The first stop for the Girls of Summer Caravan was on the south shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe in an event prior to the NCAA July viewing period for club teams where girls played for their high school.
There were no surprises at the 39th Lake Tahoe Girls Basketball Jamboree held June 23-25 at the Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe.
For the second straight year, and in the longest standing girls basketball tournament in California directed by longtime South Lake Tahoe girls and boys coaching legend Les Wright, the tournament was dominated by Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa.
The Cardinals won all five of their games by an average of 30 points. The closest anyone got was a 58-37 championship game victory over Heritage of Brentwood, and the only team to score 40 points against Newman was in game four on Sunday morning in a 62-40 victory over Justin-Siena of Napa.
It was a huge tournament for incoming Cardinals junior sharpshooter Kate Schat and on Sunday the All State First Team Sophomore and Third Team Open Division/D1 selection completely took charge in both games.
Schat, who after Girls California Live 23 two weekends ago, has interest from San Francisco, San Diego, Pacific, Cal State Fullerton and Columbia, just about matched her 4.42 GPA in the classroom with her play on the court.
Against Heritage, the 5-foot-8 guard had 27 points on 5-of-6 from three-point range and 11-of-13 from the field overall. With the score tied 2-2 Schat took over and keyed a 19-0 run, and at that point with the score 21-2 the game was all but over.
Schat had 22 points on four three-pointers with seven steals and three assists against Justin Siena.
“Yes, it kind of surprised me,” said Schat about starting to get some real college interest. “It was fun having all the college coaches watching with our new teammate Tissa. With coaches coming to watch her it gave me and our whole team more opportunities.”
Tissa would be Brazilian incoming junior phenom Taissa “Tissa” Queiroz. She did not play in Tahoe and is playing for the Brazilian U19 National Team at the World Cup in Madrid, Spain. We’ll have more about her in a later edition of the Girls of Summer series of writeups.
Newman was also without incoming senior forward Janelle Pena in Tahoe. She was competing in the Native American Games in Arizona.
Kaida Angelo, a 5-foot-9 incoming senior guard, also had her best game against Heritage. She finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. She went for 10 points against Justin Siena. She played exceptional defense all tournament and has interest from San Francisco State.
Heritage was led by incoming senior guard Kendall McClure. She nailed two three-pointers and finished with 12 points.
Several other Cardinal Newman girls played well in the three games we observed.
Incoming senior guard Leah Martinez had 9 points against Justin-Siena, and although she only had four points against Heritage, her defense was solid and she had five assists, five rebounds and four steals. Incoming senior guard Leah Mauritson had two three-pointers and 8 points against Justin Siena, and she also nailed two treys in the Heritage win.
Head coach Monica Mertle got to play her incoming freshmen quite a bit and one that stood out was shooting guard Macie Flores, the little sister of current assistant and standout 2018 grad Maiya Flores. She can shoot the three, handle the ball, and likes to attack the basket.
A Justin-Siena player that looked good was 6-foot incoming junior center Jordan Washington. She was able to finish against Cardinal Newman and finished with 16 points.
In the third-place game, defending CIF Northern Regional Division III champion Colfax outlasted Justin-Siena, 52-51, in one of the more exciting games of the tournament.
All in all, Coach Wright, who donates the proceeds of the tournament to Lake Tahoe Community College and a couple of other select benefactors, has a solid event and the participating teams had fun in Lake Tahoe when not on the hardwood.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend