Christie Clinic Shootout: A showcase of top downstate small school basketball teams

Unity's Henry Thomas dribbles the ball around a Normal University High player during the Christie Clinic Shootout game in 2023. Already on a three-game slide and 8-6 a the midpoint in the season, the Rockets lost 56-48 to the Pioneers. Currently undefeated this season at 13-0, Unity returns to the shootout lineup this weekend to face Quincy Notre Dame at 5 pm on Saturday.

ST. JOSEPH - St. Joseph-Ogden High School will host the Christie Clinic Shootout this Saturday, with the first game tipping off at 11 am between Streator and Normal Community West. Six more varsity basketball games will follow (see schedule below) for a full day of exciting prep basketball.

The school will also host a JV side of the shootout, with the contests starting at 9 am in the school's practice gym.

Admission for adults is $8.00 for the day and $5.00 for students with their student ID.

Christie Clinic
Varsity Schedule

11:00 AM:
Streator vs. Normal West

12:30 PM:
Carterville vs. Normal University

2:00 PM:
 New Berlin vs. Monticello

3:30 PM:
 Belleville West vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais

5:00 PM:
 QND vs. Unity

6:30 PM:
 Pinckneyville vs. SJO

8:00 PM:
 Washington vs. Mt. Zion

Junior Varsity Schedule

9:00 AM:
Streator vs. Normal West

10:30 AM: Carterville vs. Normal University

12:00 PM: New Berlin vs. Monticello

1:30 PM:
Belleville West vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais

3:00 PM:
QND vs. Unity

4:30 PM:
Pinckneyville vs. SJO

6:00 PM:
Washington vs. Mt. Zion

What's the competition look like?

St. Joseph-Ogden (10-2), Unity (13-0), Normal University (9-6), and Mount Zion (14-0) are the four teams returning from last January. The Rockets and the Braves have yet to suffer a loss this season.

Five programs - SJO, QND, U-High, Carterville, and Pinckneyville - made deep postseason runs last year. The Panthers from P'ville were only three points away from state appearance, falling to Teutopolis in the supersectional, 42-40.

Last year's shootout winners included host St. Joseph-Ogden, Normal University High, Mount Zion, Centennial, and Beecher.

New teams to the shootout include programs from downstate Illinois with strong, winning traditions. Belleville West, Bradley-Bourbonnais, Carterville, New Berlin, Normal West, Quincy Notre Dame, Pickneyville, Streator, and Washington join the line-up this January.

The Spartans, Rockets, and Monticello Sages (6-7) will represent the Illini Praire Conference on Saturday.

Here is a brief rundown of what went down in last January's installment.

Peoria Notre Dame 51 - Kankakee 46
A lackluster third-quarter performance by Kankakee erased a nine-point halftime lead over Notre Dame. The Irish outscored the Kays 13-3 in the period on the way to a 51-46 win in the final game of the day at the Christie Clinic Shootout.

St. Joseph-Ogden 59 - Nashville 35 The Spartans beat last year's Class 2A state champions with ease. SJO's starting five put the game on cruise control in the third quarter.

Normal U-High 56 - Unity 48
Henry Thomas, who finished with a team-high 13 points, was solid in the paint for the Rockets while senior Will Cowan tossed in four treys for 12 points in a hard-fought battle against the Pioneers. Jay Saunders and Dalton O'Neill contributed seven points apiece in the loss.

Mount Zion 70 - Bloomington 49
The Braves (17-2) had a foursome finish in double-figures on their way to knocking off the Raiders in the midday game at the shootout. Carson Cuddy led all scorers from both sides of the scorer's table with 22 points, 13 tallied in the third quarter.

Centennial 39 - Addison Trail 34
Picking up their fifth win of the season, the Chargers (5-7) worked their way out of a 12-point deficit to slide past the Blazers in the lowest-scoring game of the day at the shootout. Silent during the first half, Preston Sledge collected all of his game-high 14 points in the second half.

Beecher 64 - Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin 48
The Bobcats (17-1) handed senior Brett Meidel and the Blue Devils their fourth loss of the season.

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