The 31st annual US Bank Holiday Invitational is right around the corner, as action will kick off on Thursday, Dec. 28 at Rolla high school and Missouri S&T.
There are a few shakeups to the tournament lineup this season. In the girls' bracket, Licking joins the tournament this season, filling in for Newburg. On the boys' side of things, Springfield Central and Rockwood Summit join the fold, replacing Waynesville and Liberty.
Those new squads will face off against returning schools in the girls' bracket, Rolla, St. James, Waynesville, Smith Cotton, Lindbergh, St. Clair and North County. In the boys' bracket, returning schools include Rolla, Hogan Prep, Pacific, Warrensburg, Hickman and Mexico.
Last season, the Rolla boys lost in the championship of the tournament to Hogan Prep. Last year's championship was an offensive shootout, with Hogan Prep outlasting the Bulldogs 94-78. In the girls bracket, St. James dominated the tournament last season, winning all three of their games by at least 10 points. The Lady Tigers beat Lindbergh in the championship 57-36 in 2016.
Rolla has played in the boys' championship in each of the last four seasons, winning once in 2015. St. James has also played in championships for each of the last four seasons, winning the girls' championship three out of the last four years.
The first game of the tournament will be played at 1:00 on Thursday, Dec. 28 at Rolla high school when the Waynesville girls face off against Smith Cotton. The boys' bracket kicks off at 2:00 when Hogan Prep and Springfield Central face off at Missouri S&T. The Rolla girls' first game will be at 4:00 on Thursday at the high school and they will face off against St. Clair. The Lady Tigers will follow them, facing North County at 5:30. The Rolla boys will cap off the first day of the tournament when they face off against Mexico at 7:00.
The US Bank Holiday Invitational will be played Thursday through Saturday and you can find a program for the tournament in this weekend's edition of the Rolla Daily News.