Nike Tournament of Champions Recap: Part 1
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA)
Mitty kicked off the start of the 2016 Nike TOC as the victim of an upset at the hands of Grandview High School (CO). The game was easily the most exciting of the day. Despite the loss, Mitty came back on the second day and picked up a nice win over a good St. Francis (GA) team. Mitty, a team who several had as a top 5 team in the country prior to the tournament, had plenty of talent throughout its entire roster. In the game against Grandview, UC-Irvine commit Tahlia Garza, came away as the high scorer with 12 points. Over the two games of Mitty that were viewed, St. Mary's commit, Maddy Holland, was the most productive. In addition to her scoring capability, she showcased the intangibles that every coach looks for. Haley Jones, a 6'1 2019 guard, came off as the most impressive prospect. Karisma Ortiz displayed a BCS level potential with nice size and game, but is perhaps playing out of position at the point guard slot. Needless to say, Mitty is loaded with Division 1 talent throughout the entire roster.
Brentwood Academy (Nashville, TN)
Brentwood Academy arrived just hours before tipping off the tournament versus a solid Carondelet (CA) team due to weather related factors. The jet lag only seem to have an effect on Brentwood Academy for the early portion of its opening game. Brentwood Academy, a likely top 5 team in Tennessee, started out fairly slow, but picked it up in the second half due to a resilient game by 2018 Sydni Harvey. Harvey scored a game-high 30 points against Carondelet, and followed up on Tuesday with a 19 point performance against a strong Good Counsel (MD) team. Harvey was also aided by the outstanding play of 2020 guard's Blair Schoenwald and Maggie Brown. Schoenwald, a lefty, made some nice plays and big time shots in the first two rounds of the tournament. Brown had a solid opening game to the tournament, but had a nice scoring performance against Good Counsel dropping in 19 points in a variety of ways. UT-Chatt. signee, Bria Dial, played consistently while battling against taller opposition in both games.
Cardinal O'Hara (Springfield, PA)
O'Hara came in as a veteran senior dominated team, but as Pennsylvania state rules allow, only had one game under their belt entering the Nike TOC. As it was, they came within a possession, or two, of taking down a more athletic, and talented, St. Mary's (CA) team. O'Hara found themselves up five points with under four minutes left in the game. The decision to be made was to either go into a stall offense with strong point guard play, or to continue to shoot to increase the lead. O'Hara had several nice scoring opportunities on the next couple of possessions, but missed both. In return, St. Mary's answered with big buckets, took the lead, and O'Hara could never recover. In looking at O'Hara's personnel, they are a true system team playing unselfishly. The key player on the team is Drexel commit Hannah Nihill. The point guard displayed an ability to run the team and score her share of points in intelligent fashion. Another major contributor for O'Hara was Saint Joseph's commit Mary Sheehan. Sheehan found herself scoring inside, and outside, of the paint. The forward also displayed a high IQ herself. A third player to note is Villanova commit, Mackenzie Gardler. Gardler hit several timely shots in the games viewed. This O'Hara team is a team who could produce great results as they play so well together.
Carondelet (Concord, CA)
Carondelet opened the tournament in a dog fight with previously mentioned Brentwood Academy (TN). The team followed the opening loss up with a 17 point victory over Sonora (CA) on day two. Carondelet had nice play at the forward position from Maaeva Dwiggins. The attacking forward displayed an athletic ability that allowed her to attack the rim aggressively while elevating over defenders. Dwiggins was also complimented by the post play of Ali Bamberger. Bamberger came off as a center with a developing skill-set around the basket. Both players appeared to be at least mid-major prospects. Carondelet has the reputation of being a good system team usually with a couple of Division 1 players on its roster.