Stellar field again set for Sunkist Shootout in Lafayette
With many holiday tournaments taking place between Christmas and New Year’s Day and beyond, one of the beSt. annual events is set for Lafayette beginning Wednesday.
The 34rd Annual SunkiSt. Shootout opens Wednesday and runs through Saturday at St. Thomas More High School.
St. Thomas More, the defending Champion thanks to a win over De La Salle 64-63 in a thriller, is the host schools. De La Salle is not in the field this year, opting to play in the Catholic Baton Rouge Tournament. There other metro New Orleans schools are at Sunkist including Riverside, undefeated this season to date with victories in the Country Day Classic and Sophie B Wright Championship.
In his 33nd year on the job, St. Thomas More head coach Danny Broussard explains the format of this year’s holiday tournament as a reaction to change in the LHSAA.
“We kept the same format this year as last as we have moved to an all select line-up in light of the recent developements with the LHSAA over the past couple of years. We also have a field that is loaded with a good cross-section of teams with most coming from right here in the Acadiana area, plus two very good out of state teams and of course Riverside and Rummel from greater New Orleans. The event has schools from Central and North Louisiana as well.”
St. Thomas More (7-6), Riverside (14-0), Rummel (9-5) and St. Mary’s from Natchitoches (10-1) are the top Louisiana teams entered. Other in-state squads paerticipating include Grace Christian (12-7), Teurlings Catholic (3-9), Episcopal of Acadiana (10-10), Ascension Episcopal (6-8), Westminister Christian (7-5), Evangel Christian (3-9), Notre Dame-Crowley (5-2) and St. Thomas Aquinas (6-5).
Making a return appearance this year is Madison Ridgeland Academy from the Jackson, Mississippi area. Longtime MRA coach Richard Duease is now the all-time winningest coach in Mississippi boys basketball history with 1,024 career boys victories. “We felt they would be a good fit again this year,” said Broussard. “They have won 11 overall MAIS championships in school history and back-to-back MAIS State championships over the past two years.”
The other out of state school at Sunkist this year is 2016 Alabama 7A State Champion and 2017 Alabama 7A Final Four participant McGill-Toolen Catholic (10-4).
The championship game is set for Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
NOTE: St. Martinville and Vermilion Catholic also host tournaments in the Lafayette area this week.
Sunkist Shootout Schedule for Wednesday, Dec. 27:
Grace Christian vs. Westminster Christian at 12:30 p.m.
Archbishop Rummel vs. Teurlings Catholic at 2:00 p.m.
Riverside Academy vs. Evangel Christian at 3:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s vs. Notre Dame of Crowley at 5:00 p.m.
Ascension Episcopal vs. St. Thomas More at 6:30 p.m.
Episcopal School of Acadiana vs. St. Thomas Aquinas at 8:00 p.m.
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Randy Pistorius is a lifelong resident of South Louisiana and is currently working in the communications field in the Baton Rouge Metropolitian Area. Randy’s start in journalism came while still in high school at De La Salle in New Orleans and that carried with him to Southeastern Louisiana University where he wrote for the Lions Roar and also worked in…