St. Elmo Tourney "Tips Off" Tuesday
Pirates, Vandals looking to steal title; host Eagles, Aces in the hunt

ST. ELMO – The 59th annual St. Elmo Holiday Tournament begins tonight with eight teams vying for the championship in the bracketed event.

The tournament has attracted two 2A teams along with an unbeaten Thanksgiving tournament champion along with the host Eagles, who are the defending champ.

The top-seeded team is Cumberland, a 2A club from the Little Okaw Valley Conference that came into the event last season.

The Pirates head coach is Justin Roedl and his team is sitting at 3-4.

However the strength of the Pirates' schedule warranted the lofty slot in the bracket.

They have wins over Dieterich, Newton along with Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond.

The loses are to some good ones; 2A unbeaten Casey-Westfield, 2A Marshall, 1A Altamont and 3A Charleston.

The top two scorers for Coach Roedl have carried most of the load for the Pirates.

Zach Wolke, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, leads the crew with 22.3 points a night and 8.5 rebounds.

Six-foot Myles Gerhardt is a senior guard who is averaging 13.5 p.p.g.

Six-foot-three sophomore Brennyn Cutts has missed the first six games but will be available at St. Elmo this week.

The second-seed in the event is Vandalia, led by head coach Brian Buscher.

The Vandals enter the week at 2-2 overall with wins over 1A Altamont and 1A South Central and defeats coming at the hands of 2A South Central Conference rival Staunton and 2A non-conference foe Carlyle.

Blake Barth, a 6-foot senior, has sparked the Vandals' attack with 20.8 points a contest.

He netted 33 in the victory over Altamont and tossed home 26 in the road loss at Carlyle last Saturday.

Two other Vandalia players are averaging double-figures; Blake Morrison and Matthew Wells.

Morrison is a 6-foot-1 senior who is right at 16 p.p.g. with a season high 20 in the Carlyle game.

Six-foot-three junior Wells is at 13.5 a night for Coach Buscher.

Coach Greg Feezel has his St. Elmo/Brownstown Eagles sitting at 4-4 on the young season.

SEB started out the season with three consecutive wins over Ramsey, Father McGivney and CH/BC before dropping the title game to Mulberry Grove at the Aces' Turkey Tournament.

They dropped an overtime decision to South Central before winning on the road at Neoga in the same fashion, edging the hosts, 54-53 in OT.

They have double-digit losses to North Clay and Effingham St. Anthony coming into the tournament.

Andy Goldsborough, a 6-foot-1 junior, is off to a fine start for Coach Feezel as he is aveaging 12.9 p.p.g.

Three other Eagles are bunched together giving the team some scoring balance.

Five-foot-ten junior Bryton Pruett is averaging 8.4 points a night while Nick Rosborogh, 5-foot-11 sophomore, is at 8.8 points.

Jace McWhorter, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, is averaging 8.3 p.p.g.

The number four-seed in the event is Mulberry Grove.

Coach Andrew Beckham has the Aces in high gear, sitting at 7-0 on the season.

A 4-0 start at its own Thanksgiving Tournament, MG took care of Patoka, Mt. Olive, South Central and St. Elmo/Brownstown.

The 56-46 win over the Eagles was in the title game.

The seedings of this event came out before the Mulberry Grove Tournament was concluded.

Coach Beckham has a four-year starter leading the way as 5-foot-7 senior guard Courtlyn Latham, who is tossing home 19.1 points a night.

Latham recently passed the 1,000-point plateau and could end up over 1,500 before the end of his prep career.

Wyatt Criner, a 6-foot-5 junior, is averaging 14 points and nine rebounds a game and 5-foot-9 junior Kaleb Scoggins added 10 points to the totals.

Donta Latham and Braeden Links are adding five and four points respectively as the Aces are averaging nearly a 20-point margin of victory so far this winter.

The other three wins this season are home victories over Bunker Hill and Patoka and a road win over Sandoval.

The St. Elmo Holiday Tournament will be a much tougher test.

Patoka enters the event with just a 1-6 mark but Coach Joe Eddy likes the improvement and the work ethic of his young Warriors' club.

But he is searching for more consistency for his group as they have but a single win, 84-68, over Mt. Olive at the Mulberry Grove Thanksgiving Tournament.

Five-foot-ten junior Tyler Alexander leads the Warriors in scoring at 9.7 points a contest.

Jordan Gebke, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, is next on the list with 8.7 points while 6-foot-1 junior Colton Hill adds to the points with 7.8 p.p.g.

Ty Cain, a 5-foot-7 junior (6.9 p.p.g.), 6-foot junior Hunter Jolliff (5.6 p.p.g.), 6-foot-4 senior John Burks (4.9 p.p.g.) and 5-foot-9 senior Dominic Beyers (4.6 p.p.g.) have all helped out in scoring.

The Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City Bobcats picked up an opening night win over Father McGivney at the Mulberry Grove Thanksgiving Tournament but have dropped seven consecutive games since as they enter the holiday tournament.

Coach Donovan Riley is getting production by four players who are all over nine points a night.

Six-foot senior Dylan Webster leads the Bobcats with 12.0 points a game.

Keegan Martin, also a 6-foot senior, adds 10.1 points a night while 6-foot senior Nick Miller and 5-foot-11 Trace Smith are at 9.5 and 9.4 points a game respectively.

The Ramsey Rams are 5-3 on the season with wins over CH/BC (2), Mt. Olive, Decatur Christian and Martinsville.

The Rams are averaging 52 points a game.

Six-foot-one juniors Drew Carroll and Koester Cook are leading the Rams.

The Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg Hatchets enter the tournament with a 4-4 record.

They have wins this season over Urbana U-High, Sangamon Valley, Sullivan and Arcola while they have lost to Cerro Gordo/Bement, Villa Grove/Heritage, Dieterich and Shelbyville.

According to reports, as nothing ever gets sent to ABV from this coach, seniors Jackson Miller and Beau Bennett are double-digit scorers for the Hatchets.