Three Catholic high schools sweep first Thanksgiving girls basketball tournament

| November 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

Cretin-Derham Hall’s Frannie Hottinger (No. 22) looks to stop a pass by Totino-Grace in the Thanksgiving Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 26. Photo courtesy Mike Slawin

Second helpings went well for three Catholic high school girls basketball teams in the first annual Thanksgiving Tip-Off Tournament.

Academy of Holy Angels, Cretin-Derham Hall and Holy Family each went 2-0 in the two-day event at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Nov. 25-26. An estimated 1,400 fans attended the tourney hosted by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Office of Stewardship and Development. Twelve Catholic high school varsity teams and the schools’ junior varsity and/or ‘B’ squads participated in the hoops showcase.

“We thought the whole experience was tremendous,” CDH Head Coach Joe Lynch said. “All of our teams enjoyed participating.”

CDH, St. Paul, won big to open the tourney Nov. 25 in a 72-37 rout of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, St. Louis Park. Sophomore forward Frannie Hottinger led CDH with 16 points, and junior forward Autam Mendez added in 15. Chanel Anderson-Manning, a junior guard, sparked the Raiders’ win with a couple three-pointers and finished with 12 points.

“We were also very fortunate that we had a lot of baskets in transition, which helped our shooting percentage and our confidence,” Lynch said.

The Raiders followed up with a 74-43 rout of Totino-Grace, Fridley, Nov. 26. The Eagles went home 0-2 after Holy Angels, Richfield, won their opener 61-36 the day before.

Cristo Rey Jesuit senior guard Ajaa Walker gets a rebound against St. Agnes junior guard Bailey Larkin Nov. 26. Photo courtesy Richard Graner

Cristo Rey Jesuit senior guard Ajaa Walker gets a rebound against St. Agnes junior guard Bailey Larkin Nov. 26. Photo courtesy Richard Graner

Defending Class 3A state champions, Holy Angels went 2-0 for the tournament led by sophomore forward Destinee Oberg’s 17 points per game.

Oberg also held Eagles senior forward Sydney Weierke scoreless in the opener. Weierke will play at NCAA Division II Concordia University-St. Paul next year. Holy Angels junior guards Megan Meyer and Riley Thalhuber sparked the Stars with 16 and 11 points respectively against the Eagles.

BSM gave the Stars a tougher time Nov. 26, but the defending champs prevailed 71-62. Red Knights guards Aiana Whitfield, a sophomore, and Sylar Kosek, a senior, each scored 24 points in the loss.

Holy Family, Victoria, had to hold off Winona Cotter 58-51 Nov. 26 to finish 2-0 at the tourney. DeLaSalle, Minneapolis, also challenged Holy Family, Victoria, Nov. 25 before falling 46-39.

Holy Family senior guard Brooke Bowlin led the Fire with 16 points in the Nov. 25 win. Sophomore guard Grace Conroy chipped in six of her eight points during 16-1 Fire run in the second half.

DeLaSalle rebounded to win one of the more dramatic games in the tourney, a 65-63 overtime victory Nov. 26 against Rochester Lourdes. Junior guard Ayanna Gardner led the Islanders with 19 points in the victory.

St. Agnes, St. Paul also had a tight contest Nov. 25 in a 52-49 loss to Cotter. Aggies junior guard K’Lynn Lewis posted 18 points but her team couldn’t overcome the Ramblers’ six three-pointers.

St. Agnes bounced back the next day to rout Cristo Rey, Minneapolis 63-32. The Pumas went home 0-2 in a pair of lopsided losses, but head coach Daryl House considered it a worthwhile venture for his team.

“We look forward to participating again next year,” House said.

The 2017 tournament, which benefits archdiocesan Catholic schools, has been set for Nov. 24-25.






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