With the football and soccer state championships finally bringing the fall sports season to a conclusion, a full schedule of high school hoops on Monday marks the official start of the winter sports season in Creve Coeur.
Last year, superstar basketball player Bradley Beal and the No. 1-ranked Chaminade Red Devils were the story to follow on the local sports scene.
This season, we’ve got a list of five storylines we think Patch readers will want to follow all season long. (And we encourage our readers to please let us know, if you know of a better Creve Coeur sports story we somehow missed.)
Here’s our list of five stories to follow in Creve Coeur this winter:
#1 – What happens with Chaminade, now that Brad Beal is at Florida?
The Devils were 27-0 heading into the MSHSAA state quarterfinals last year, and
Beal was voted and won nearly every Player of the Year award in Missouri as well, but this year, will have a completely new team with only one of its top eight scorers from last year returning.
That player is junior guard Andy Kleinlein, who came off the bench last year, and averaged 7.7 points/game.
6’4 forwards Austin Allen and Harry Ott are the only seniors on the team this year, but will be joined by a talented junior class, which features 6’6 post Jack Hummel, speedy 5’9 guard Marcellus Miller, and 6’2, 225-pound football star Brandon Minor.
Chaminade will begin its season at the Pattonville Tournament, with a game Monday night, against the host Pirates.
#2 – Can De Smet win a state championship?
The Spartans bring back a player considered one of the best in the area in 6’8 Junior power forward Nolan Berry, and are expected to be ranked among the top teams in the state (possibly No. 1 in the state) when the first rankings are released later this week.
And after going 23-6 last year, and reaching the state quarterfinals, with three of those losses against Beal-led Chaminade, De Smet looks like it’s going to have a fantastic club.
Berry, and will be joined in the Spartan frontcourt by 6’11 senior center Eric Moeller, and forwards John Barron (6’7), Alec Bausch (6’6), and Joey Lodes (6’6).
In the backcourt, 5’10 junior Jimmy Barton returns. He's a dead-eye three-point shooter, who also led the club in assists last season.
Even the Spartan guards (besides Barton) are big, with 6’4 senior Jamie Hudson, 6’3 senior Mike Asleson, 6’3 senior Curt Gielow, and 6’3 sophomore Mitch Plassmeyer all in the mix of possible starters and key reserves this season.
De Smet will open its season Monday night at the Whitfield Tournament, with a 6 p.m. contest against Sumner High of the Public High League, before moving on to a highly anticipated Wednesday night matchup at Whitfield, against Cardinal Ritter Prep, which is led by 6’7 Notre Dame University-recruit Cameron Biedsheid.
#3 – Can Parkway North’s Darrell Johnson live up to the hype?
Coaches from all over the country are expected to trek their way to Fee Fee Road all winter long to see ifs 6’8, 240-pound power forward Darrell Johnson is as good as advertised.
He certainly was last year, when he led the Vikings to a 16-10 season, while averaging 12.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game.
Coaches like Illinois’ Bruce Weber and Mizzou’s Frank Haith have already been out to see Johnson work out, while several top mid-majors, including Murray State, Southern Illinois, Missouri State, Tulsa, Detroit, UTEP, and Indiana State, have reportedly offered Johnson a scholarship.
This season, the Vikes won’t have the same senior leadership they did last year. So it’ll be up to Johnson to lead the club in every way and prove he’s worthy of all the praise he’s received after a strong performance on the AAU summer basketball circuit.
#4 – Hockey, Anyone?
One local public-school that’s off to a record-setting start is , which is 9-0 so far, and features some of the top scorers in the area, including seniors Logan Harnetz and Tyler Kuhn, who both have 10 goals this season; junior Andrew Potter-Gray, who has 12 goals and three assists, and St. Louis-area leading scorer Joseph Kavanaugh, who’s already tallied 20 goals and 11 assists this season.
The Pirates have a game Monday at 9:20 p.m., at the Hardee’s Ice Plex in Chesterfield against Parkway West.
#5 – Area Girls Hoops Teams Expected To Shine
With defending state champ Incarnate Word Academy expected to dominate the Large Schools girls basketball scene, a pair of local Small School teams are hoping to do the same in their respective leagues.
Last year, was 22-1, and ranked among the best teams in the area, before suffering the upset of the season in a district playoff loss against Nerinx Hall.
This year, the Rams are back to finish what they started, with 6’3 junior center Taylor Robinson (14.3 pts/game, and 9.3 rebs/game) leading the way.
Ladue opens the season, Monday at Fox, at 6 p.m.
The programs at Pattonville and Parkway North bring back two of the area’s top scorers from last year, with the Pirates featuring 5’11 senior Mikala McGhee and the Vikings following the lead of 5’10 junior Amber Alexander.
led Pattonville, which went 15-9 last year, in nearly every category, with 17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 5.5 steals per game.
Alexander was also quite good, with a 16.8 points a game average.
Parkway North open the season, with a 7 p.m. game Monday against Parkway Central, while Pattonville will get started on Thursday night, with a home game against Ft. Zumwalt North.