FLORIDA POWER TAKES ANOTHER SHOT AT TOURNEY
Bishop Verot High (Fort Myers, FL) returns to New Orleans for a second straight year to participate in the 4th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic January 2-4 at the Alario Center in Westwego, sponsored by SportsNola.com.
Known more for its championship baseball and soccer programs, Bishop Verot is on the rise in basketball, ready to make its mark under coach Matt Herting.
Blue-chip senior center Ricky Doyle (6'9 235) is back after an injury-plagued junior season. A Michigan commitment, Doyle is off to a brilliant start this season as one of the top players in Florida. Senior Evan Williams (6'0, 170) returns from last season as well.
Twins Jack (6'0, 170) and Quinn Kavanagh (6'0, 170) are seniors who both started at times last year. Junior Thaddeus 'T-Boy" Ward is the second leading scorer. "Both of his parents are LSU alums so he will have a good following there and they are all excited," Herting said.
Junior guard Steve Wagner is playing well. His brother, Mark, is a former star at Bishop Verot as an all-state player. Still, the star attraction is Doyle and Green says he will not disappoint fans.
"He's playing great, averaging nearly 30 points per game," Herting said. "He has a chance to a special player. We did not shoot it well in the City of Palms Tournament so we look forward to playing better in New Orleans."
The Vikings won their first game in the tournament a year ago and Herting feels his team is better prepared this time around.
"I think the experience of having been there last year will help us quite a bit, what to expect," Herting said. "We like the venue and we are comfortable coming back and playing better. It is a great tournament."
Doyle averages nearly 28 points and 11 rebounds per game. Ward (6'3, 175) is averaging in double figures. Wagner (5'7 145) and the Kavanagh brothers are other solid contributors for the Vikings.
Herting has already led his Vikings to the always tough City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, losing to teams from Georgia, Colorado and Miami but growing as a result.
Bishop Verot graduated 6'5 star Mason Taylor, along with point guard Max WIlliams. Still, the Vikings have a roster ready to face the kind of stiff competition they will engage in Westwego.
"That's why we wanted to come, to face the good competition," Herting said. "i cannot tell you how much we enjoyed the hospitality there. We really enjoyed the experience. Now, we want to win more games. We won our first game last year and we want to win more this year and play well. The timing of the tournament is great. We get some practice time over Christmas to correct mistakes and arrive in New Orleans playing well."
Expect more from Bishop Verot the second time around in the New Orleans area.