Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On Cloud Nine. The annual Nike Tournament of Champions, an invitational tournament for the top 100+ high school teams in the country, just concluded in Chandler, Arizona. In the top-talent division, Bolingbrook (IL) met Cardinal O'Hara (PA) in the championship final. And the winner of this year's prestigious tournament? Cardinal O'Hara!

Are you asking yourself, as we did, why that name sounds familiar? Well, just last Friday, we linked to a feature by Matt Bracken of the Baltimore Sun introducing new Maryland commit Natasha Cloud. And what team does Natasha play for? The answer is: Cardinal O'Hara!

Jim Halley of USA Today reports that during the championship game, when Bolingbrook double-teamed Cardinal O'Hara Center Stephanie Holzer,

O'Hara countered with a box-and-one on the athletic (Freshman Center) Tuck, with Natasha Cloud trailing her every move, and Tuck was held to eight points.

"The box-and-one kind of took us out of our rhythm," Bolingbrook coach Tony Smith said. "And by the time we adjusted, we were down 10 points to a good team."

It wasn't the first time Cloud, a junior, has had to stop a big scorer. She helped defend last year against Ursuline (Wilmington, Del.) center Elena DelleDonne, the 2008 USA TODAY player of the year.
Congratulations to Natasha, her coaches and her teammates on their very big win! As Maryland fans, we're very exited that the next stop after high school for this defensive stopper is none other than College Park 2010.


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