The 2023 Norm Stewart Classic kicks off its three-day run at Mizzou Arena Thursday. The annual event is named for legendary Mizzou basketball coach and Shelby County native Norm Stewart. Appropriately both the North Shelby girls and boys basketball teams will open play on opening day. The Lady Raiders bring a 2-2 record into their matchup with Tuscumbia. They’re coming off a 47-33 loss to Milan in the championship of the Tri-Rivers Classic. Coach Chris Parsons says that was a good learning experience for his young team.
Sophomore Hadlee Parsons is the scoring leader for the Lady Raiders averaging 16.3 points-per-game. The Lady Raiders defeated Orrick 77-12 last season at the Norm Stewart Classic. This year they will face a young Tuscumbia squad that brings a 3-2 record into the contest. Parsons scouts the Lady Lions.
Tuscumbia is coming off back-to-back wins over La Monte and Columbia Independent. They feature no seniors and just one junior on their roster.
The North Shelby boys follow with a tough test against the Higbee Tigers. The Raiders beat Crane in each of the last two years at the Norm Stewart Classic. Coach Cody Stoneburner says playing in this shootout is an exciting experience.
The 1-3 Raiders are being opposed by a Higbee team coming off their first loss on the season. The 3-1 Tigers fell to Brunswick 79-56 on Saturday in the Mendon Tournament Championship. The Tigers feature a prolific offense led by Derek Rockett, who is 55 points away from 2,000 for his career. Coach Tanner Burton says his team will need to adapt quickly to the Mizzou Arena environment.
Coverage of the opening two games from the Norm Stewart Classic can be found on KTCM 97.3 and centralmoinfo.com beginning at 10:20 am. Colin Schowe will have the play-by-play.