East County Sports

Patriots win T of C division trophy




EastCountySports.com staff report


PHOENIX – The Christian High Lady Patriots returned to the greater Phoenix area to compete in the NIKE Tournament of Champions, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country.

The Patriots won three-straight games over the weekend to capture a division championship event.

The Patriots dominated the Dan Division at the NIKE Tournament of Champions this weekend, closing out the tournament with a championship game win over the Swordsmen from Santa Fe Springs.

Christian against St. Paul on Saturday at the NIKE T of C.

The Patriots led 26-15 in the second quarter after leading 26-11 after the first period.

Christian went on a bit of a run from there, including a basket by Kristin Williams late in the first half that gave CHS a 36-19 lead at halftime.

Tournament Most Outstanding Player Simone James opened up the second half hot with three-straight buckets to take a 42-19 edge.

Freshman KoKo Akridge had a pair of field goals in the third quarter to help the Patriots increase their lead to 50-19.

Allie Carreon helped put this one in the refrigerator in the fourth quarter with three field goals in the fourth quarter as Christian poured it on.

NIKE Tournament of Champions Dan Division champion Christian Patriots

I’m just really proud of our team and the way we have been competing these past few weeks. I feel like our team has been getting closer with each-other off the court and I feel like it starting to translate onto the court. We have a different group of girls this year and it’s exciting to see how far we will go. Our coaches have been really pushing us hard in practice and I feel like we can see that on the court and the way we play. This season is definitely going to be a great on – Allie Carreon

Tournament division MVP Simone James and Christian High head coach Vickie Carrington

To be MVP feels amazing and humbling. It was something I definitely had to work hard for, but couldn’t have done it without my teammates setting me up. Allie’s assists were a big factor in this tournament that allowed me to be successful.

For our team advancing to the final in such a huge tournament was a feeling of accomplishment. We came ready to play, wanting to win, and prove ourselves. We played hard and worked very hard in practices and had the right attitudes. We had a statement to make. I’m super proud of everyone. – Simone James

The Patriots had high expectations last season at this same event but maybe fell short of those goals, making this year’s championship special to this unit.

I think that that, especially in this tournament, it was a great confidence booster and we are all having better team chemistry and learning to do our roles well. I think that we as a team are all getting better. This tournament will help set the tone for the rest of the season to continue in getting better. – Raelyn Mueca

Christian High head coach Vickie Carrington uses the tournament to provide the ultimate test in preparation to meet the high-level of competition in the postseason.

Allie and Simone played great games all four games and really led the team.  I think Allie really set the team up well- in my opinion this was one of her best efforts in leadership.  The thing with Allie is that she has such a high IQ and court vision and awareness that she’s like having a coach on the court.  Allie probably had 20 assists at NIKE TOC – and should have had 40 or more but we didn’t capitalize on every possession.  Allie would find the open player and hit them – she and Simone have such great chemistry playing together, it’s amazing. Raelyn was fierce on defense- she was digging into the opponents wearing down their top players, she’s learned that when she’s called on to bring what she’s great at to the floor.  At NIKE she did just that… DEFENSE!!!

Simone also turned it up. Simone was coming out of nowhere getting rebounds and also had a lot of help on the boards as Sarah (Moyer) and Serene (Weckback) stepped up grabbing boards and were setting some mean screens.  Our out side shooting wasn’t great this tourney – but honestly our girls found a way to win and they were determined to not play one dimensional basketball.   I am proud of all of our girls – they are a wonderful group and each is very special to me.

The Patriots have a deep squad, which proved beneficial in the deep-stacked event.

I believe I’ve grown since playing for El Captitan. Playing on a team with this high-level of talent and coaching and playing against some of the top teams around has pushed me to work on the details of my game.  My game play has been more focused and determined. – Serene Weckback

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