Riverside's Jared Butler shoots over Scotlandville's Jonathan Horton on Dec. 17 at Scotlandville.

April Buffington

The tournament's official name is the Country Day Classic.

But the always tough four-day event could just as easily be dubbed the Tournament of Champions.

Five LHSAA state champions from last season are in the tourney that begins Wednesday and concludes Saturday in Metairie.

"It's a heck of a tournament with some really good teams," Country Day coach Mike McGuire said.

Country Day, which won the Division III state championship this past season, is one of the five reigning state champions in the field. The others are Landry-Walker (Class 5A), Scotlandville (Division I), De La Salle (Division II) and Crescent City (Division V).

How stacked is the field year in and year out?

Country Day, one of the most tradition-rich programs in the city, has yet to win its tournament that began in 2000.

The Cajuns will have to get through a rugged field to hoist the trophy in its  gym.

"Riverside is probably the favorite, but you can never count out Scotlandville," McGuire said.

Undefeated Riverside, led by Alabama signee Jared Butler, is coming off of a stellar week that included wins over Scotlandville and Madison Prep. The Rebels gave Scotlandville and LSU signee JaVonte Smart their first home loss since Dec. 21, 2015.

Smart was named Most Valuable Player of the Country Day Tournament in 2016 as Scotlandville won it for the second time in three years.

St. Paul's and St. Thomas More are also teams in the field that have started well.

Country Day is looking to reach the tournament's championship game for the first time since 2008, when it fell to then-Reserve Christian.

The Cajuns are 6-3 this season, their first in five seasons without point guard Romin Williams, the Most Outstanding Player on the LSWA's Class 2A all-state team this past season.

"We are rounding into shape," McGuire said. "Eight of our top nine guys are football players, so they are really coming around. I really like our size. We have five kids who are 6-foot-4 or taller, and we have two or three really good guards."

Point guard Clint Nicholas, along with Kaleb Jenkins, Justin Ibieta, Shawn Royal and Ross Talbot make up the starting five for Country Day.

"Kaleb has really played well," McGuire said. "The biggest surprise has been Sean Royal who has led us in scoring. Our other kids are starting to come around and I think by the end of the year, we will be pretty good and reputable. We play about eight guys and I think once everybody gets into shape and learns their role, we can be competitive."

Country Day Classic Tournament


Game 1: St. Paul’s vs. John Curtis, 2:30 p.m.

Game 2: Hahnville vs. Riverside, 4 p.m.

Game 3: Catholic-BR vs. Rummel (Court 1), 5:30 p.m.

Game 4: Karr vs. Crescent City (Court 2), 5:30 p.m.

Game 5: Country Day vs. Northshore (Court 1), 7 p.m.

Game 6: St. Thomas More vs. McDonogh 35 (Court 2), 7 p.m.

Game 7: Landry-Walker vs. De La Salle, 8:30 p.m.


Game 8: Game 5 loser, Country Day-Northshore, vs. Game 1 loser, St. Paul’s-John Curtis, 1 p.m.

Game 9: St. Charles Catholic vs. Game 3 loser, Catholic BR-Rummel, 2:30 p.m.

Game 10: Scotlandville vs. Game 3 winner, Catholic-BR-Rummel (Court 1), 4 p.m.

Game 11: Game 7 loser, Landry-Walker-De La Salle, vs. Game 2 loser, Hahnville-Riverside, (Court 2) 4 p.m.

Game 12: Game 7 winner, Landry-Walker-De La Salle, vs. Game 2 winner, Hahnville-Riverside, (Court 1) 5:30 p.m.

Game 13: Game 4 loser, Karr-Crescent City, vs. Game 6 loser, St. Thomas More-McDonogh 35, (Court 2), 5:30 p.m.

Game 14: Game 5 winner, Country Day-Northshore, vs. Game 1 winner, St. Paul’s-John Curtis, 7 p.m.

Game 15: Game 4 winner, Karr-Crescent City, vs. Game 6 winner, St. Thomas More-McDonogh 35, 8:30 p.m.


Game 16: Game 8 loser vs. Game 13 loser, 10 a.m.

Game 17: Game 9 loser vs. Game 11 loser, 11:30 a.m.

Game 18: Game 10 loser vs. Game 12 loser, 1 p.m.

Game 19: Game 14 loser vs. Game 15 loser, 2:30 p.m.

Game 20: Game 9 winner vs. Game 11 winner, 4 p.m.

Game 21: Game 8 winner vs. Game 13 winner, 5:30 p.m.

Game 22: Game 14 winner vs. Game 15 winner, 7 p.m.

Game 23: Game 10 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 8:30 p.m.


Game 24: Game 16 loser vs. Game 17 loser, 10 a.m.

Game 25: Game 16 winner vs. Game 17 winner, 11:30 a.m.

Game 26: Game 21 loser vs. Game 20 loser, 1 p.m.

Game 27: Game 18 loser vs. Game 19 loser, 2:30 p.m.

Game 28: Game 18 winner vs. Game 19 winner, 4 p.m.

Game 29: Game 21 winner vs. Game 20 winner, 5:30 p.m.

Third-place game: Game 22 loser vs. Game 23 loser, 7 p.m.

Championship game: Game 22 winner vs. Game 23 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.