week Three: JILL HARRIS, Beardstown Softball/Volleyball/Basketball
Week Four: CARLI WATSON, Hannibal Volleyball
Week Five: HANNAH TRUMP, Clark County Softball/Basketball
Week Six: NICK WEIMAN, QND Football
Week Seven: BRENDAN ROSS, Louisiana Basketball/Football/Golf/Baseball
Week Eight: ETHAN BORROWMAN, Pittsfield Baseball/Basketball/Cross County
Week Nine: PEYTON GRUBER, Paris Basketball/Softball
Week Ten: ALEX DIETRICH, Quincy High Volleyball
Week Eleven: JAKE VOSS, Payson Seymour Basketball/Golf
Week Twelve: BRODY GRONEWOLD, Illini West Basketball/Football/Baseball
Week Thirteen: TRACI KELLER, Central Lee Basketball/Volleyball/Track and Field
Week Fourteen: AUSTIN EGLEY, Clark County Football/Basketball/Track and Field
Past Scholarship Winners
2012: ALEX WALTER, Central High (Augustana College)
TORI KUHN, Quincy Notre Dame (Lindenwood College)
2011: JACOB CONLEY, Central High (U.S. Military Academy at West Point)
DAKOTA FLESNER, Payson Seymour (John Wood Community College)
2010: MICHAEL LAFFERTY, Illini West (Monmouth College)
TAYLOR BAXTER, Palmyra (Illinois State)
2009: MATT PATTERSON, South Shelby (Truman State)
CHLOE BARNES, Quincy Notre Dame (Ball State University)
2009: LUKE GUTHRIE, Quincy High (University of Illinois)
2007: KATELYN BASTERT, Illini West (Duke University)
2006: MIKAL BENECOMO, Clopton (Southeast Missouri State)
KHQA/SUBWAY SUPERFAN SHOOTOUT BREAKDOWN
QUINCY HIGH VS MENDON UNITY GIRLS (5:30pm)
We kick off the affair with a sneaky good Friday Night special right out of the gate. Brad Begeman's Lady Mustangs, fresh off securing a 20 win season and earning their first ever Central Tournament Title, get a chance to test themselves against much larger competition in a Quincy High Squad that has made some very positive strides and created a few next level moments of its own under first year coach Demond Dade. I am intrigued by this game in large part because it creates some unique individual matchups, particularly in the post where the crafty and effective, if undersized, Brooklyn Moore will put her skills to the test against one of the region's longest defenders in Jordan Fletcher. The guard pairing here figures to be equally intriguing with a couple of the area's quicker passing lane defenders in Maggie Bowles and Angel Bradford getting ample opportunity to wreck havoc and quicken the pace. The biggest draw, however, is a pairing of likely First Team All Area Honorees as John Wood pledge Arai'ya Dade deals with one of the area's most versatile combo players in Breanne Begeman, who offers guard skills and mindset in a forward's frame. How that Dade vs Begeman tete-a-tete plays out may well shape who wins this game. These are two very gritty teams who have the potential to bring out the best in each other. To be honest, we put a lot of effort this year in upgrading the Friday end of the schedule and this is probably the best tip off game we've had since going to the two-day schedule.
SPRINGFIELD HIGH VS QND GIRLS (7:00pm)
In the spirit of upgrade, after two years of fun if lopsided Quincy High/QND girls couplings in this spot, we went out and landed a real marquee opponent for the Lady Raiders. Unfortunately, our hopes for a pairing of Top Five Teams (QND in 3A, Springfield in 4A) may have taken a hit on Saturday when a very gifted Southeast squad (coached by former QHS boss Sandi DeVoe) up-ended the Senators in the Springfield City Championship Game 73-63, handing SHS just its second loss of the season. At the time of this writing, I don't know how far that drops the currently 4th ranked Senators in the 4A Poll. Still, mightily impressed with the job Brad Scheffler has done in crafting a 22-2 record from a squad that just big good bye to the best player in school history in Zahna Medley, who is tearing it up as a Freshman at TCU. The Senators won't lack for marquee value though with Air Force signee Ashton Williams as the headliner. That established, Springfield High's strength is balance and versatility with one of the best and most athletic Starting Fives the Lady Raiders will have seen this year. This is a team that has B+ or better defenders at every position and no real option you can afford to sag off on on defense. Courtney Pence, Julia Rosen, Meghan Fetter and Anika Webster are all capable of double digit scoring around Williams, who should give reigning KHQA Player of the Year and Mizzou Pledge Jordan Frericks her toughest Defensive Assignment to date. This is a game that we could have very easily slotted into the Saturday Night 7:30pm marquee spot and been perfectly happy with as a spotlight moment for the Lady Raiders. The fact that a pairing this good is the "easier" contest for Eric Orne's girls tells you just how strong this Shootout will be this season; and just what a ridiculous gauntlet QND has to run this week.
NORTH LAWNDALE PREP VS QND BOYS (8:30pm)
North Lawndale posted a fourth place finish in the AA Division at the State Farm Classic this past December and gave Rock Island all it could handle in a 69-61 loss in that event. Slashing 6'5" Wing Keith Mack is the go-to player here, a junior with tremendous natural athletic ability and explosion who is still chipping away at some of the soft spots in his game; that according to a smattering of Midwest Recruiting websites. There seems to be high regard as well for Sophomore Guard Montre Enos. To be brutally honest with you, my only real point of access on The Phoenix has been watching highlight clip cut-ups on HighSchoolCube, so I am afraid I can't offer you much insight other than to say that North Lawndale prep is very quick and athletic across the board, if especially in the backcourt. And The Phoenix have played a tremendous schedule, including a 24 point loss to Whitney Young (a game in which North Lawndale was as close as seven in the 3rd Quarter) MaxPreps lists their record at 9-5 at this point, but 14 total games seems a little light to me this late in the season.
HARDIN CALHOUN VS CLOPTON GIRLS (9:00am)
We bring back the Lady Warriors and Lady Hawks for a third head-to-head meeting in the infamous Donut Game. Larry Lagemann's Lady Hawks are currently 12-6 on the season and coming off a third place finish at the Bowling Green Tournament, an event which saw them bounce back from a perfect storm of badness game against arch rival Bowling Green in the Semifinals. The Lady Hawks have gotten a wonderful junior campaign from point guard Shelby Dunn, who is averaging just under 16 points per game and has tallied double digit scoring in all but one of her team's contests this year. She is also averaging better than 2 steals per contest. Calhoun is a tidy 14-8 this season and playing really decent basketball in the wake of star Jocie Klocke's graduation. Sophomore Emma Baalman is quickly proving to be one of the more promising members of the Basketball Class of 2015. These two teams have waged a pair of down to the wire thrillers the last two years, including Calhoun's 52-51 victory last February, which dictates that we bring them back for one more go at each other.
PAYSON SEYMOUR VS KNOX COUNTY BOYS (10:30am)
Reason to set the alarm clock here, kids. The most interesting pairing of the morning slate might we be this cross-river battle between the Indians and an Eagle team that has clawed its way back to the .500 mark after a November to forget. Styles make fights, right? In one corner, you've got a Payson Seymour team that just flat attacks you offensively with pace and aggressiveness and boasts a pair of outstanding slashing scorers in Jake Voss and Player of the Year candidate Cody Hildebrand. When it's running right, there may be no more entertaining small school team in Tri State Basketball to watch. What the Indians run into in this contest, however, is a legitimate rim protector in Lee Tague, who exists to take away the layup and attack angles upon which Payson-Seymour kids feast. The Indians bread and butter offense hits the the Knox County defense right at strength. And as if that weren't subplot enough: you've likely got Hildebrand checking one of the area's most consistent and effective scorers in Royce Poore, one of the most versatile, clever, and reliable scorers in the game. What I have loved about this game since we initially scheduled it is that we are putting together a matchup of teams who will each put 5 kids with above average athleticism on the floor at any time; all of who just absolutely love to attack the rim. And as an off-shoot, curious to see what shakes out when Gage Klitz and Lee Tague pair up in the post; two of the most explosive big men in our area. This game has all kinds of "steal the show" potential from the "under-card" and if I picked just one morning/early afternoon game to catch: this would probably be it.
SILEX VS PITTSFIELD BOYS (noon)
Brad Tomhave will always have a standing invitation to this Shootout because his teams have traditionally played so darned well in it. And to our relief, the Saukees seemed to have their annual "Moment of Basketball Epiphany" last Friday in destroying a really good Unity team to snap a six game losing streak. Which if history is any indication means Pittsfield is about ready to stage it's annual crescendo into the postseason from this point forward; having "Come to Jesus" if you will after a crossroads fourth quarter against Macomb. Look, there isn't anything elegant or pretty about the Saukee Offense. The strength of this team is defense and Pittsfield got back to its roots in limiting the Mustangs to just 34 points on Friday at Voshall, despite "losing" the tale of the tape in the paint coming into that game. Pittsfield compensated for the Unity Bigs and got back to doing the little things that distinguish great Brad Tomhave teams. Silex is probably in a very tough spot this week if that same Saukee effort is in evidence at The Pit. I got to see Silex in Clopton earlier this winter and I will give the Owls this: they have the requisite patience on Offense not be thrown by Pittsfield's choice of pace. The Owls also have a really nice player in Austin Fleming, who is athletic and very dangerous from the perimeter and three players total averaging better than 10 points per game. But too many of the things the Owls like (need?) to do offensively to be successful play right into Pittsfield's hands. I expect the Tomhave Superfan Streak to continue here.
ILLINI WEST VS WEST CENTRAL GIRLS (1:30pm)
After a difficult start at the always loaded Galesburg Tournament, the Chargers have found traction at 16-10. They were a "video review" away from playing into the Championship Semifinals at Beardstown and potentially a meeting down the road with these same West Central Lady Cougars. As I like the fact that our Shootout offers (or at least tries to offer) unique pairings, I am glad this isn't a rematch. From a pairings standpoint, I think the tempo on this game could be exhilarating. The Chargers love to go up tempo and have a tremendous floor general in Graci Bastert to feed a really nice collection of girls who can score the basketball; including the rising Elyce Trout, Aubrie Carlisle and Michaela Gronewold. Brian Bettis, meanwhile, will look to attack outside in with a collection of the most fearless (and avid) three point shooters in Tri State Girls basketball. The Lady Cougars don't lack for snipers. And when the shots are falling, they are a defensive headache for everyone. And just to keep everyone on their toes, the Cougars unleash Abby Lashmett down low to clean up messes/enforce the paint just so no opponent can sell out fully on the perimeter here. There is some variable here coming into play as you never know who will be hitting shots or who won't in The Pit; but if both teams walk-in Saturday with their A games Offensively and executing their game plans, this game will be wildly entertaining in both its pace and perhaps its scoring output.
ILLINI WEST VS NORTH LAWNDALE BOYS (3:00pm)
This will be a brutal and potentially telling week for John Hughs and the Illini West Chargers, who get their own special gauntlet of Paxton Harmon and Wisconsin commit/Rockridge star Ethan Happ coming off Friday's ugly, revenge-tinged loss to Monmouth Roseville. The Chargers may be in a lot of different places come Saturday. Either trying to maintain momentum from a paradigm shifting week full of high volume wins. Or fighting not to lose their fourth straight. I've got IW Guard Brody Gronewold in my top Five right now for Player of the Year honors and this could be a week that either furthers his candidacy or undercuts it, depending upon how well his team fares against some very well-heeled opponents. The kid is a dynamic player who has really streamlined his game for excellence this season. Doesn't make many mistakes. Makes a lot of game change plays at both ends of the floor. Runs a team really well. Now he's got to do so without key weapon Ethan Neally (shoulder) and against a North Lawndale team that will be more athletic (and I believe longer) at every other spot on the floor on Saturday. Should be one heck of a litmus test.
WEST HANCOCK VS ROUTT GIRLS (4:30pm)
The quality of this game will depend on two factors: Which West Hancock team shows up. And how many healthy bodies the snake-bitten Routt Lady Rockets can keep on the floor. The Titans have been luminous at times, so much so that they ought to scare everyone whose playoff road they cross. The ability to consistently summon that kind of Beardstown Tournament level effort we saw from the girls, however, has been their undoing. Clearly, the Titans don't lack for weapons with Allison Dewald, Shelby Koehler, Madison Harmon and Carly Runge all having taken star turns at one time or another this season. It's a really nice collective of talent that fits together. It just hasn't always seemed "in synch" I guess for lack of a better description. Routt came into this season as a Top 3 area team with a group of seniors we were thrilled to snare for this Shootout. Then the luminous Johanna Gross tore up her knee. Then in January, the outstanding Alyssa Garde got hurt in White Hall. And somehow Joe Eilering has done a Coach of the Year level job keeping this thing together with scotch tape and Katie Tonry and Natalie Halpin carrying the day. This still has the earmarks of a pretty good matchup. Still, I'd be lying to you if I told you there wasn't some lament in not getting to watch a couple of really outstanding playings from Routt Catholic grace our game.
WEST HANCOCK VS ELSBERRY BOYS (6:00pm)
Our Triple Marquee starts with a game that features two of the elite talents in Tri State Boys Basketball: West Hancock's Paxton Harmon and Elsberry Super Sophomore Kenny Lesley. Lesley is a 6'9" forward getting Division One recruiting attention from Wisconsin and most of the teams in the Missouri Valley. I also have it on very good authority that the University of Missouri is now aware of his talents and vetting him for future recruitment. Lesley is nearly AVERAGING a triple double at 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 blocks per game, if you needed any further indication of his talents. He is also well flanked with athletic guards, including the speedy Charles Fraction, who is a highlight reel show in his own right. But Elsberry is also a team in an awful funk right now; not exactly the place you want to be when facing a Reno Pinkston coached team. West Hancock is coming off a hard scrabble and most impressive win at The Pit over Quincy Notre Dame, which tells you just how detail-focused this Titan team can be. A week ago it look to be going off the rails after a loss to Payson. Seven days later, with road wins at Keokuk and QND under their belts, the Titans have re-established a very formidable equilibrium. If he isn't the best player in Tri State Basketball, Harmon is at least the most important, given what he provides his team from floor leadership, to confidence, to flat out ability to score. More interestingly headed into this game, I thought Titan Big Man Parker Gibbs is coming off his best effort of the season in checking QND star Center Matt McPherson, which makes the head to head with Lesley even more intriguing. If you are a basketball fan, there really is no viable reason to miss this game. It's your chance to bird dog what might just be the best player of the present and the best prospect for the future on one court in what may be the only intersection of these two programs...ever. Plus you are going to need to be in the stands for the start of this game if you have any prayer of securing a good seat for the two games to come.
ROLLING MEADOWS AT QND GIRLS (7:30pm)
Best game in the Shootout might well be the best regular city girls pairing in the State of Illinois this regular season. Rolling Meadows Coach Ryan Kirkorsky, to his credit, wanted this game desperately to prove his team was legit. Rolling Meadows only loss was a nine point defeat against Lombard Montini, the squad the QND Girls will likely have to beat to earn their first 3A Crown. The Lady Mustangs are 23-1, ranked 3rd in the state in 4A and blessed with the most viable threat to the Lady Raiders we've seen since Rock Bridge two years ago. Rolling Meadows calling card is extraordinary guard play. How much so? Three Division One Recruits in the mix in point guard and defensive wiz Jackie Kemph, fellow junior Jenny Vliet (who averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds a game as a guard last year) and superb shooter Alexis Glasgow, who already has nine Division One Scholarship offers to her credit. If this sounds like a team built to break QND's vaunted and ridiculously nasty press, well, there you have it friends. This is a different type of challenge than Edwardsville last season, but no less worthy. This isn't having to deal with Emmonie Henderson and her size and strength in isolation. This is QND's best players all drawing an equally elite Defensive Assignment in return. And this is Eric Orne putting his girls to this State Title Game level challenge after a 72 hour run through two other Top Five teams in the IHSA State Rankings. This has all the makings of an all out war; two teams that defend at an elite level for girls basketball mirrored up to see whose resolve is greater. And from all I gather, it sounds like Glasgow and Kassidy Gengenbacher are nearly the same exact player. The key to this entire game is Kemph. No disputing her talents; but nothing to this point can remotely prepare her for stepping onto the floor and seeing Jordan Frericks, seemingly all arms and legs, ready to trap. That's when this thing becomes a battle of wills and skills. And the ultimate test of a point guard's intelligence. QND has withered many a good point guard before. Break this one and QND's already formidable legend grows.
ALTON MARQUETTE AT QND BOYS (9:00pm)
What a great way to end the day. I got a chance to see the Explorers against Pittsfield at the Jerseyville Tournament and they are a gifted lot, led by 6'7" Senior Center Jake Coddington, ridiculously gifted junior guard D'Tae McMurray, and wing Deion Lavender. Coddington is very skilled and remarkably efficient and his head to head pairing with Matt McPherson should be an outstanding (and rare) battle of future college big men. I know there are a number of Division Two programs keeping tabs on Coddington and he's clearly a kid who plays the game with some intelligence and savvy. The Explorers clearly have some athletes that QND can't afford to let lose, lest you are looking at dunks and posterizations at the other end of the floor. And they've got a Jamal Crawford type bench presence in Michael Williams-Bey who can flat ignite an offense with a spark. More to it, Alton Marquette seems to be playing its best basketball of the season coming off a roller coaster go of it at Jerseyville. This will be a very high level test for QND, particularly in the backcourt where a healthy Sam Douglas would clearly help in keeping the McMurrays of the world well guarded. The Raiders will need some bounce. Both these teams have size and the ability to knock down shots. Both these teams have deep benches. To be honest, I did not see anyone on the Marquette roster however who could guard Alex Fitch, who is probably going to have to have a big game offensively to give QND a chance to win here. Fitch's ability to play both inside and out and pull defenders to the perimeter hits the Explorers at Defensive Weakness. They didn't do a very good job checking Pittsfield on the perimeter and I can envision Fitch camping on the wing and triple-threating this Marquette team to death with either jump shots, drives or well place passes, one of his tremendous gifts. On paper, slight edge in talent to Marquette. The home court and intangibles go to QND. In every sense though, this a truly fun pairing.
KHQA SUBWAY SUPERFAN SHOOTOUT
February 1st and 2nd-Quincy Notre Dame High School
2013 Participants with standing College Commitments
JORDAN FRERICKS, QND Mizzou
ASHTON WILLIAMS, Springfield Air Force
KASSIDY GENGENBACHER, QND Lindenwood
ARAI'YA DADE, Quincy High John Wood
2013 Participants garnering College Recruiting Attention
ALEXIS GLASGOW, Rolling Meadows (Bucknell, Loyola, Bradley, Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Valparaiso, Wisconsin -Milwaukee, Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Rutgers, Florida and Pepperdine)
KENNY LESLEY, Elsberry (Wisconsin, Creighton, Missouri State, Central Michigan)
JAKE CODDINGTON, Alton Marquette
PAXTON HARMON, West Hancock
MATT MCPHERSON, Quincy Notre Dame
JACKIE KEMPH, Rolling Meadows
D'TAE MCMURRAY, Alton Marquette
JORDAN FLETCHER, Quincy High
JENNY VLIET, Rolling Meadows
EMMONIE HENDERSON, Louisville
ANNE MARIE HARTUNG, Texas
CHAS MCFARLAND, Wake Forest
TAYLOR MANUEL, Purdue
TORI NIEMANN, Western Illinois
JENNA MUELLER, Saint Louis
MIKE SMITH, East Tennessee State
DONALD LAWSON, Western Michigan
BRANDI TIPTON, Ole Miss
OLIVIA LETT, Southern Illinois
MARLEY HALL, Western Illinois
MIKAL BENCOMO, SEMO/Maryville
ANTONIO TOPPS, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
ALI SCHWAGMEYER, Charleston Southern/Quincy University
CHLOE BARNES, Ball State
BRANDON MCCANN, Rockhurst
JESSICA REDD, Truman State
MATT PATTERSON, Truman State
CORNELIUS CHATT, SIU-Edwardsville
KARLEE GENGENBACHER, Minnesota State
EVAN MCGAUGHEY, Quincy University
BRIANNI PUNI, Illinois State
BRITTANY CARTER, Ball State
DEVEAN OMOHUNDRO, Missouri-St Louis
TIFFANY KING, Illinois College
RYAN STUCKMAN, Quincy University
JULIAN JOHNSON, Missouri S&T
JON GILLIAM, Central Missouri
DALTON HOOVER, Quincy University
CIERRA YOUNG, Quincy University
TORI KUHN, Lindenwood
BRAD HAMILTON, John Wood Community College