Sunday, November 18, 2018
Page 798

Cardinal O’Hara takes TOC tournament

This is taken from the story on my employer’s website, – the best reporting at TOC:

Cardinal O’Hara Takes TOC Title

Cardinal O’Hara stayed perfect Monday night improving to 10-0 on the season and likely gaining the #1 ranking in the country after defeating Bolingbrook 48-41. (Some may remember one website predicted a 7 point win by Cardinal O’Hara). Morgan Tuck who was the star for Bolingbrook all tournament long only scored 10 points in the effort which was her lowest point total of the weekend. Cardinal O’Hara played a box and 1 on Tuck which gave Bolingbrook problems first to final whistle. Natasha Cloud who is committed to Maryland was assigned to Tuck throughout the game and was the key on defense in stopping her. Ariel Massengale led Bolingbrook with 19 points in the loss. Cardinal O’Hara was led by a balanced effort but Stephanie Holzer scored a quiet 13 points compared to her other performances during the event. Alicia Manning who is headed to Lafayette next year lead Cardinal O’Hara with 14 points. All four of Cardinal O’Hara’s signed seniors scored in the win, which was their first TOC Championship.

Southern California’s own Mater Dei also finished perfect with a 63-41 win last night over Bishop Gorman of Nevada. No doubt this will change their ranking, which had previously been about 18 among Southern California schools.

Also from fullcourt:

Oak Ridge Struggles Again

After starting TOC as one of the hottest teams in the event Oak Ridge lost in the third place game to Regis Jesuit out of Colorado 52-44. Jesuit was led by a prolific performance by UCLA bound Mariah Williams who scored 13 points and controlled the game from the point guard spot. Oak Ridge led by four at halftime 32-28, but gave up 24 second half points in the loss. The past two game Oak Ridge has been beat by a total of 32 total points in the second half (68-32). Kortni Jones, who has signed at Middle Tennessee State, only scored seven points for Oak Ridge.

The TOC All-Tournament Team:

MVP: Stephanie Holzer, (Cardinal O’Hara); Senior Ariel Massengale, (Bolingbrook); Sophomore Morgan Tuck, (Bolingbrook); Freshman Justine Hartman, (Brea Olinda); Sophomore Alisha Womack, (Cardinal O’Hara); Senior Chelsea Gray, (St. Mary’s); Junior Samarie Walker, (Chaminade Julienne); Junior Janae Coffee, (Clovis West); Junior Anne Marie Armstrong, (Wesleyan); Senior Kortni Jones, (Oak Ridge); Senior Mariah Williams, (Regis Jesuit).

I guess I need to go check out a Brea game to see this freshman, Hartman. Wow.

AP rankings out

AP Rankings

AP Top 25

1. Connecticut (45) 10-0 1125
2. North Carolina 12-0 1078
3. Texas A&M 10-0 1001
4. Texas 10-0 976
5. Oklahoma 9-2 946
6. Duke 9-1 856
7. Baylor 11-1 819
8. Tennessee 9-2 776
9. Auburn 12-0 732
10. Louisville 10-1 729
11. Stanford 8-3 707
12. Notre Dame 9-1 609
13. California 8-2 605
14. Maryland 9-2 541
15. Rutgers 7-2 538
16. Virginia 9-2 415
17. Ohio State 10-2 400
18. Florida 11-1 343
19. Pittsburgh 9-2 284
20. Vanderbilt 10-2 245
21. Oklahoma State 7-2 179
22. Kansas State 10-0 168
23. Georgia Tech 10-2 128
24. Arizona State 8-3 118
25. South Dakota State 12-1 112


Wisconsin 85, TCU 33, New Mexico 26, Marist 16, DePaul 11, Purdue 7, Oregon State 5, Wake Forest 4, Mississippi State 2, Old Dominion 2, South Florida 2, San Diego State 1, Xavier 1,

Fairly predictable. I’m happy that my Vols are back in the top 10, but I’m wondering what UCLA has to do to get some votes, much less a ranking. Like everything else, the NCAA seems to be biased.

Current Pac-10 and SEC standings

If you would have told me last summer that these would be the Pac-10 standings going into the holiday break, I would have given you “the look.” But here we are:


Team Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.

1. UCLA 0-0 – 9-1 .900
2. Oregon State 0-0 – 8-1 .889
3. California 0-0 – 8-2 .800
4. Washington State 0-0 – 7-2 .778
5. Arizona State 0-0 – 8-3 .727
6. Stanford 0-0 – 8-3 .727
7. Arizona 0-0 – 6-4 .600
8. USC 0-0 – 6-4 .600
9. Washington 0-0 – 4-5 .444
10. Oregon 0-0 – 3-6 .333

UCLA and Oregon State on top, Washington State at fourth, and Stanford coming in at sixth. It’s unexpectedly fun.

SEC is still somewhat predictable right now:

School SEC PCT. H A ALL PCT. H A N Last 5 Streak

1. Auburn 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 12-0 1.000 4-0 7-0 1-0 5-0 W12
2. Miss. State 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 10-0 1.000 6-0 4-0 0-0 5-0 W10
3. Florida 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 11-1 .917 6-0 3-1 2-0 5-0 W11
4. Vanderbilt 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 10-2 .833 7-0 3-2 0-0 4-1 W2
5. Arkansas 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 9-3 .819 6-1 1-1 2-1 3-2 L1
6. Tennessee 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 9-2 .818 6-1 3-1 0-0 4-1 W2
7. Alabama 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 8-3 .727 5-1 2-1 1-1 4-1 W2
8. Georgia 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 8-3 .727 4-0 2-3 2-0 3-2 W1
9. Ole Miss 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 8-4 .667 4-2 2-1 2-1 3-2 L1
10. LSU 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 5-3 .625 4-3 1-0 0-0 4-1 W4
11. S. Carolina 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 6-4 .600 4-2 0-2 2-0 3-2 W1
12. Kentucky 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 7-5 .583 5-2 1-3 1-0 2-3 W2

Nothing against Mississippi State, but they haven’t exactly had a rough schedule so far.

I will have to check in on the other conferences at some point today.

TOC so far

TOC day 1 seems so long ago. Here is the results page:

On day 2, there were some other surprises besides Long Beach Poly’s second loss. For one, Jefferson of Portland, OR lost, and they had been highly-touted by some. St. Mary’s of Stockton lost again. Oakridge (TN) beat Woodson of D.C. – wow. Villa Park defeated Chatsworth, and Mater Dei killed Highlands Ranch (CO).

(link is the same, but you have to scroll with your mouse roller, as it’s Adobe)

A bunch of California teams won on Saturday, the third day, including Villa Park, Brea Olinda, Santa Margarita, Long Beach Poly (finally), St. Mary’s, Lynwood, St. Francis, Mater Dei, Mira Costa and Bellarmine Jefferson. In Poly’s victory, they trounced Christ the King 70-26. What happened to that program? Woodson lost again, and so did Chatsworth.

Tournament action continues tomorrow for those teams who have won at least one game. Here is the schedule:

Here’s hoping all teams can get home after the tournament ends.

Tennessee, UCLA win

I got the call at about 2:15 p.m. today from Daniel, telling me about UCLA’s 67-64 win over Kansas. He knew I’d be happy that Seattle’s own Christina Nzekwe grabbed the ball after a missed Jayhawk free throw attempt and was fouled. Then made both free throws. Kansas tried to hit two shots, and Nzekwe grabbed the rebound on the second one as time ticked down to ensure Bruin possession and seal the win.

I am so proud of her! Her picture is featured right now on the UCLA women’s basketball web page, making Seattle proud. Not to mention the rest of the team. I can’t believe how they continue to roll and roll and roll. Beating Kansas might finally earn them some respect, we’ll see. Wonder what it would take to get them ranked.

And after some butt-clenching moments, a gutsy, learning-on-the-run Vols team just beat Stanford, exactly 365 days after they lost to them. Shekinna Stricklen scored a career-high 25 points – eight of which were in overtime. The girl was hot, and she was feelin it from the get-go. In the first half when she scored a long-bomb shot, she turned around and started yelling, ending in a chest bump with Lyssi Brewer. I love to see that kind of enthusiasm. Angie Bjorklund also came to play today, burying some deep shots.

In the overtime period, when Tennessee started to pull away, it was another deep Stricklen shot that made me scream so loud I probably scared the neighbors. But just moments later, Stricklen and Glory Johnson collided, sending Johnson to the floor in severe pain. The emotional roller coaster I’ve been on for the last two days started to go back down again, but fortunately it was reported after the game that she only has a deep thigh bruise.

Stanford Coach Tara VanDerVeer told the Associated Press about Stricklen, who had a stomach virus during last Thursday’s game against Old Dominion: “She had a big game. I guess she was kind of sick for the last game. She made me sick in this game.”

Oh how I love that quote.

Eight more wins, and Coach Pat Summitt can notch 1000 victories. I’ve said it before, but Pat Summitt is the greatest coach of all time. (And I enjoyed hearing her mic’ed up today).

Tennessee’s next game is at Gonzaga, and I pray that I will get to go to that game, as I’d planned.

Baylor wins one for its own Morghan Medlock

Tragic story out of my alma mater Oregon today…..Baylor University junior guard Morghan Medlock’s mother was killed in a murder-suicide in Little Rock, AR on Friday. Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey offered to cancel the game against the Ducks and go to Arkansas with her, but Medlock insisted they play, and the Bears won:

Medlock is from Los Angeles, and played for Narbonne High School. It was the recruitment process that brought her to the storied high school team that lead to the removal of its coach, James Anderson, in 2006. Medlock went on to play two seasons for the University of Southern California.

Last May Medlock transferred to Baylor after the NCAA granted her a waiver that Baylor spokesman Kevin Price referred to as “private in nature.” USC never made an official release about the transfer, said spokeswoman Darcy Couch. Coach Mark Trakh said, “It was Morghan’s decision to transfer, and we wish her all the best.”

Medlock’s stepsister, freshman Chantelle Price, also plays for Baylor.

Duke 97, USC 89

By now, if you hadn’t seen it on TV yourself, you’ve heard about this strange game – truly one of the weirdest I’ve seen in a while.

In a nutshell, SC played their asses off for 38 minutes making shots, stealing the ball and clamping down on defense. Then in overtime, they fell apart. It was like a different team emerged from the huddle, and Duke surged on the momentum they’d gained in the last two minutes of regulation to dominate the overtime period and take the win.

It was quick, and it was surprising, because Duke only looked good for seven minutes of the 45 played. SC took the lead early in the game on the strength of their outside shots, and they are loaded with shooters. Brynn Cameron was 5-10 on two-shots and 4-9 from three-point range; Briana Gilbreath was 5-9 and Kari Laplante 4-6; Heather Oliver was 4-7 and 2-3.

The Trojans went up 18-10 at 12:08 in the first half, and they lead by about that margin for almost six minutes before Duke made its first mini-run. They caught up to take a 31-30 lead with just under 6 to go, but a big Ashley Corral bucket ignited SC. Both teams trades buckets evenly for the last few minutes of the period, ending it tied at 41.

Duke opened the second half shooting poorly, and SC’s brutal man defense made the Blue Devils struggle in the paint. A beautiful Camille LeNoir behind-the-back pass to Gilbreath for a bucket, and then a LeNoir three on the next play, put the Trojans up 51-42 at 16:37.

It was at this point in the game that I wrote in my notes “Duke can’t make shit happen in the paint and can’t hit a bucket” and “USC can’t miss.” That trend continued for almost the next 10 minutes. I kept thinking Duke would make a move and take over the game, but it wasn’t happening. They were behind by 14 at 10:57, and I began to see the 12th-ranked Blue Devils losing.

Duke had a mini-run and cut the lead to 69-64 at 7 to go, but another SC run put them back up by 11 two minutes later. Time kept ticking away, and I began seeing forks in my head because Duke seemed done. It was 79-69 at the 2:32 mark. The Blue Devils’ Jasmine Thomas, a sophomore, had 17 points. Senior Abby Waner had three, and I wish I had got how many points senior Chante Black had, because it was the play of these three in the last moments of the game that carried their team over the top.

With under two minutes to go, Waner drained a three. A missed SC foul shot later, she hit again – this time on a lazy side hook shot. In the overtime, Black made a power layup, Thomas a steal and a layup, and then Waner stole the ball from LeNoir for the fast break and layup. Duke was really rolling.

Cameron scored a three for SC, but Thomas drove for a layup on the next play. Two Trojan fouls shots put them within four, 93-89, with 44.6 seconds left, but Black was fouled and made both her shots, and the game was out of reach for SC.

On Duke’s side I was very impressed with Thomas, who came off the bench for 22 points, and Selby, another bench player who added 11. Thomas had a nice shot (she was 8-15), and Selby is very gutsy, particularly for a newcomer. On one play in the first half, she put her head and shoulder down and was racing up and down the side past Trojan defenders, ruthlessly seeking the right spot for a shot. In the second half, she made a big move to the basket for the score. The girl has got something there.

SC has a lot of impressive shooters, and I don’t understand why they don’t have a better record than they do. They clearly have a lot of talent on their team. And LeNoir is subbed out too much; she is a dynamic, intelligent point guard who deserves the top spot a little more than she gets it.

Odds and ends:

Joanne McCallie has her eyes open wide when she’s talking to the team during timeouts. She is very facially expressive.

The entire Duke team seems very upbeat and positive. They came out in warmups with a lot of energy in clapping and being vocal. At timeouts, when the coaches are talking to the side, there is always one player (usually Krystal Thomas) standing up urging her seated teammates on with positive comments.

USC grad/former player, Love and Basketball player, and assistant coach to Colleen Matsuhara at West LA College Jessica Cheeks came into the game a little late. She was wearing her SC letter jacket, but came in and hugged a Duke fan and sat behind us in the Duke section.

The reffing was horrible. They missed a heckuva lot of calls for Duke, and sometimes they dropped into ticky-tack mode. In other words, miss the big calls and make the non-calls. For example: in the first half, Gilbreath and Selby both had their hands on the ball and Gilbreath slammed Selby to the ground. They called jump ball. In the second half, Thomas slammed LeNoir to the ground and was called for a foul, but it should have been flagrant. The refs must work in the WNBA, I decided.

Last night’s game was part of a tournament, and tonight SC did win over Harvard, while Duke beat Siena.

Long Beach Poly loses again!!

TOC day 2 has only been underway for a few hours, but already number one-ranked Poly has lost its second game in as many days. Riverdale Baptist beat them, 57-52. The game hasn’t been over long enough for those at the tourney to have written stories, but I am looking forward to reading the write-up on this one.

So if former first-ranked St. Mary’s isn’t number one, and neither is Poly, I wonder who will be now. All I can say is wow.

Holy moly! TOC day one scores

Dig this:

No. 25 Regis Jesuit 63, No. 12 Bishop McGuinness 40
Oak Ridge (Tenn.) 38, No. 3 Christ the King 33
No. 21 HD Woodson 63, Clovis West 56
No. 36 St. Mary’s (Stockton) 73, St. Josephs (Mo.) 57
No. 23 Chaminade-Julienne 53, No. 1 Long Beach Poly 40
No. 6 Cardinal O’Hara 60, Lincoln (Dallas) 31
No. 19 Wesleyan 49, Brea Olinda 41

Long Beach Poly is so very hyped, but they lost in round one! People will undoubtedly be shocked, but I’m not. I mentioned in a previous blog that I’d seen them playing in a fall league in October. The coach plays three teams, and mixes up the players liberally. I saw two incarnations of teams play, and they didn’t look as solid as they have in the past. We shall see how they do for the rest of the season.

Clovis West recently beat St. Mary’s, but tonight they fell to HD Woodson, who I wrote a story about for a website. Just hearing their story and talking to some of the players, I had a feeling they’d be good. Looks like they’re off to a fine start, despite losing one of their premiere starters just two days before their opener:

Christ the King lost, and so did Brea Olinda. Who the heck are the girls from Oak Ridge?

And in college news, Tennessee pulled it out against ODU in what sounds like an ugly, injurious game that I’m glad I could only hear. The hero of the night is:


Nice 29-point career high, Bjork.

Up the road, Connecticut only beat Washington 109-51. I wonder whose idea it was to have those two Husky teams play a game. Not even a contest.

Sparks just released their schedule

It looks like the league is going back to beginning around the first of June. And with the longer season now, that means going into September even in a non-Olympic year. Hmmm.



Saturday 6 vs Detroit 11:30am

Monday 8 @ Detroit 4:30pm

Wednesday 10 @ Minnesota 5:00pm

Friday 12 @ Indiana 4:00pm

Friday 19 @ Phoenix 6:00pm

Sunday 21 vs Sacramento 6:30pm

Friday 26 @ Seattle 7:00pm

Sunday 28 vs Seattle 6:30pm


Sunday 5 vs Phoenix 6:30pm

Thursday 9 @ New York 4:30pm

Saturday 11 @ Washington 4:00pm

Tuesday 14 @ Connecticut 4:00pm

Friday 17 vs Minnesota 7:30pm

Wednesday 22 @ Seattle 7:00pm

Tuesday 28 @ Minnesota 5:00pm

Wednesday 29 @ Chicago 5:00pm


Saturday 1 @ Sacramento 7:00pm

Tuesday 4 vs San Antonio 12:00pm

Thursday 6 vs Seattle 7:30pm

Sunday 9 vs Indiana 6:30pm

Tuesday 11 vs New York 6:00pm

Friday 14 vs Sacramento 7:30pm

Saturday 15 @ Sacramento 7:00pm

Tuesday 18 vs Washington 7:30pm

Friday 21 @ San Antonio 5:00pm

Sunday 23 @ Atlanta 12:00pm

Tuesday 25 vs Chicago 7:00pm

Thursday 27 vs Phoenix 7:30pm

Sunday 30 vs Connecticut 6:30pm


Tuesday 1 vs Atlanta 7:30pm

Saturday 5 @ San Antonio 5:00pm

Tuesday 8 vs San Antonio 7:30pm

Friday 11 vs Minnesota 7:30pm

Sunday 13 @ Phoenix 11:00am

Here’s the entire WNBA schedule:

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