Someone MUST have been nice instead of naughty this year -- Santa Claus has delivered our wish to see some of the best matchups in girls’ basketball this weekend at the Naples Holiday Shootout in Florida.
The national tournament, hosted at Barron Collier High School, is rapidly being recognized as one of the top holiday events in the country -- this year the strong field of teams is second only to the Nike Tournament of Champions.
The Championship Division features 16 national level teams from across the nation, meanwhile the newly created Beach Bash Division features six Florida teams. Four teams in the tournament are currently ranked in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 including No. 2 Whitney Young (Chicago, IL), No. 3 Science Hill (Johnson City, TN), No. 10 Dreher High School (Dreher, SC) and No. 19 North Gwinnett (Suwanee, GA).
Whitney Young comes in to the tournament with a 9-0 record led by the hot shooting hand of point guard Linnae Harper who is ranked No. 7 in the Full Court Fresh 50. The Kentucky commit is averaging 22 points per game so far this season, and as a team, Whitney Young is putting up an average of 74 points per game while holding their opponents to 40. If they can go undefeated this weekend in Naples, they will most likely find themselves as the No. 1 team in the nation now that top rated Bishop O’Dowd fell at the Nike TOC, as well as three other teams in the top five. Whitney Young will face Tucker in the first round of the tournament.
Not only does the tournament host top teams, but a handful of players ranked in the Full Court Fresh 50 will be on display; In addition to Harper, No. 13 Alexis (Lexi) Brown of North Gwinnett, No. 19 Kai James of Dwyer and No. 26 Kaydra Duckett of Dreher will test their skills. Harper, Brown and James are an elite trio that played together this summer for USA Basketball on the U17 National Team that won gold at the FIBA U17 World Championships.
As the official media partner of the Naples Holiday Shootout, Full Court will have daily coverage from the event including game recaps, highlight videos and photo galleries.
First Round Games - Championship Bracket
11:00 Dwyer vs Edgewater
12:30 Cardinal O'Hara vs Dreher
2:00 Marist vs North Gwinnett
3:30 Warren Easton vs Hathaway Brown
5:00 Science Hill vs Mcdonough
6:30 Tucker vs Whitney Young
8:00 Center Pointe vs Troy
9:30 First Baptist Academy vs Barron Collier