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2023 Nike Tournament of Champions: Mitty wins Cannizzaro Division in an instant classic!

By Bob Corwin, 12/24/23, 5:00PM PST


Archbishop Mitty HS, winners of the NIKE TOC Vincent Cannizzaro Division (PC: Bob Corwin)

The 26th NIKE Tournament of Champions was held Dec. 18-21 at Legacy Sports Park on the Arizona Athletic Grounds in Mesa. The tournament consisted of seven divisions of 16 teams. Over the course of the event, 123 colleges (mostly NCAA Division 1 with some sending more than one coach) watched one or more days of the competition. In succeeding articles, the Joe Smith (second Federation division) and Claire Droesch (non-Federation) divisions will be discussed.


Archbishop Mitty High School (San Jose, California) 73-72 Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, New York)

This year NIKE TOC saved its best for the last game (nationally televised by ESPN). The game had 10 ties overall and 10 lead changes in the 4th quarter alone. For talent (at least eight likely future Power 5 players on the court), shot making ability and intensity, the game was top of the chart with two of the very best high school teams of this season producing an instant classic. On paper, LuHi (as the school is called back home) had more firepower but on this date Mitty was stronger on the glass (+10 on the boards) and better defensively. To LuHi’s credit, they were forced into tough looks by Mitty’s defense, but they converted sufficiently except the last one which would have been a winning buzzer beater. To Mitty’s credit, it slowed down the LuHi juggernaut which has been beating quality teams by double (often over 20 points) digits. In winning Archbishop Mitty will probably move to #1 in high school rankings as they triumphed over a division with nine teams ranked in one or more top 25 pre-season polls plus the best (or one of the best) teams in Canada.

Archbishop Mitty was led by McKenna Woliczko (MaxPreps Co-freshman of the Year last season and a member of the last USA U16 team) with 22 points and 8 rebounds. For consistency of excellence over the four days of the event, she was selected as Division MVP. Connecticut signee Morgan Cheli posted 17 points and 11 rebounds plus was Mitty’s primary ball handler. She could have been argued as MVP for this game.

LuHi was led in scoring by Lauryn Swann with 18 points and 3 rebounds and as an unsigned senior probably helped herself as to college scholarship offers. Best in the game for LuHi was Michigan signee Syla Swords with 16 points and 8 (often difficult) rebounds.

Below is the all-tournament team for the Vincent Cannizzaro Division with players listed alphabetically, with listed height, position, graduation year, school, and state location. Special thanks to Erik Boal who served with me on the all-tournament selections committee and helped provide stats used in this article.

McKenna Woliczko, MVP of the NIKE TOC Vincent Cannizzaro Division (PC: Bob Corwin)