Belleville West advanced their record to 3-0 with a 70-68 win over Althoff in the Belleville West/O'Fallon Thanksgiving Round-Robin tournament final. Xavier Price had 16 points for a Belleville team that had four players in double-figures in scoring. Price is averaging 15 points per game through three games.
In the first game of the three-day tournament, Price led all scorers with 18 points in a win over Mount Vernon. The game included what an observer called "a thunderous right-handed slam dunk" by Price.
In game two, Price faced his old team, O'Fallon. He scored 11 points in the 65-47 win, which was closer than the final score suggested until early in the fourth quarter when Belleville scored 12 unanswered points.
Belleville West's next game is in the KMOX Shootout in Saint Louis on December 11th, and event that has drawn Purdue coaches for years. West will face Jackson Lanier (MS) at 3:00 pm of the all-day prep hoop event. The KMOX Shootout will feature six national top 25 players in the seven boys games being held that day.
Price's defensive prowess will be put to the test as Lanier features one of the top juniors in the nation, 6'3 Monta Ellis. Ellis averaged 27.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5 assists and 3.1 steals for the Class 4A runner-up Bulldogs, 31-4. Ellis, who guided Lanier to a 4A state championship as a freshman, is rated the nation's No. 10 junior by The Sporting News, and projects to be a shooting guard in college. Offensively, Price may be able to exploit Ellis. In the 4A state championship game last year, Charlie White lit Ellis up for 23 points -- nine over his season average.