Girls Basketball Menu / Archvies
- Written by Don Francis
- Published on December 26, 2011
- Hits: 28434
An array of firepower from the 6A's top ranked hoop teams will headline the states top girls Holiday Tourney. Plenty of local teams have a shot at winning the tournament.
Nine of the ten Top 6A teams are entered this season in the Interstate, Lots of changes are in store in Oregon's elite girls hoop tournament. First, the location will change over to Lakeridge High School when games start tipping off on December 27th as Lake Oswego's new gym gets some repairs. Also, an Oregon team has a great chance a capturing the Les Schwab Bracket of this tournament. Gone are the Goliath's such as Mater Dei and St. Mary's of Phoenix. This year its much tougher handicapping the tournament. Some kibbles and bits.
This year I'm putting the bullseye on Tom Cole and South Medford. Next year, 6'5 post Tess Picknell will take her "Sultaness of Swat" to Stanford but this team is deep and talented beyond Picknell. Their backcourt of juniors Kylie Towery and Yaremi Mejia are still underapprecaited up north but as far as quick and shooting the eye's out of the basket there might not be a better tandem. Add 5'11 Ashley Bolston who fills up the overall stat board as well as any player in the state and you have a great recipe for success. This should be their season to roar and they've managed to steamroll teams in the early season. Cole's squad opened the season with a win over 5A power Springfield then notched back to back 30 point wins over Westview and Jesuit. This should be 'their' year.
Should the Panthers get by Clackamas on Tuesday they'll play the winner of the Westview vs. Central Catholic game which should be one of the more entertaining opening round games when two top players in Westview's Jaime Nared and Central Catholic's Kailee Johnson tangle. They do the 'Tangle Tango" a lot.
Watch Central Catholic (7-0)-In addition to the 6'3 Johnson, they've added one of the state's best guards in Jordan Reynolds to give the Ram's a terrific inside-outside presence to keep defenses from cheating. Johnson has really amped up her inside presence over the past year.
Westview (3-3) brought aboard Lindsay Strothers to coach this season and pay further dividends to developing Nared. Don't let their lackluster record sway you. They lost to St. Mary's, South Medford and Central Catholic and Strother's is smart enough to get them to learn from their mistakes. Its a team that has a high hoop IQ and that should pay dividends down the road.
Opener with St. Mary's and Lincoln (7-2). Lincoln has done really well and St. Mary's (5-3) has been playing as tough a pre-season schedule as imagineable and notched wins against West Albany,Jesuit and Westview.
Southridge (3-3) begins a new era under Coach Matt Humphreys but the cupboard while not stocked as in previous years still isn't empty. Led by 6'3 Jordyn Peacock and solid guard play, the Skyhawks draw the enviable task of drawing Sante Fe Indian School (6-0) who has back to back state titles in New Mexico's AAA division.This should prove to be a very entertaining game with both teams pressuring the ball full court. Lady Brave's coach Cindy Roybal's returns most the firepower from last years team who were sophomores. Post Bridget Lee is a 5'11 'junkyard dog' around the basket averaging a double-double and junior forward Danielle Nelson can put up big numbers as well for SFIS, currently second ranked in the their home state after thumping third ranked Shiprock before the holidays.
"Well There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays!". There used to be a time when traveling out of state for Holiday Tournaments was a 'neat' thing but that luster wore off years ago and I think Oregon City's head coach Kurt Guelsdorf saw the competition just a drive across the river and made a wise decision of joining in. The Pioneer's (7-1) did play over in Hawaii earlier in December and played up in Seattle. There signature win against an Oregon team was defeating St. Marys. They still have the depth and firepower to claim a state title this season behind Montana Walters and the Johanna Paine. I like their odds of making it into the Les Schwab final against either South Medford or Central Catholic.
One team to watch out for is undefeated Skyview from Vancouver, The Storm are tall and athletic and this looks like a year they'll make some noise. They ran over Prairie earlier and a 13 point win has been their closest margin of victory.
Other out of state teams in this years tournament also include three Washington schools-Camas, Evergreen and Woodinville from outside of Seattle and Iolani from Hawaii who recently lost to Oregon City 63-54 just a few weeks ago in their own hosted tournament in Honolulu,
One other game in the Les Schwab bracket catches my eye, The Tigard vs Hermiston at 10am. Tigard's Maddie Black will head to Portland State next year and they have one of the headier point guards in Lexi Carter. The match-up between Carter and Hermiston's Malloree Moss will be extremely fun to watch as both have moxie to spare, high motors and excellent court vision.
The State Farm Bracket is equally tough to call with plenty of talent and some great opening round match-ups. Crescent Valley and Lake Oswego both look like contenders and two old Intermountain foes, Pendleton and The Dalles-Wahtonka could also make deep runs. My pick is West Salem though. They seem to be playing really well right now and have some big wins, including a 25 point win over Corvallis.