I almost lost track of time. We’re less than three hours from the start of one of the most competitive small school basketball tournaments in the state of Missouri. Who ya got tonight?
No. 8 Fayette (G) vs. No. 1 Glasgow (4:30 p.m. tip-off): Every time I wonder why Fayette and Glasgow don’t play each other in the regular season, I remind myself it’s likely they’ll see each other at some point during the Glasgow Tournament or Slater Wildcat Classic. Glasgow bounced back from a tough home loss to New Franklin with two straight wins, while Fayette is on a 10-game losing streak. Glasgow could have a heyday against Fayette inside, but I’m not sure that’s going to be necessary. Prediction: Glasgow 64, Fayette 32.
No. 8 Fayette (B) vs. No. 1 Sacred Heart (6 p.m. tip-off): The last time these two teams played each other, it was the greatest high school basketball game I covered. Fayette beat undefeated and state-ranked Sacred Heart to win the 2011 Slater Wildcat Classic. The past two times these two teams faced each other, Sacred Heart was the No. 1 seed and Fayette won games that, on paper, they had no business winning. Doesn’t that sound similar to today’s game? History is on your side, Fayette. Prediction: Sacred Heart 85, Fayette 41.
No. 5 Sacred Heart (G) vs. No. 4 Slater (7:30 p.m. tip-off): Just like the previous game, when these two teams tend to face each other in this tournament, it’s usually in the championship game, not in the first round. This ought to be the first of two great 4-5 games. Prediction: Slater 44, Sacred Heart 39.
No. 5 Glasgow (B) vs. No. 4 Pilot Grove (9 p.m. tip-off): This is the game to see tonight. In my opinion, the loser should cruise to a 2-1 record this week, while the winner will have a really tough time doing better than 1-2. Glasgow enters the game with an 11-4 record, Pilot Grove an 11-3 mark. This would be the equivalent of a district championship matchup in Class 1 basketball, but this week, it’s just a first-round game. Head-to-head, both teams have split with New Franklin, and the remaining losses have been to pretty darn good Class 2 programs. I’ve never seen Glasgow lose in the first round of this tournament, and I don’t see that changing today. Prediction: Glasgow 55, Pilot Grove 51.