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Tournaments provide a lot of fun and games
The holiday season is tournament season for girls basketball, and many teams like to go on road trips where they can test themselves against teams they normally wouldn't play and to see different styles.
It is also a great opportunity to do some team bonding.
Rosary, Santa Margarita, Brea Olinda, Mater Dei, Huntington Beach, San Clemente and Edison are among the teams heading out to the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions this week in Chandler, Ariz.
"I firmly believe that trips like these do build and encourage team bonding," Rosary coach Richard Yoon said. "It gives teams a chance to redefine goals and talk about new ones. These trips are great memories for athletes and as coaches, I believe we have to give them the best experience as possible.
"They may not remember every game but they do remember the trip."
Troy coach Roger Anderson is taking the Warriors to the Naples Daily News Shootout in Naples, Fla.
"We do national trips for the competition level and different styles of play we see," Anderson said. "We oftentimes play against state champions from other states that are nationally ranked. They are usually very big and play a different style which is good for us to compete against. We play so many (NCAA Division I) prospects that it allows the colleges to see our girls against some of the best.
"As for team bonding, the trip only brings us closer as a family. This year we leave in the afternoon on Christmas day, and the girls bond going through all of the experiences, from the airport to the airplane ride to the five days being together. They learn to rely on each other for different things and that carries over to the court.
"They really establish a closeness that carries over well past high school, where they will continue to keep in touch with each other. The fun thing as a coach is to see your athletes away from the court doing things for each other and enjoying each others company, eating together and spending relaxing time together - (and) doing dance-off competitions that we hold or other team bonding things. Our goal is to help our student-athletes experience life lessons together learning they can rely on each other."
Orange Lutheran coach Tom Howard and the Lancers head to the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, which runs from Wednesday through Saturday.
"The main reason for doing these trips is the opportunity to bond as a team," Howard said. "Having that break from school allows us to just focus on the relationships among our team. Outside of playing games we have done a variety of things like going to the mall to shop for our secret Santa gift exchange, playing games, going to the zoo, visit a college campus, and spend some time in devotion and prayer together as a team.
"These trips help create an overall experience for the girls that goes beyond just basketball. It's fun to compete on the court, and we definitely work hard to compete at the highest level we can. However, when all these girls have graduated the games won and lost will have very little effect on their lives as adults, if any. What really lasts are the relationships that have been formed and the lessons learned of how to be a part of something bigger than yourself."
With over three decades of coaching experience in Orange County, Westminster coach Dick Katz has coached many talented players and he believes 6-1 center Maggie Dumphy is the best post player the school has ever produced.
"She has a long arm span, can run the floor and has great hands," said Katz, whose team won the Hawk Holiday Classic at Ocean View last week. "(She is) the best post player the girls program at Westminster has ever had. She has a great ability to block shots, which helps our defense and press greatly. She is a low post player with various moves and we are working on her outside shooting. She signed with Azusa Pacific. She also is very young for a senior as she just turned 17 last week. (She is) a great ambassador for (Westminster High), a great student and (she is) involved in ASB. Most games she has been playing only two-plus quarters because we have had big leads. Our first game she scored 22 points with 17 rebounds, five steals and six blocked shots against Northwood." ...
The inaugural Orange County North vs. South Challenge will be held on Dec. 22 at Dana Hills High. Here are the matchups: University vs. El Toro, 10 a.m.; Westminster vs. Tesoro, 11:45 a.m.; Loara vs. San Juan Hills, 1:15 p.m.; Corona del Mar vs. Capistrano Valley, 3 p.m.; Northwood vs. Mission Viejo, 4:45 p.m.; Los Alamitos vs. Dana Hills, 6:30 p.m.; Canyon vs. Laguna Hills, 8 p.m. ...
Woodbridge's Sarah Lipton was named the tournament MVP after leading the Warriors to a 62-45 victory over Segerstrom in the championship game of the Santa Ana Elks Classic on Saturday at Segerstrom High. Here are the players that made the all-tournament team: Woodbridge's Wendy Shiga and Emma Shimizu; Segerstrom's Kayla Stephens and Natalie Perales; Anna Mumm of Laguna Hills; Hailey James of Foothill; Michele Park of Cypress; and Canyon's Tyler Prange and Lindsay Uyematsu. ...
Laguna Beach freshman Jackie Cenan, who is averaging 17.5 points per game, was named the MVP of the Oxford Academy Tournament after leading the Breakers to a 54-48 victory over Western in the finals of the tournament on Dec. 8 at Oxford Academy. Here are the players that made the all-tournament team: Crystal Lai of Oxford Academy; Tangeray Beverly of Artesia; Tori Mallipudi of Bethel Baptist; Yvette Mendez of Godinez; Madelyn Seward of Saddleback Valley Christian; Selena Bernal of Saddleback; Briana Yneges of Anaheim; Maira Perez of Santa Ana Valley; Jackie Schlinger of Garden Grove; Mari Shigemasa of Ocean View; Darshana Taafua of Western; and Laguna Beach's Alexandra Lewis and Kyra Humphries.