MORRIS — In what has become an annual summer tradition, the girls high school basketball world will descend on Morris next week, as the 23rd Morris Lady Redskins Shootout will take place.
Thirty-two teams from around the state will converge and play games on four courts at Morris Community High School. Games will take place on the three courts in the Morris Rec Center Fieldhouse and the MCHS main gymnasium. Pool play tips off Tuesday at 8 a.m. and will continue throughout the day, with the final round of games starting at 7 p.m.
Then, on Wednesday, the bracket play will begin, also at 8 a.m., with the winners of the the eight four-team pools in the championship brackeet, second-place teams in XXxxx bracet, third-place teams in the Xxxxxx bracket and fourth-place teams in the Gold bracket.
Pool A will consist of Andrew, Plainfield South, Morris, and Coal City; Pool B has Tinley Park, Lockport, Ottawa and Romeoville; Pool C consists of Kankakee, Schaumburg, Minooka, and East Moline and Pool D has Joliet West, Crete-Monee, Downers Grove South and Plano. In Pool E will be Hononegah, Marian Catholic, Highland, and Cnton; Pool F will feature Oswego, Providence Catholic, Geneseo, and Hinsdale South; Pool G will be Plainfield North, Metea Valley, Bloomington Central Catholic, and Kaneland, and Pool H is Joliet Central, Bloom, Oak Park-River Forest, and Benet Academy. On Day 2 of the event, Willowbrook will take Coal City's spot in whichever bracket the Coalers end up.
Morris girls basketball coach Luke Windy is in charge of the event as well as coaching the Redskins' team, and he likes what he sees from the field.
"I am real happy with the field we have this year," he said. "It's nice to get it bak to the full 32 teams. There were some scheduling conflicts last year and there were only 27 teams, so being back to 32 makes scheduling the games a lot easier.
"Plus, all of the teams are 3A and 4A, so the level of competition will be good. There are a couple of teams that made it to state last year and a few that ere in the Elite Eight, so there is some good competition."
Windy pointed out that tickets for the two-day event will cost $8, while a one-day pass will cost $5. Senior citizens will be $5 for the two days and kids 12 and under will be free. The concession stand, located in the Rec Center, will be serving pork chop sandwiches off the grill as well as hot dogs, chips, candy and drinks. The concession stand will be manned by Morris players and volunteers, as the shootout serves as the team's only fundraiser for the year.
Sponsors for this year's event include Buffalo Wild Wings, Turtle's Tap, Corleones and the City of Morris, which is the biggest donor toward the event.
"We are looking forward to it," Windy said. "Everyone who was on our team last yaer is back this year and we have increased our numbers from 14 in the program last year to 26 that we have this summer. We have been more competitive in our games so far this summer, which has been nice to see, so it will be fun to see how we do in the shootout."