Hillcrest, Nixa on opposite ends of Tournament of Champions bracket

Hillcrest, Nixa on opposite ends of Tournament of Champions bracket

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Hillcrest, Nixa on opposite ends of Tournament of Champions bracket

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The two local teams avoided each other in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions bracket, which was announced this morning.

But perhaps more importantly for the Nixa Eagles and Hillcrest Hornets: Both teams avoided a first-round date with Montverde (Fla.) Academy in the Jan. 17-19 event.

Montverde, ranked No. 2 nationally in the USA TODAY Super 25, features the most blue-chippers in the 29th annual field for the signature southwest Missouri high school basketball showcase.

The Florida program has three players ranked in the top 15 nationally as prospects by Rivals.com. That includes Kasey Hill, a Florida commit ranked No. 9 in the senior class, and Dakari Johnson, the No. 13 player in the senior class.

Coach John Schaefer’s Hillcrest team will play Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI in the 6:30 p.m. game on Jan. 17 at JQH Arena. Then, coach Jay Osborne’s Nixa Eagles will play Mount Washington (Ky.) Bullitt East at 8 p.m.

The other first-round games feature Plano (Tx.) Prestonwood Christian against Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco at 5 p.m., and then Little Rock (Ark.) Hall and Montverde in the 9:30 p.m. nightcap.

The semifinals and finals will be carried live this year on CBS Sports Network, a first for the tournament.

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Hillcrest, Nixa on opposite ends of Tournament of Champions bracket
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