Ready or not, the high school basketball season has arrived. Who are the teams to watch out for this year? That's an easy one.
Like last year, Poplar Bluff and Charleston should be the big dogs in Southeast Missouri.
After those two schools, things get interesting. Judging from last night's performance, Dexter should be pretty good.
We will see exactly how good in the following weeks as the Bearcats face Sikeston, Notre Dame, Jackson, Twin Rivers and Bluff leading up to the Bloomfield Tournament.
Speaking of tournaments, Cape Central is taking care of business up in Farmington.
Ryan Delph scored 24 and Scott Chestnutt added 20 on Monday to beat Riverview Gardens.
The Tigers have a tougher test on Friday when they take on New Madrid County Central in pool play.
NMCC showed some potential in the Riverbend Classic and could hand it to Cape.
In local tournament action, the Oran Invitational is wide open. Scott City and Bell City both rolled past their first-round opponents, but Twin Rivers and Scott Central can't be counted out.
Thursday's games could go either way.
When all the smoke clears, I see Dominitrix Johnson and the Bell City Cubs hoisting the championship trophy on Friday night.
Give the third place trophy to Twin Rivers and the consolation title to Kelly.
Down in the Bernie Tournament, things are going as planned. Second-seeded Clarkton will face third-seeded Risco in the semifinals on Thursday.
The winner of that game should play Campbell on Saturday for the title.
With the one-two punch of Kyle Carlisle and Andrew Halford, I like Risco's chances of winning the whole thing.
In the Woodland Tournament, Delta pulled off a big upset last night with an 80-70 win over third-seeded Meadow Heights. The Bobcats will face second-seeded Bloomfield on Thursday in the semifinals. The other semifinal game is top-seeded Advance versus Leopold.
Who will win Friday's championship game? Like everybody else, I like Jim Hall's team.
Portageville will open its season at Kennett on Friday night. The Bulldogs' track record in openers isn't so hot -- they've lost five straight.
And this year, Portageville will be counting on several new players to fill in for eight seniors lost to graduation.
The Bulldogs might struggle early, but they should pick it up around Christmas time and be one of the top teams down in the Bootheel.
Chaffee will also be in action on Friday at Saxony Lutheran, the new school in Cape Girardeau.
Last year the Crusaders went 18-4 against junior varsity and freshman teams.
This year they've jumped into the Mississippi Valley Conference and will play against varsity squads.
Chaffee lost to East Prairie in its season opener last night. Jordan Sanders had another huge night for the Eagles, scoring 26 with eight 3-pointers.
East Prairie is now 2-0 and could add a few more wins with upcoming games against Egyptian, Senath, Oran and Richland. The Bloomfield Tournament had better start looking for somebody else to give the 16th seed to.
It looks like EP will finally be able to sleep in on the day after Christmas.