Video: 15-year-old with emphatic dunk
Canadian sophomore Laeticia Amihere has become a dunking sensation.
The nation's largest girls basketball tournament — 160 teams and 20 divisions strong — opens Thursday in Northern California.
Fittingly, the nation's top-ranked team Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
— coming off a championship in the Nike Tournament of Champions — is the headliner in the three-day event which features teams from six states.
Mitty entered the Nike TOC as the No. 4 team according to MaxPreps, but defeated top-ranked Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn) 64-50 in the
semifinals Thursday, before knocking off No. 2 St. Mary’s (Stockton, Calif.) 57-50
in Friday’s final.
Against Riverdale, Mitty (9-0) jumped out to an 11-2 lead after the first quarter and never trailed. Penn State signee Karisma Ortiz led
four Mitty players in double figures with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The Monarchs made 17 of 18 free throws and outrebounded Riverdale 41-23.Ania McNicholas
added 15 points, Haley Jones
12 and Krissy Miyahara
10. Nicole Blakes
, a 6-foot-2 post, added 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
In the title win, Mitty outscored St. Mary’s 20-13 in the
fourth quarter with Jones scoring 12 of her team’s final 14 points.
Ranked the No. 5 junior in the nation by ESPN, the 6-1 Jones finished
with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the title game and was named the
It was a great match-up between the uncommitted Jones and St. Mary’s senior Aquira DeCosta. The Baylor signee scored 24 points and was an all-tourney selection along with Blakes.
“Haley played nearly all positions on the floor today,” Mitty coach Sue Phillips told ESPNW. “She really took over.”
Here's a brief look at the top three divisions at the tournament, which is sponsored by MaxPreps. See all 20 brackets to the tournamentPlatinum Division
This year's Platinum Division has one of the strongest fields in recent memory and one of the biggest reasons in because of first-time participant Mitty.
Salesian College Preparatory (Richmond, Calif.)
already has a big win over preseason No. 3 Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) and will boast the top post prospect in the tournament, 6-5 junior and top D1 prospect Angel Jackson
. Other Salesian players to watch for are junior forward Makayla Edwards
, senior floor general Taimane Lesa-Hardee
, senior guard Taisia Fleming
, and junior guard Anjel Galbraith
. Folsom (Calif.)
started as one of the California's top ranked teams and have 6-foot ESPNW No. 5 rated senior wing and Cal-bound McKenzie Forbes
and she is the real deal.
Defending CIF Division IV state champion West Campus (Sacramento, Calif.)
opened strong with UCLA-bound and ESPNW No. 28 rated senior guard Kiara (KJ) Jefferson
leading the way. Perennially tough local powerhouse Carondelet (Concord, Calif.)
has a young team this season and is led by 6-foot-3 post Ali Bamberger
Another young team and local favorite is Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
. Their two top players are senior forward Zakiya Mahoney
and junior guard Jada Holland
brings an exciting player to the Jamboree in ESPNW No. 14 rated junior guard and D1 prospect RyAnne Walters
Rounding out the field is the only team from outside Northern California as Chaminade (West Hills)
makes the trek up from the San Fernando Valley. Gold Division
With the depth of this year's Jamboree the Gold Division has one of its strongest fields ever.
Host Heritage (Brentwood, Calif.)
has perhaps the beast team in school history. Mikaila Wegenke
, a 6-foot senior wing is the Patriots top player. Other players to look for are junior guard Jordan Sweeney
and budding 6-foot-1 sophomore post Abigail Muse
. McClatchy (Sacramento, Calif.)
and Campolindo (Moraga)
already have met at the Elite is Earned Showcase with McClatchy coming out on top. The defending Northern Regional Division I champions return 11 players. Three to look for are senior Richelle Turney
and juniors Nia Lowery
and Kamryn Hall
Campolindo, the defending Northern Regional Division III champions a only have eight girls on the roster, but one of them is Washington-committed 6-foot senior Haley Van dyke
. Last season she averaged 23.9 points, 15.4 rebounds, 4.9 steals, 3.8 assists and 3.5 blocks a game and those overall numbers are the top returning stats in not only the Jamboree but the state. Another player to watch for is Weber State 3-point bomber Ashley Thoms
The dark horse in this field might be Kinkaid (Houston, Texas)
. The girls from Houston will have played 14 games by the time they get to California and are currently 13-1. Another team to watch is Prairie (Brush Prairie, Wash.)
. The remaining teams in the field are San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.)
, South San Francisco (Calif.)
and Whitney (Rocklin, Calif.)
. Silver Division
The Silver Division has been elevated to elite status. Host Dublin (Calif.)
has arguably the best player in the division in Minnesota-bound 5-foot-10 senior guard Lesila Finau
. With her little sister and 5-foot-10 junior guard Mele Finau
the Gaels are off to a strong start. Pleasant Valley (Chico, Calif.)
and its Colorado-bound 6-foot-1 senior forward Sirena Tuitele
started 3-3 with a loss to McClatchy-Sacramento but a win over Folsom. Oakland Tech (Oakland, Calif.)
has some players that are shining early on such as junior guard Tiffany Siu
Perennially tough Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.)
is coming up from the Los Angeles area and could be a factor.