skip navigation

Morris Catholic repeats at THE John Wall

By Bob Corwin, 01/03/24, 10:15AM PST


Morris Catholic High School, repeat winners at The John Wall (PC: Morris Catholic athletics)

Held December 27-30, 2023, at William Peace University and Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, Morris Catholic High School of Denville, New Jersey, repeated as champions of THE John Wall Family Foundation (title sponsor) Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament Wonderland Bracket (8 teams). Besides that, the event had a four-team Frances Pulley Bracket (held after this writer left Raleigh but won by Grace Christian of Sanford, North Carolina) and a couple of single non-bracket games. The event, presented by Triangle Educational Advancement Foundation, started in 1972 as a boys’ event with the girls’ tournament added in 1995. Approximately 20 women’s college programs attended on day 1 when this writer was present.

Wonderland Bracket Final: Morris Catholic (Denville, New Jersey) 68-52 North Pitt High School (Bethel, North Carolina)

The story of this game might well be it is hard for a great player to beat a great team. Behind Most Outstanding Player Zamareya Jones (see below), North Pitt led 26-25 at half. However, Morris Catholic pulled away in quarter 3, shooting 9/14 from the field and led 51-43 going into the 4th quarter. Adding seven points to none at the foul line helped increase the lead to the final 16-point margin. Jones finished with 37 points on 15/28 from the field but no other teammate reached double figures. Meanwhile Morris Catholic put three (all discussed below) into double figures. They include Mya Pauldo with 22, MVP Mia Pauldo with 19 and Alexis Rosenfeld with 13 points and a team leading 12 rebounds. A massive 43-21 rebounding edge to Morris Catholic helped contribute to the win.

Mia Pauldo of Morris Catholic, MVP at THE John Wall (PC: Bob Corwin)

Players below are listed alphabetically within graduation class with listed height, position, and school (location in parenthesis). Note only teams viewed on day 1 and 2 of the event have players noted below.


Chloe Escanillas, 5-10, guard, Rutgers Prep (Somerset, New Jersey)

Committed to Marist, Escanillas plays hard and can shoot the three (four in posting 20 points in a 68-65 loss to Thomas Dale High School).

Zamareya Jones, 5-8, guard, North Pitt High School (Bethel, North Carolina) MOP

Voted “most outstanding player” in the event, Jones (signed with NC State) set a record with 108 points over the three-game event as her team finished second to Morris Catholic. A high energy player, she can score in multiple ways (threes, drives, transition).

Alexis Rosenfeld, 6-3, center, Morris Catholic High School (Denville, New Jersey)

A Manhattan College commit, Rosenfeld appears strong and more focused than when seen last season. She is rebounding with more “want to” and notched a double-double in the final.

Laynie Smith, 6-4, power forward, Chapel Hill (North Carolina) High School

Both a Power 5 level prospect in volleyball (perhaps her main sport) and basketball, Smith (committed to Illinois for volleyball) is strongly built and can hit the boards with passion.

Blanca Thomas, 6-5, center, Charlotte Catholic High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Signed with North Carolina, Thomas had several big games posting multiple double doubles at the event. She is improved from my last viewing (last spring) finishing on either side in the lower key and hitting the glass harder.

Berry Wallace, 6-1, forward, Pickerington Central High School (Pickerington, Ohio)

Signed with Illinois, Wallace plays hard and embraces contact. She is more attacker than settler for the perimeter shot but both must be respected. She led her team to a third-place finish receiving all-tournament honors.


Caitlyn Jones, 5-8, guard, Rolesville (North Carolina) High School

Having Power 5 offers, Jones comes at the opponent early and often driving and shooting from distance, She posted 24 points in a 61-50 loss to North Pitt.

Kamryn Kitchens, 5-9, guard, Independence High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Having Power 5 offers, Kitchens loves to shoot from the perimeter but also showed a nifty mover or two driving. She posted 21 points including 5 threes in a 51-44 loss to Bishop McGuiness Catholic High School.

Mia Pauldo, 5-6, guard, Morris Catholic High School (Denville, New Jersey) MVP

Garnering MVP honors, Mia is more the scorer of the Pauldo twins. She can hit the three but can attack the rim well for a small guard.

Mya Pauldo, 5-6, point guard, Morris Catholic High School (Denville, New Jersey)

In the final Mya (last year’s MVP at this event) led Morris Catholic in scoring but she is more of the ball handler of the twins. She received all-tournament honors at Raleigh. Along with Mia, they have Power 5 offers.

Kate Sears, 5-9, guard, Watauga High School (Boone, North Carolina)

A lefty with Power 5 offers, Sears likes to go left but can finish right. She is a willing passer but can score her share of points hitting the three or driving.

Elle Stone, 5-10, wing, Mallard Creek High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Stone plays hard at both ends and looks to score vis drive or perimeter shot. She posted 17 points and 5 steals in a 59-49 loss to Morris Catholic.

Zamareya Jones of North Pitt High School, MOP of THE John Wall (PC: Bob Corwin)

Nylah Wilson, 5-10, guard, Thomas Dale High School (Chester, Virginia)

Wilson may be the furthest along of the three Power 5 prospects on her team. An athlete with good size, she posted 18 points and 5 steals in a 68-65 win over Rutgers Prep.


GiGi Battle, 6-0, forward, Rutgers Prep (Somerset, New Jersey)

One of the top players in New Jersey’s 2026 class, Battle is aptly named as she is willing to be physical in the paint and is improving her outside shooting. She posted 12 points and 10 rebounds in her team’s loss to Thomas Dale High School.

Syvannah Dawson, 5-8, guard, Thomas Dale High School (Chester, Virginia)

Another quality athlete with Power 5 upside, Dawson can play either guard slot but is probably more point than shooting guard. She had 17 points in the Rutgers Prep win.


Timani Harris, 5-10, guard, Thomas Dale High School (Chester, Virginia)

Harris is a quality athlete who can shoot from distance or attack. A Power 5 prospect, she posted 20 points on 9/15 from the field vs Rutgers Prep. Thomas Dale High School is the rare public school with multiple Power 5 prospects (maybe 5 NCAA Division 1 futures [all underclass] on this team!).

Jordan Speller, 5-7, point guard, North Pitt High School (Bethel, North Carolina)

With a state player of the year candidate on her team, Speller (a lefty) is not the number one scoring option (Z. Jones mentioned above) on this team. However, she is averaging in double figures and shows Power 5 upside with fine handles, basketball IQ and court vision.

#4 Syvannah Dawson, #3 Nylah Wilson and #25 Timani Harris of Thomas Dale High School (PC: Bob Corwin)