HERMANN - The Warriors have their work cut out for them as they aim to repeat as champions at the 40th Annual Hermann Boys Basketball Tournament, which opens play Monday.
Seeded No. 2 last year, they took down Hermann and St. James before toppling top-seeded Montgomery County, 58-48, for their first tourney title since 2003.
But this year Warrenton (4-10) received the No. 7 seed and plays No. 2 St. James in the opening round on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the middle school.
The Tigers, 7-5 overall and winners of four of their last six, are led by 6-foot junior guard Andrew Branson, who averages 20.9 points per game and dumped in a career-high 45 in a win over Dixon last month. Senior Tyler Recker, also a 6-foot guard, averages 13.2 points.
The Warrenton/St. James victor meets the winner between No. 3 Montgomery County and No. 6 Chamois in the semifinals on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the high school. The losers meet at the same time at the middle school for the consolation semis.
In the top half of the bracket, No. 8 Wright City (4-7) squares off against No. 1 Hermann (11-3) on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the high school.
The Wildcats did not fare well when they hosted the Bearcats on Dec. 21, suffering a lopsided 68-38 defeat.
Chet Moeckil, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, scored a career-high 29 points in that game and went seven for 12 from the 3-point line, and 6-4 center Trent Anderson had 14 points for Hermann, whose only setbacks have come against Bowling Green, St. Clair and Washington.
Junior Dillon Seabaugh had a team-high eight points for the Wildcats, who were without 6-3 big man, Bryant Lucio in the December matchup with the Bearcats.
Monday’s Wright City/Hermann winner plays the victor between No. 4 St. Clair and No. 5 New Haven in the semifinals on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the high school, while the losers meet at the same time at the middle school in the consolation semis.
The tournament championship is set for Saturday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m.
LADY WARRIORS AT WASHINGTON TOURNAMENT
Warrenton’s varsity girls basketball team has received the No. 5 seed and takes on Southwest Missouri School and No. 4 Waynesville in the opening round of the Fifth Annual Washington High School Basketball Tournament at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
The Warriors have a 6-7 overall record while the Tigers are 4-5.
Monday’s Warrenton/Waynesville winner battles the victor between top-seeded Lutheran South and No. 8 Washington in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday, while the losers meet in the consolation semis at 4 p.m.
The bottom half of the bracket features No. 2 Pacific against No. 7 Ursuline, and No. 3 Holt versus No. 6 Parkway West in the opening round.
The championship is slated for 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25.
In last year’s tournament, Warrenton fell to Washington in the opening round, but rebounded to win the consolation championship, defeating Ursuline and Lutheran South in the title game.