The 2022 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions has come to an end and it lived up to the hype.
There were plenty of storylines, great performances and thrilling moments that gave those in attendance something they will remember for years to come.
Each tournament comes with unique features that have you sad when it's over and even more excited for the next year.
Here is what we'll remember from the 2022 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions:
2022 BASS PRO TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS COVERAGE
Paul VI didn't care about the Sierra Canyon hype
All of the attention heading into the tournament was on Sierra Canyon but Paul VI didn't care as it came away with the championship win.
Paul VI was solid throughout the event with Dug McDaniel and DeShawn Harris-Smith shining bright.
McDaniel came away with the tournament's MVP honor before he heads to Michigan next season. The speed he helps the Panthers play at was too much for everyone in the tournament. He can finish at the basket, toss a fancy pass and knock down the big jumpers when he's called upon.
Harris-Smith came in ranked just outside of the Top 100 in the junior class but we think that might change soon after what he accomplished over the three days. In the title game, he scored 23 points with 13 coming from the free-throw line.
Paul VI's 72-65 win over Sierra Canyon in the title game might have come as a surprise to those in attendance but it wasn't to a Panthers team that lost to the Blazers the month before. They came out hungry and wanted it more.
"It means a lot of me to walk out of my high school career knowing that I won Bass Pro," McDaniel said. "I couldn't say that two years ago. Just being able to say that I won Bass Pro and bringing this trophy back to Virginia just means a lot to me."
Sierra Canyon helped the tournament break records
The 2022 tournament promised to be the biggest edition of the Bass Pro yet and it didn't disappoint.
Every attendance record fell over the three-day stretch and that's thanks in large part due to the hype around Sierra Canyon and its roster full of top recruits.
The day one, two and three records all fell which obviously meant the three-day combined record was shattered. Championship night on Saturday saw 10,828 enter the doors — which is the third-biggest crowd in JQH Arena history only behind Missouri State men's basketball winning the Valley in 2011 and the JQH Arena opener in 2008.
The three-day span saw 27,977 enter JQH Arena when the previous record was set in 2020 with 22,553. The tournament even passed its estimated range of 25,000-27,000 based on ticket sales going into the event.
Sierra Canyon didn't win the tournament but it also didn't disappoint.
The sold-out crowd on Saturday caught glimpses of Bronny James, the son of NBA superstar LeBron James, as he threw a one-handed slam down and hit some big shots late. Amari Bailey, the No. 3 recruit in the country headed to UCLA, looked the part with three solid performances. Other top-level recruits had their moments as well.
Sierra Canyon is the most popular high school basketball program in the country. Getting it into JQH Arena produced a tournament that no one will forget.
The local teams made Southwest Missouri proud
Parkview, Nixa and Catholic were excellent choices to represent the Ozarks throughout the three-day stretch as they turned in some great performances against some of the nation's best.
Parkview started the tournament by winning the respect of all in attendance when it played Sierra Canyon close while taking an initial 13-3 lead and having the game within three with 2:07 left in the third quarter. The Blazers pulled away but we saw the heart of the Vikings as they went up against a juggernaut.
Nixa followed by giving Milton all it could handle. Nixa played a better game and maybe deserved to beat a team with some of the best guards in the country but Milton broke its heart with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to advance. The Eagles followed by getting their revenge over Catholic before beating Parkview in the consolation championship.
Catholic couldn't come away with a win but it put up a fight in each of its three games including on the opening day in a loss against eventual champion Paul VI. Senior guard Zach Howell scored 30 points while the Irish pulled the game within one with 4:11 left. The Irish had a chance.
All three saw their best players have big performances, they played with heart and they didn't let the pressure of playing top-ranked teams faze them.
Southwest Missouri takes a lot of pride in its basketball. These three teams gave us plenty of reasons to be even prouder this week.
Buzzer-beaters and great performances
The second day of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions had three of its four games end within three points. There were three major buzzer-beaters. There were multiple players who put on performances that will have us saying "I watched him play in high school" when they're in the NBA just a few years from now.
The basketball that was played over the event was at an incredible level that will be among many fans' favorites of the 37 years of the tournament.
Day 1 started with Bruce Thornton knocking down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to top Nixa. He might have been the tournament's best overall player while scoring 74 points and putting on a show in each of the Ohio State signee's three games.
Day 2 started with maybe the tournament's best game between Parkview and New Madrid County Central when the Vikings were down by three with time winding down. Elijah Whitley threw up a 3 at the buzzer and it went in to force overtime.
In overtime, time was ticking down with the score tied at 44. Right before the clock ran out to force a second extra period, Xzavia McArthur threw up a deep shot at the buzzer to give the local team the win.
Day 3 saw a championship played at a high level between two of the best teams in the country. A star-studded floor capped off a memorable tournament we'll talk about for a while.
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. He's also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: 2022 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions: What we'll remember