Commentary

TOC Champions

Originally Published: December 23, 2009
By Mindi Rice | HoopGurlz

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- The clash between the Nos. 1 and 2 high-school girls' basketball teams in the country wasn't the only game on Tuesday with a lot on the line. In all, titlists were decided in six divisions of the Nike Tournament of Champions.

Brittany KnightonGlenn Nelson/ESPN.comBrittany Knighton helped lead Oregon City to the Desper Division title.

Mike Desper Division

In the only division championship that didn't include at least one California squad, Oregon City (Ore.) used a 9-0 run in the first quarter to break open the game and didn't let up the rest of the way.

The Pioneers (9-0) claimed the Mike Desper Division title with a 70-57 win against Highlands Ranch (Colo.) on its press and scoring from two senior starters. Brittany Knighton led the way with 17 points while Taylor Ward added 16.

"We run and run and run," coach Kurt Guelsdorf said. "I feel like we wore them down, but we were a little worn down, too, on our fourth game in five days."

Junior Ashleigh Anderson earned MVP honors for the Pioneers. Senior Shanti Smith led the Falcons (8-3) with 20 points.

Kylie CunninghamGlenn Nelson/ESPN.comKylie Cunningham led Agoura with 25 points.

John Anderson Division

Brittany Oster, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, hit the second of two free throws with 14.4 seconds to go in Agoura's 62-61 victory against Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.)

"She's a stud on the court," third-year coach Steve Scifres said. "She just does it all for us."

Agoura (Agoura Hills, Calif.) won the John Anderson championship in the team's first trip to the TOC.

Oster finished with nine points while sophomore Kylie Cunningham led the Chargers, who are off to a 10-0 start, with 25 and earned division MVP honors. Trinidee Trice led Bishop Alemany (6-3) with 16 points.

Soushtari EaGlenn Nelson/ESPN.comEa Shoushtari led LACES with 28 points in the championship game.

Black Division

Ea Shoushtari, a 5-foot-9 junior point guard, scored 18 of her game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to push the Los Angeles Center of Enriched Studies (Los Angeles) to a 58-51 victory against El Camino Real (Woodland Hills, Calif.).

"She's an all-purpose player," second year LACES coach David Smith said. "She's really a point guard, but we have her score because she does it so effortlessly."

Shoushtari, the MVP of the Black Division, almost did it all for the Unicorns (8-1), scoring their final 10 points of the game in the final three minutes to force overtime. She then scored eight of their 12 points in the extra period, including shooting 6-of-8 from the line to seal the win.

Sophomore Shannon Kingery scored 14 to lead El Camino Real (7-3).

Nicole HungGlenn Nelson/ESPN.com Nicole Hung brought intangibles on top of scoring for Harvard-Westlake.

Gray Division

Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.) used a 21-12 second quarter to open up a lead on Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley, Calif.) that the Wolverines didn't relinquish, winning 63-49.

"Our game plan is always to make them play the place we play," coach Melissa Hearlihy said.

Two seniors led the way for Harvard-Westlake (8-1) as Nicole Nesbit topped the Wolverines with 17 points, while Nicole Hung added 16 and earned the division MVP honors.

"(Hung)'s been our leading scorer for three years," Hearlihy said. "She's been especially doing the small things for us lately."

Sophia Ederaine, a 6-2 junior center, led the Cougars (7-3) with 17 points.

Austen HarrisGlenn Nelson/ESPN.com Desert Vista got 27 points from Army-bound Austen Harris.

Blue Division

Austen Harris isn't going to let her senior year go past at Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.) without people taking notice of her team.

The Army-bound, 5-4 point guard scored a career-high 27 points and earned Blue Division MVP honors as she led the Thunder to a 65-55 win against Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.) in the division championship.

"She's doing a great job," second-year coach Rachel Proudfoot said. "She's leading in assists and she's stepped up big when we needed her to score. That's a senior guard."

Desert Vista is off to an 11-0 start and return to the court Monday in the TOC's second session. Annie Ward, a junior guard, led Campolindo (8-1) with 10 points.

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Mindi Rice is an ESPN HoopGurlz staff writer. She previously was an award-winning sportswriter at the Tacoma News Tribune and a barista at Starbucks, and grew up in Seattle, where she attended Roosevelt High School before graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism. She can be reached at mindi@hoopgurlz.com.