Jingle Bell Ball Preview – Dec. 19, 2012

Courtney Ekmark

Courtney Ekmark is looking to lead St. Mary’s homework tips for kids to a repeat championship at the Nike TOC this week. *Photo by Ty Freeman

By: @KeilMoore

Holiday break time is prime time for high school hoops action and 2012 is no different. Over the next two weeks we will see battles that could determine not only several prospects’ status but also which teams will emerge in 2013 as the top ranked in the country.

Nike Tournament of Champions

On Thursday in the suburbs of Phoenix, Ariz., a slew of the nations top players and high school teams will start the three-day tournament known as the Nike Tournament of Champions. This year’s field is comprised of two elite brackets, each with teams from around the country competing for a championship. This event historically is a four-game event but the holiday break and exam schedules this year forced the event to trim it back to three days.

The premier bracket seems to be the should i give my common app essay a title Division E group that features ranked high school programs such as Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) and its three-headed post monster of Oderah Chidom (Duke), Kendall “KC” Waters (California) and Breanna Brown (Virginia Tech). Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) which is led by three talented 2014 guards in Chloe Jackson of Waldorf, Md., Auteuonna Gilmore of Fort Washington, Md., and Chania Ray of Washington, D.C. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) returns this year with a slew of talent, led by sisters Karlie Samuelson (Stanford), a senior, and Katie Lou Samuelson, a sophomore, but is without junior post Khalia Lark, who head coach Kevin Kiernan confirmed this week, has stepped away from the basketball team.

St. Mary’s of Phoenix returns with Courtney Ekmark (Connecticut) to defend their 2012 crown with a roster head coach Curtis Ekmark feels is stronger at the top but not as deep as last year’s mythical national championship squad.

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#PeachStateTV: Brandon Clay takes a look at two-time Elite Basketball Academy All-American Courtney Ekmark’s game:

This year’s Joe Smith bracket is paced by individual talent with elite prospects such as University of Washington-bound point guard Kelsey Plum of La Jolla Country Day School (Calif.), junior wing Sierra Calhoun of Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.), and the duo of talented prospects on both St. Mary’s (Berkeley, Calif.), with Gabby Green and Mikayla Cowling(Cal verbal), and Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.), with Kailee Johnson (Stanford) and Jordan Reynolds(Tennessee).

Peach State Basketball Holiday Invitational sponsored by the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report

Last year, the Peach State Basketball Holiday Invitational ended with a thriller when McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Riverdale (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), two top-five high school teams nationally at the time, met in the finals of a loaded tournament field. This year the event is back and better than ever someone do my essay for me with 32 teams from nine different states and Canadian provinces. With four, eight team brackets playing their way to a championship during the three-day event, the week after Christmas is sure to be loaded with quality hoops. With top 25 caliber talent such as Kaela Davis from Buford (Ga.), Alexa Middleton of Riverdale, Te’a Cooper from McEachern, Mychal Johnson of St. Joseph’s Catholic (Huntington, W.Va.), Erica Cassell of Holy Innocents Episcopal (Atlanta, Ga.) and Crystal Dangerfield of Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) there certainly will be talent in the building.

Chris Hansen also contributed to this report.

Keil MooreKeil Moore is the Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report – a division of Peach State Basketball, Inc. He also is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. Moore has been involved in the community since 2007 as a recruiting analyst and trainer. He can be reached at [email protected].