Elizabeth Seton High School, winners of 2019 NIKE TOC John Anderson Division (PC: Bob Corwin)
By Bob Corwin
In part 1, the Joe Smith Division was discussed. Here the NIKE TOC’s John Anderson Division gets our attention. With less known about many of the teams in the division, the winners bracket games were surprisingly very competitive but there were several blowouts in losers’ bracket groupings. Unaccounted recent injuries also contributed to some teams struggling in the Anderson, which, while not the Smith, may still yield state champions come the end of the season.
Taking a look at the action in the final…
Elizabeth Seton High School (Bladensburg, Maryland) 43-40 Windward School (Los Angeles, California)
This contest pitted Seton’s balance against Windward’s greater star power. In the first half, the fatigue of this being the fourth game in four games showed with Elizabeth Seton up 7-6 at the quarter and 18-14 at half. Neither team was stalling (no shot clock in Arizona), just defense (and fatigue) dominating.
The third quarter saw both teams have more success shooting with Seton clinging to a 29-27 lead. Interestingly with both teams from shot-clock states, Seton went into a delay over the last three minutes and while they could not extend the lead, they managed to stay at least one point ahead. Juju Watkins (see below) missed a desperation three to tie as time expired. In this low scoring contest, Elizabeth Seton was led by Regina Walton (see below) with 10 points and Tyler Gray (see below) with nine points. Windward, which finished second in the top division last year, was led by Michelle Duchemin (see below) with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Below in alphabetical order (with listed height, graduation year and school) is the All-Tournament Team of the John Anderson Division. Special thanks to Erik Boal, Clay Kallam, Shane Laflin and Dick Mateer who served with me on the all-tournament selections committee.
NIKE Tournament of Champions 2019
John Anderson Division All-Tournament Team
Asia Avinger 5-8 2020 Rosary Academy (Fullerton, California)
Signed with San Diego State, Avinger is one of Rosary’s hard-nosed guards. She is the team’s primary ball handler but also is responsible for much of the team’s scoring (drives and three’s).
Madison Conner 6-0 2021 Perry High School (Gilbert, Arizona)
Perry did not do well (1-3) at the event but Conner (has Power 5 offers) impressed with her perimeter scoring. She can hit from behind or within the arc.
Marisa Davis 6-1 2021 Valley Vista High School (Surprise, Arizona)
Davis runs the court well in transition and looks to get to the rim in the quarter court. She had multiple double-digit scoring games as her team went 2-2 at the event.
Michelle Duchemin 6-0 2021 Windward School (Los Angeles, California)
Duchemin was a tireless worker on the glass. Her scoring was primarily in the lower key.
Timea Gardiner 6-3 2022 Fremont High School (Plain City, Utah)
Gardiner is considered on of the top power forward in her class. On her post-oriented high school team, she plays more of a small forward role helping to bring up the ball and initiate offense rather than spending most time in the paint. She helped lead her team to a 2-2 showing.
Tyler Gray (MVP) 5-6 2020 Elizabeth Seton High School (Bladensburg, Maryland)
Signed with Charleston, Gray set the tone for her team. She was constantly in attack mode offensively and active on D.
Kennedy Johnson 6-0 2021 Bishop O’Dowd High School (Oakland, California)
Although often starting on the perimeter, Johnson usually found a way to get into the key where she faced up or got to the basket. She showed she can hit from behind the arc but that is not her first option. She helped her team finish 2-2.
Amaya Oliver 6-2 2020 St. Mary’s High School (Stockton, California)
An unsigned senior, Oliver gives you a good effort in the key. She posted 14 points and 11 rebounds as her team lost the third-place game to Clovis North 55-54.
Michelle Duchemin and Juju Watkins (#12) of Windward School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Tyler Gray (#3) and Regina Walton of Elizabeth Seton High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Malia Samuels 5-5 2023 Eastside Catholic School (Sammamish, Washington)
Samuels is the lead guard on a team of talented of freshmen and sophomores. On offense, she looked to shoot the three (four in one game) besides running the offense. Her efforts helped her team go 3-1 at the event.
Savannah Tucker 5-9 2020 Clovis North High School (Fresno, California)
Signed with Long Beach State, Tucker had several double-digit scoring games in helping her team to third place in the division. She can shoot the three or drive to the rim.
Regina Walton 5-5 2022 Elizabeth Seton High School (Bladensburg, Maryland)
On a team with balance scoring, Walton primarily ran the offense which was her number one task. When scoring, she showed she can hit the three or attack the rim.
Juju Watkins 6-0 2023 Windward School (Los Angeles, California)
Watkins is considered one of the top prospects in the 2023 class. Thanks to her ball skills, size and medium-solid build, she can comfortably play all positions but center. She showed she can score at all three levels. At such a young age, she is already a high-level high school player, not just a high-level prospect showing glimpses of the future.