Since the inception of the Capital City Shootout, California has been a participating team every year. For coach, Bobby Sangster, it's one of the best early-season opportunities on the annual schedule.
With the Pintos having played just two games so far —both wins — this season's edition of the competition carries some added weight.
"It's always been such a good experience," Sangster said. "You get to play in a fantastic venue against a quality opponent in front of people who love basketball. All the way around, there are positives about playing in this event."
California has a date with a familiar foe in Hermann (2-1). It will be the third time the teams have met at the Shootout, with the Pintos having won both previous matchups. This time around, however, will be a challenge for California.
"They were a preseason top-10," Sangster said. "I have to be on my game because coach (Todd) Anderson is so good. He's had a ton of success. When he's on the sideline, he doesn't have to say much because they're so well prepared."
After a hard-fought win against Boonville to begin the season, California earned a 59-23 win Monday mightagainst Tipton. The standout in the win against the Cardinals was Elizabeth Lutz, who poured in 21 points in three quarters mainly by attacking the rim and hitting the open 3-pointers.
Alongside Lutz, the Pintos boast an array of contributors. Senior guards Kayla Allison and Ellie Wirts have constantly done all the little things on both ends of the floor. The pair has also given opposing backcourts fits with their energy and activity.
In the post, California is led by Cameron Meyer, who was named honorable mention in the Tri-County Conference last season. Meyer will be counted on heavily on the defensive end to help stop a Hermann frontcourt that contains multiple 6-footers.