Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Nike Tournament Of Champions Day 1 Recap

image and story from ESPN Hoopgurlz

The first day of the 2011 Nike Tournament of Champions proved exactly why the event has grown into the premier girls' basketball tournament in the country -- the best played the best.

As with almost every team sport, ranking means very little once the game starts, and five teams ranked in the top 11 spots of the POWERADE FAB 50 coming into the tournament fell in the opening salvo on Monday.

Based on rankings alone, unranked Windward's (Los Angeles) 56-50 win over No. 8 MacArthur (Irving, Texas) was the biggest upset of the Joe Smith Division, but it was No. 24 Cicero-North Syracuse (Cicero, N.Y.) with a 43-40 win over No. 6 Bolingbrook (Ill.) that sent shock waves through the desert.

Despite the national ranking, the Northstars came to the TOC hearing they stood no chance and would be 30-point underdogs in all four of their games. Compounding the dim outlook was an opening-round matchup with Bolingbrook, the defending Illinois state champion, which is playing in its fourth consecutive TOC. But with the No. 1 player in the country on its side, the small community team from upstate New York has a chance in every game.

Oddly, it wasn't ESPN HoopGurlz's top-ranked senior, Breanna Stewart (Connecticut), who offered up the late-game heroics. Instead the fourth quarter belonged to Brittany Paul. The 5-foot-9 senior scored eight of her 10 points in the final period, none bigger than her last shot.

Read complete ESPN Hoopgurlz story 

More Recaps
Seems like old times for Mater Dei
Upset specialists on collision course
Six stars step up on Day 1 of TOC

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