Top Stories of 2006
Epiphanny Prince
Epiphanny Prince
HoopGurlz Publisher
Posted Jan 2, 2007


HoopGurlz.com presents the top stories from our first year - a very good year - on the national girl's high-school and club scene.

STORY & PHOTOS BY GLENN NELSON


A very good year, 2006 was the perfect time for HoopGurlz.com to expand its focus nationally. Not only did we get to view the continued evolution of the game, to girls who are bigger, faster, stronger and more skilled than ever, we also got to witness extraordinary events and performances.

The following are our choices for the top stories from our first year on the national scene:


1. Prince Scores 113

Epiphanny Prince
Epiphanny Prince, then of Murry Bergtraum High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., figures there were about eight people in the Bergtraum gym for a seemingly meaningless game against Brandeis, a perennial doormat in the Public Schools Athletic League. Yet, it didn't take long for millions more to find out what had happened during Bergtraum's 132-37 victory on Feb. 1 - the 5-foot-9 Prince had done the unthinkable, scoring 113 points to break Cheryl Miller's national high-school record of 105 points in a single game. Mind-boggling, the performance also touched off a national debate on sportsmanship. Prince went on to Rutgers, where as a freshman she leads the team in scoring.

Original HoopGurlz Story: Girl 113



3. Christ the King Repeats National Title

Tina Charles
In an era when the talent level is exploding nationwide in girl's basketball, the prospect of two straight, unbeaten national-championships seasons by a single high school is difficult to contemplate. Yet Christ the King pulled it off with aplomb, defeating Courtney Paris and Piedmont in the TOC championship game one year, then Maya Moore and Collins Hill the next. Not to mention other great national powers, plus local rivals Murry Bergtraum and the great Epiphanny Prince. In the process, coach Bob Mackey helped develop a veritable constellation of prep stars, including Tina Charles and Lorin Dixon (UConn), Carem Gay (Duke) and Sky Lindsay (St. John's).

Original HoopGurlz Story: No. 1 ... by a Whistle



5. UConn Lands a Pair of No. 1s

Geno Auriemma
While other programs exceeded Connecticut in terms of depth of numbers, coach Geno Auriemma pulled out the ultimate number - 1 - not once, but in consecutive years, first signing Tina Charles of Christ the King in the 2006 class, then Maya Moore of Collins Hill from 2007 on April 10. Both are certifiable winners - Charles leading her high school to consecutive national titles and Moore looking to help Collins Hill succeed CTK this year. The two staged an epic battle during the 2005 Nike Tournament of Champions title game, showing off their shared, somewhat old-school qualities of competitiveness, leadership and work ethic, to go along with extreme athleticism and length.

Original HoopGurlz Story: UConn Nabs Another No. 1



7. Metros Win Nike Nationals

Alicia Manning
With help from the likes of Tennessee commit Alicia Manning, Maya Moore added generously to her high-school legacy with four dellicious games culminating in the Georgia Metros' 62-59 overtime victory over the Tennessee Flight on July 31. That victory earned the Metros the title of the most prestigious tournament on the summer club circuit. Moore left her stamp on the championship game by calming transporting the ball the length of the floor and depositing a seven-foot pullup jumper as time expired in regulation. Earlier in the event, she had 42 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks, four steals and three assists in one game, and dominated another despite scoring just nine.

Original HoopGurlz Story: Determination Wins Nike Nationals



9. USA Basketball's Disappearing Shooters

Tara VanDerveer
The big clang heard in mid-June emanated from Colorado Springs, Colo., where USA Basketball was holding tryouts for its U18 team. With the nation's top snipers - Angie Bjorklund (stress fracture), Elena DelleDonne (ankle) and Jacki Gemelos (knee) - sidelined, there was a noticeable dearth of perimeter shooters at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. The dismal shooting display prompted Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer to lament, "It's not just bad. It's horrendous." She and others sounded the alarm about the future of American marksmanship that should be heeded immediately. As college coaches from coast to coast are declaring, any high-school prospect who can shoot it a little is "solid gold."

HoopGurlz Story: Where are the Shooters?



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Glenn Nelson is the publisher of HoopGurlz.com and the editor-in-chief of Scout Media (www.Scout.com), an online sports network and magazine-publishing company and subsidiary of Fox Interactive Media. Glenn also founded and coached the Dragons and Northwest HoopGurlz select girl's basketball teams. He previously was a longtime, national-award-winning basketball columnist and writer for The Seattle Times. His work also has appeared in several national magazines and books. He is co-author of "Rising Stars: The Ten Best Players in the NBA" (Rosen Publishing, 2002). He can be reached at hoopgurlz@comcast.net.




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