Champions will defend their title next year at JQH Arena.
The field for the 2016 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions is set to feature the defending champions along with a pair of local hopefuls coming off good seasons.
The Oak Hill Academy Warriors will be back in Springfield to take on the best in high school basketball over the third weekend in January. Kickapoo and Bolivar join a field of eight teams that also includes 2015 Missouri Class 5 third-place finisher Chaminade. Six states will be represented.
According to Springfield Public Schools athletic director Mark Fisher, the tournament will also include five-time Tournament of Champions winner Christ the King of Middle Village, New York. Christ the King sports a 31-14 all-time T of C record and last won it all in 2008.
Oak Hill Academy finished the 2014-15 season at 47-1, taking a loss in its final game of the season against Montverde Academy of Florida in the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Oak Hill graduates five Division I players from this year’s Tournament of Champions winner, but stands to return prospects Joe Hampton, Khadim Shy, seven-footer Rodney Miller, Lindell Wiggington and Ty’Shon Alexander.
Bolivar placed fourth in the Missouri Class 4 playoffs last month. The Liberators finished 26-6 and return their entire starting five, including leading scorers Brandon Emmert and Bryce Krueger. Bolivar makes its second T of C appearance, following a 1-2 outing in 1998.
Kickapoo won the tournament in 2005. The Chiefs’ all-time record is 21-27 over 16 appearances. Kickapoo will graduate seven seniors from a squad that went 24-5 and reached the sectional playoffs this past year. Isaac Johnson, Niekie Thomas-Fontleroy and Jared Ridder look to return to the lineup and be key contributors in the coming winter.
2016 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions field
Rainier Beach (Seattle)
Christ the King (Middle Village, New York)
Chaminade (St. Louis)
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, California)
Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)