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Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational 2023 (part 3): Colonial edges out Manasquan for Siesta Key Bracket

By Bob Corwin, 01/04/24, 8:30PM PST


Colonial High School, champions of the Siesta Key Bracket of the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational (PC: Johnny with 941Visuals)

In part 3 of my Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational review, the Siesta Key (third) Bracket will be discussed. For background on this year’s event, see part 1 previously posted.  For a review of the ENG (second) Bracket, see part 2. Do note that for the entire event, 54 colleges (70 coaches with some schools sending two) attended one or more days of the event.

College coaches usually concentrate on the highest bracket assuming it is most dense in prospects.  From personal observation at the event, this writer (and sometimes scout) can attest there was plenty of college talent in this (third) division.    

Siesta Key Bracket Final: Colonial High School (Orlando. Florida) 52-43 Manasquan (New Jersey) High School

Of the three top division finals, this was by far the most competitive with Manasquan coming into the game undefeated at 7-0.  Colonial (from Florida which starts much earlier) was 15-2 having lost earlier this year to Florida’s Palm Bay (played here in ENG Bracket finishing third) and to North Carolina’s Cannon School, which went 0-3 in the She Got Game Bracket.  Both teams in this final have multiple mid-major prospects who are seniors.  

This was close to the last few minutes.  Manasquan was a bit more structured and Colonial a bit taller and more athletic. After 1 quarter, Colonial led 12-10 but the score was tied at 24 at half. After three quarters, it was again Colonial up 2 (36-34). With 4:29 left in the game, the score was tied at 38.  However, In the last few minutes of quarter 4,  Colonial was a bit more aggressive converting for the quarter 9 out of 10 foul shots (to two makes from the charity stripe in the quarter for Manasquan) and hitting a couple of big perimeter shots to break the game open.

Colonial was led by Siesta Key Bracket MVP Carmen Richardson [East Tennessee signee] and senior guard Jasmine Boca both with 14 points.  Manasquan was led by All-tournament selectee Hope Masonius [Bucknell commit] with 16 points.  An interesting note regarding Hope Masonius is that her mother and both sisters were also NCAA Division 1 basketball signees.    

Colonial High School Coach Cindy Richardson on Siesta Key Bracket MVP Carmen Richardson:

“Carmen’s versatility and grit is what makes her so important to our team.  She is always going to work hard and on any given night, she’ll do whatever we need her to do to win.”

Siesta Key Bracket All-tournament Team

Anna Azzara, 5-8, guard, 2024, Spring-Ford High School (PA)

Scarlet Cubero, 5-4, guard, 2026, Saint Mary’s High School (Manhasset, NY)

Jasmynne Gibson, 6-2, forward, 2024, Colonial High School (FL)

Destiny Jackson, 5-6, point guard, 2025, Whitney Young High School (IL)

Abby Knauff, 5-9, guard, 2025, The Bolles School (FL)

Hope Masonius, 5-10, forward, 2024, Manasquan High School (NJ)

Bella Ragone, 6-2, forward, 2026, Mill Creek High School (GA)

Carmen Richardson, 5-8, guard, 2024, Colonial High School (FL) Bracket MVP

Carmen Richardson, MVP of the Siesta Key Bracket of the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational (PC: Johnny with 941Visuals)