Commentary

Super Sunday

Originally Published: January 26, 2009
By Chris Hansen | ESPN HoopGurlz

Bria SmithChris Hansen/ESPN HoopGurlz Bria Smith elevates above the competition much the way the ranked teams did on Super Sunday.

WAYNE, Pa. -- The sixth annual Blue Chip Super Sunday Showcase sported a fantastic field with four teams ranked in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 as well as two more teams ranked in the regionally.

Of those ranked teams only two faced off with No. 50 Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) taking on Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.), which is ranked No. 11 in the Northeast Region.

The table was set for more of this season's overriding theme of upsets, but this Sunday the cream rose to the top of the proverbial coffee cup that was the Episcopal Academy gymnasium.

Outside of Central Dauphin, which lost to Christ the King 33-48, none of the teams ranked regionally or nationally would lose and only one of the seven scheduled games was decided by a single digit margin.

Devon Kane
Chris Hansen/ESPN HoopGurlzVillanova-bound Devon Kane's 14-point second half wasn't enough for Notre Dame.

So is it any wonder that the Peddie School's (Hightstown, N.J.) 50-45 victory over the Academy of Notre Dame (Villanova, Pa.) was the game of the day?

The Peddie School found itself down in the second half after rallying within one point of Notre Dame at the half. A brilliant second half by senior guard Devon Kane, that included 14 of her game-high 22 points, gave the Irish control but the Villanova signee's performance went for not as Peddie rallied late.

Peddie outscored Notre Dame 19-11 in the final quarter, in part because of a late burst from junior guard Alex Smith. The 5-foot-8 combo guard hit two huge 3-pointers in the final quarter and was definitely the biggest heroine of the day.

Smith's first 3-point bomb landed with 5:58 remaining in the game and tied the score at 38. More importantly the bucket swung the momentum in the Falcons favor. To make matters worse Notre Dame, which was shooting 74 percent as a team coming into the game from the charity stripe, missed eight free-throws in the fourth quarter collapse.

Alex Smith
Chris Hansen/ESPN.com Alex Smith (22) battles Fiona Flanagan (33) for a loose ball and came to Peddie's rescue in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame.

Smith's shots came at the right moments for Peddie as Notre Dame had started making adjustments to take away the Falcon's biggest advantage, the post scoring of 6-2 junior Hayley Peters. Smith finished with a team-high 17 points while Peters, who is ranked No. 35 in the junior class by ESPN HoopGurlz, chipped in 12 points in the victory.

The highest ranked team in the field, No. 5 Cardinal O'Hara (Springfield, Pa.), got a little scare from Villa Maria Academy (Erie, Pa.) early. With Vanderbilt-bound Stephanie Holzer on O'Hara's bench Villa Maria, behind a team-high 18 points from Notre Dame commit Kayla McBride surged to close the gap in the second quarter.

Holzer returned to the lineup and took the game over which allowed a much bigger O'Hara team to regain a comfortable lead. Villa Maria made a late run to cut the margin to 10 but Holzer's 23 points were too much to over come as O'Hara cruised to a 47-37 victory.

The performance given by Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.) against St. Elizabeth's (Wilmington, Del.) as dominant as any on Sunday. Behind sharp-shooting Penn State commit Maggie Lucas, Germantown Academy eased along to a 75-33 win.

Lucas, ranked No. 18 in the ESPN HoopGurlz Super 60 for the 2010 class, scored a game-high 22 points, 11 of which came in the first quarter to set the tone.

As dominant as the performance was it wasn't indicative of Germantown, according to head coach Sherri Retif, because the team didn't run any of its usual offensive sets or defensive schemes. The reason being is the team's upcoming game with rival Notre Dame, who was in the stands scouting.

One thing is obvious in game-planning for Germantown Academy; you cannot allow Lucas to shoot uncontested jumpers. She is arguably the best shooter at the high school level since Angie Bjorklund, who is now a sophomore at Tennessee, and even her contested jumpers fall at a high percentage if you let her set her feet.

No. 17 Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.) took care of Lower Merion (Ardmore, Pa.), 48-33, and looks poised for its upcoming matchup with Christ the King. That game should have great rankings implications for both teams as Carroll looks to crack the top 15 and Christ the King attempts to fight its way back up the ladder.

The morning game saw a well-balanced Elizabeth Seton (Bladensburg, Md.) taking on the host team, Episcopal Academy. Behind the game-high 16 points of senior forward Alex Stelfax, Seton put away Episcopal 59-39.

Joining Stelfax in double figures were a pair of promising juniors in 5-11 wing Tyaunna Marshall and 6-2 forward Alexis Martin, who scored 14 and 10 respectively.

In the nightcap Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.) beat Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Del) 53-23. Ursuline played hard throughout but Wood was simply bigger, faster and stronger then its opposition.

In Christ the King's win over Central Dauphin, junior post Ariel Edwards led all scorers with 17. Sophomore guard Bria Smith scored 11 points for the Royals, most of which came in the first half when Christ the King stormed out to a 25-13 lead.

Discuss this on our Message Board

Chris Hansen covers girls' high school basketball nationally for ESPN.com and leads the panel that ranks and evaluates players for the network. He is a graduate of the University of Washington with a communications degree. He can be reached at chris.hansen@espn3.com.

ALSO SEE