Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Nike Tournament Of Champions to cast more Stars than ever

For an encore, the TOC is featuring its most power-packed field ever, stuffing 20 nationally ranked teams into its top two divisions, proving again that, as the sport of girls' basketball continues to explode, the four-day tournament in Chandler, Ariz., is its bellwether.

Led by No. 2 St. Mary's (Phoenix, Ariz.), for all purposes a "home-team" favorite, seven of the top 10 teams in the preseason POWERADE FAB 50 were secured by TOC tournament director Steve Kozaki for the Joe Smith Invitational, Dec. 17-22. The others include No. 3 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), No. 5 Saint John's College (Washington, D.C.), No. 7 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 8 Bolingbrook (Ill.), No. 9 St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.) and No. 10 MacArthur (Irving, Texas). Mater Dei is the two-time defending mythical national high school champions.

Other ranked teams in the Smith Division include No. 16 Wesleyan (Norcross, Ga.), No. 17 Buford (Ga.), No. 19 Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), No. 24 Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.), No. 26 Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.), No. 31 Marion County (Lebanon, Ky.) and No. 39 Incarnate Word (St. Louis, Mo.). The remaining two teams, Windward (Los Angeles, Calif.) and tournament mainstay Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), both have nationally ranked college prospects.

Many of the aforementioned teams will have higher rankings when the FAB 50 is updated on Tuesday.

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