March, 21, 2012
By Christopher Parish | ESPN.com
Glenn Nelson/ESPN.com Jennie Simms and top-seeded Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) will take on Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) in the first round of the NHSI.The seeds have been announced for the ESPNHS National High School Invitational, and Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) has earned the No. 1 spot.
The top-seeded Crusaders (35-2) are currently the nation's No. 6 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 after winning an NACA national championship earlier this month. The team is led by Jonquel Jones, a senior who is currently ranked as the nation's No. 36 senior in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100. Jones, who has committed to Clemson, is unlikely to play at NHSI because she has been invited to participate in the WBCA All-America game in Denver on March 31, coach Diane Richardson said. Fellow seniors Kelila Atkinson, a Wake Forest recruit and the nation's No. 85 prospect in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100, and Jennie Simms a West Virginia recruit ranked No. 87, will lead the team.
The Crusaders will face Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) in the first round after the Eagles drew the No. 4 seed in the tourney. Edgewater (28-4) is currently the nation's No. 28 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 and recently won a Florida Class 6A state championship. Edgewater will most likely be without its star as well, as Alexis Prince also plans to play in the WBCA All-America game, according to her club coach Kimberly Davis-Powell. Sophomores Markeema Crawford (15.9 points per game) and Haley Clark (9.2 points per game) will lead the team.
The other first-round contest will pair second-seeded Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) against HD Woodson (Washington, D.C.).
Dr. Phillips (29-3) is currently the nation's No. 22 squad in the POWERADE FAB 50 and is the reigning NHSI champion. The team recently won the Florida Class 8A championship. Sophomore Taryn Griffey, the daughter of former MLB superstar Ken Griffey Jr., is the team's leader and is considered one of the top players in the Class of 2014. She averaged 16.4 points per game this season. Junior Sydnei McCaskill is also one of the team's leaders, and the duo forms one of the nation's most dangerous backcourts.
HD Woodson (26-5) enters the NHSI tournament as a No. 3 seed after earning an upset win over Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) in the Washington D.C. city title game on Tuesday. Good Counsel was previously ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50. The senior-laden HD Woodson team is led by Jephany Brown, who averaged 17.6 points per game this season for the Warriors.
The tournament will begin on Thursday, March 29 and continue through March 31 at Georgetown Preparatory School's Hanley Center for Athletic Excellence in Bethesda, Md. The girls' first-round games will be on March 30 on ESPNU, and the championship game will be on March 31 at 12 p.m. EST on ESPN2.
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