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Top Girls Basketball Programs to compete at the Prepcasts Girls Elite Shootout on January 11

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 Highlighting the five-game event is a showdown of Missouri state champions as well as a battle between perennial powerhouse programs from St. Louis and the metro east.

 The battle of state champions will pit Class 5 state champion against Class 4 state champion Webb City. The Red Knights are one of the top programs in the country. They return 6’1″ forward Brittany Carter, 6’2″ center Brianna Puni along with 6’3″ transfer Taylor Manuel, who is rated among the Top 40 players in the nation in the Class of 2012. Webb City returns nearly their entire nucleus from a team that finished 28-1 and won its first state title. The Cardinals are led returning All-State performers Kaitlin Jaeger and Hailey Roderique.

 Class 5 state contender St. Joseph’s Academy will take on Illinois state power Edwardsville High. Both teams have some of the best young talent in the Midwest region. St. Joseph’s returns the talented 6’1″ Stock twins, Maddie and Maddie along with 6’3″ sophomore Sydney Stipanovich. Edwardsville, which finished 31-4 and advanced to the IHSA Class 4A Supersectionals last season, returns a host of talented players, led by 6’0″ senior Mary O’Keefe, 5’8″ senior Cierra Gaines,  6’2″ sophomore Emmonie Henderson, 6’4″ sophomore Taylor Robinson.

 Suburban North Conference champion Hazelwood Central will take on St. James from the Four Rivers Conference. The Hawks return the standout guard trio of Jasmine Crawford, Candyce Ussery and Erika Beard from an 18-8 team. St. James finished 25-4 and advanced to the Class 4 quarterfinals. They return top players Rachel Connell, Brittany Harris-Conway and Kyra Walters.

 A pair of solid basketball programs from outside the St. Louis area will also square off as Ozark High takes on St. Joe’s Benton, a Class 4 district champion in 2010.

 Class 4 Final Four participant St. Dominic will take on Class 3 state contender Hermann. St. Dominic returns top point guard Jennifer Rocha and forward Kelly Schnieders and Liz Wilmes from a 25-5 team than finished fourth in the state tournament. Hermann returns four-year starter and scoring whiz Shelby Winkleman from a team that finished 26-4 and advanced to the Class 3 state quarterfinals.

 In just three short years, the Prepcast Elite Girls Shootout has become one of the top events in the region. It should be an exciting day of girls basketball in early January.

 For more details on the event as well as some of the best high school coverage in the state, you can visit the website, Prepcasts.com.

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