After steady improvement over the past two seasons, the Festus Tigers are looking to keep that momentum headed in the right direction.


After steady improvement over the past two seasons, the Festus Tigers are looking to keep that momentum headed in the right direction.
The Festus High School boys’ basketball team will be making its second consecutive trip to the US Bank/Rolla High School Holiday Invitational next week.
The 23rd annual US Bank/Rolla High School Holiday Invitational is scheduled for Dec. 29-31 at the Rolla High School gym.
Teams in this year’s field include Festus; Westbury Christian, a private school from Houston, Texas; Rogers, Ark.; Washington; St. Joseph Benton; Waynesville; Salem, and host Rolla.
In first-round games on Monday, Dec. 29 Salem plays Festus at 4 p.m., Waynesville takes on Benton at 5:30 p.m., Rolla faces Westbury Christian at 7 p.m. and Washington meets Rogers at 8:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, Dec. 30, the Salem-Festus loser plays the Waynesville-Benton loser at 4 p.m. while the Rolla-Westbury loser plays the Washington-Rogers loser at 5:30 p.m. in the losers bracket.
In semifinal games on Dec. 30 the Salem-Festus winner takes on the Waynesville-Benton winner at 7 p.m. while the Rolla-Westbury winner plays the Washington-Rogers winner at 8:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, Dec. 31 the seventh-place game is slated for noon, the fifth-place game is set for 1:30 p.m., the third-place game is slated for 3 p.m. and the championship game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Rogers is the tournament’s defending champion, clipping Waynesville in double-overtime in the 2007 title game.
Familiar With Rolla
Festus head coach Shawn Erickson returns to the Rolla area for the second straight year. Erickson served a successful seven-season stint as head coach at Belle High School, finishing with a 118-66 mark with that school.
Under Erickson Belle won three consecutive Gasconade Valley Conference championships; won back-to-back district championships for the first time in school history; set a school mark in single-season wins (26), and had three straight 20-win seasons.
Erickson left Belle for Festus, where he is in his third seasons as coach. After a 12-13 record in his first season at Festus, the Tigers finished 16-10 overall and 7-2 in the Jefferson County Conference in 2007-08.
There are several of those lettermen from last season back.
The Tigers took a 2-3 record into Monday’s non-conference tilt with Sullivan -- their final game before coming to the Rolla event.
“We can shoot it pretty well,” Erickson said. “We need to be able to defend and rebound better than we have the last couple of seasons. I’m excited and one reason is that we are healthy right now. Our main goal is just to get better every game.”
Leading the charge for the Tigers has been 6-3 junior forward Cody Roberts, who is averaging 20.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and shooting 60 percent from the field.
Also for Festus 6-0 junior guard Zach Bey averages 10.6 points; 6-3 junior forward Ryan Yuengel averages 7.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 steals; 5-10 senior guard Alex Wilkey 7.8 points and 3.6 assists, and 6-1 junior guard Brendon Neel 5.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists.