Field of eight assembles for Tiger Shootout

Saturday, January 5, 2002

Annual event to be held today at Cape Central.

By Bob Miller ~ Southeast Missourian

Cape Girardeau Central will host its seventh annual Tiger Shootout today starting at 1 p.m. at the Tiger Fieldhouse.

The event features four of the area's boys basketball teams against four teams from the St. Louis area.

Jackson will start things off, taking on Jennings at 1 p.m., followed by Notre Dame and Vianney at 2:30, New Madrid County Central and Whitfield at 4 and Cape Girardeau Central vs. Parkway South at 5:30.

"We've got such a good facility here at Cape Central and Southeast Missouri is such a premier area for basketball, that this is just an excellent opportunity to let us represent the area and showcase some teams," said Cape Central athletic director Terry Kitchen. "This is a great opportunity for people to come out and watch some basketball."

The most interesting matchup appears to be the New Madrid-Whitfield game.

NMCC, the two-time defending Class 3A state champions, will take on a Whitfield squad that features two NCAA Division I players -- twin brothers Dan and Mike Oppland -- who are headed to Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Dan Oppland is 6-foot-9 and averages 24 points and 12 rebounds per game, while his 6-8 sibling averages 19 points and eight rebounds per contest.

Whitfield's record of 7-4 (all records are before Friday) does not match up with New Madrid's 8-1 mark. The Eagles, despite playing in the 3A football title game, are off to a fast start with their only loss being a two-point setback to Carbondale, Ill., one of the best teams in Southern Illinois.

The first game doesn't appear to be much of a matchup. Jennings, though strong in tradition, is down this year at 1-11 with several blowout losses. There is quite a bit of a local connection with Jennings, though. Coach Randy Carter is a Cape Central and Southeast Missouri State University graduate. He played basketball at Southeast from 1973-76.

Vianney is 4-6, but, as a solid 4A school, it should challenge Notre Dame. The Bulldogs are 7-4 and recently took third place in the University High Christmas Tournament.

Cape Central (3-8) is showing steady improvement, but will have its hands full with Parkway South (7-6), which has been competitive against some good teams this season.

"This is a great chance for area fans to see several quality local teams they might not normally get to see," said Cape Central coach Derek McCord. "As a coach, it gives me a chance to do a little scouting."

Tickets for the event are $3. No passes will be honored.

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