Roland Park wins Anderson Division
By Bob Corwin
In this portion of our Nike Tournament of Champions (TOC) coverage, the John Anderson (second) Division will be discussed. In an exciting finish, Roland Park Country School of Baltimore, Maryland, defeat Omaha (Nebraska) Westside High School by a score of 60-58.
Looking at the action from the Anderson Division semi-finals and finals…
Roland Park Country School (Baltimore, Maryland) 60-51 New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Maryland)
Roland Park with at least four likely future Division 1 players was the clear favorite coming in. New Hope was missing two Power 5 level starters out with injury. The outcome was never in doubt with Roland Park up 34-20 at half with Mir McLean (see below; Division MVP) leading the way with 10 points, also controlling the middle. Aicha Coulibaly (see below) countered with 10 points but had much less help in the scoring column. After three quarters, Roland Park led 47-29 and the final score was about as close as it got in the last stanza. McLean finished with 25 points for the winners while Coulibaly tallied 23 points before being injured with just under two minutes left in the game.
Omaha Westside (Omaha, Nebraska) 56-44 St. Francis Preparatory (Fresh Meadows, New
Coming in, the talk amongst media was that the more athletic St. Francis (which was also billed as having the best player in Emily Engstler) was the favorite. After one quarter, the New Yorkers led 20-4 and the question was why was this team not in the top division. Perhaps the Nebraskans needed time to adjust to playing superior athletes as their offensive versus a 2-3 zone got more and more effective as the game wore on. St. Francis led 25-23 at half but the course of the game continued to flow Westside’s way leading 41-35 after three quarters. St. Francis seemed to lose its cohesiveness and took repeated bad shots over the last three quarters. Meanwhile, Westside continued to have good spacing and get quality looks versus the St. Francis zone. Quinn Weidemann (see below) led Westside with 25 points while St. Francis was led by Engstler (see below) with 17 points (only eight after quarter one).
Roland Park Country School 60-58 Omaha Westside
Coming in Roland Park with more athletes and likely future Division 1 players appeared a solid favorite over Omaha Westside. These Nebraskans showed us that if you can get your players to buy into a good game plan, you can pull the upset. As it turned out, this was a contest with good execution by both sides. One key to Westside’s near victory was keeping Mir McLean in check (nine points for the contest) in the lower paint. Roland Park led 30-29 at half while Westside led 44-42 after three quarters. With five minutes left, Roland Park had opened a 53-48 lead based on better control in the lower paint. The Nebraskans capitalized on a couple of turnovers and the lead was down to 57-56 with about a minute left in regulation. With 32 seconds to go, Westside’s Jasmine McGuinnis-Taylor (see below) hit a shot close in to take a 58-57 lead for the Nebraskans. With 11 seconds left Roland Park’s Aniyah Carpenter (5-8, senior, shooting guard, committed to Richmond) hit a three to seize the lead. Westside was unable to get a good look in the dying seconds. Westside’s Weidemann led all scorers with 15 points with Ryley Nolin (5-5, junior, shooting guard) adding in 12 for the Nebraskans. Carpenter and Ja’Niah Henson (see below) led Roland Park with 13 points each.
Below in alphabetical order (with listed height, graduation year and school) is the All-Tournament Team of the John Anderson Division.
Nike Tournament of Champions 2017
John Anderson Division All-Tournament Team
Rachel Balzer 5-10, 2019, Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania)
Orally committed to George Mason, Balzer is an adept three-point shooter who moves well without the ball taking shots as given by the offense. Her efforts helped her team to a 2-2 record at the TOC.
Aicha Coulibaly 6-1, 2020, New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Maryland)
From Mali, Coulibaly was one of the most talented players in this year’s event showing strong athletic penetration to the rim and a mid-range stroke. She had several outstanding performances in helping her team (minus a couple of injured Power 5 level prospects) to a 2-2 record.
Makayla Edwards 5-10, 2019, Salesian High School (Richmond, California)
Edwards is strongly built but mobile. She is capable of scoring from the high post (mostly) or going out on to the perimeter to hit an outside shot near the arc. Her efforts helped her team to a 3-1 finish in the Anderson.
Ayana Emmanuel 5-8, 2018, Dillard High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Signed with Alabama State, Emmanuel showed ability to drive being a good athlete and hit some perimeter shots as well. Her efforts helped her team to a 2-2 result.
Emily Engstler 6-2, 2018, St. Francis Preparatory (Fresh Meadows, New York)
Signed with Syracuse, Engstler was one of the most talented offensive players in the TOC. She is an impressive passer in the half court and has a nice mid-range stroke. She led her team to a 3-1 (third place) finish in the Anderson Division.
Ja’Niah Henson 5-3, 2019, Roland Park Country School (Baltimore, Maryland)
A small guard, Henson combined ball handling, on court leadership, defensive quickness and scoring via half court penetration and three-point shooting to help her team win the Anderson Division.
Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor 6-1, 2020, Omaha Westside High School (Omaha, Nebraska)
McGinnis-Taylor was Westside’s low post presence at the event. She posted double digit scoring in the last two games to help Westside to a 3-1 record and second place finish in the Anderson Division.
Mir McLean 5-11, 2020, Roland Park Country School (Baltimore, Maryland) MVP
Over the course of the four days of Nike TOC, McLean was Roland Park’s best player and thus earned MVP status. What she does is simple yet rare in the girls’ game, namely jump out of the gym and finish in the lower key. Until the final where she was help to nine points, she was posting double doubles in points and rebounds.
Zaniya Nelson 5-10, 2020, Putnam City West High School (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
A good athlete, Nelson ran the floor well in transition and played hard on defense. Her efforts helped her team to a 3-1 record in the Anderson Division.
Bri Tolle 6-1, 2018, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Florida)
Signed with SMU, Tolle plays both in the key (where she scores most in the half court) and on the perimeter where she is light enough on her feet to defend. Her efforts helped her team to a 2-2 record in the Division.
Quinn Weidemann 5-9, 2018, Omaha Westside High School (Omaha, Nebraska)
A Wyoming signee, Weidemann is a combo guard who handled the ball much of the time but also was the team’s leading scorer via attacking the basket and some perimeter stroke. Had Westside won rather than finishing second, she would most likely have been MVP of the Division.