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Hoops for Hope Classic: Standouts (Jan. 15, 2023)

01/16/2023, 8:45am EST
By Owen McCue and Andrew Robinson

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue) &
Andrew Robinson
(@ADRobinson 3)

Sunday’s 16th annual Hoops for Hope Classic again brought some of the top teams from District 1, the PCL and Inter-Ac, plus one powerhouse from Delaware, together for five games of quality competition. Putting good teams together usually nets some pretty good individual performances, and the slate of games played at Ursinus was no exception.

Each team was allowed to name one game MVP, but there were way more players who had efforts of note in Sunday’s showcase event.

Here are our standouts from the event; CLICK HERE for game recaps:


Mollie Carpenter (2023 | Haverford)
Carpenter may have only put up five points on Sunday, but it’s hard to picture where the Fords would have been without her. The 6-foot-1 post led the Fords with nine rebounds, she consistently served as an outlet against Nortre Dame’s press, she picked up two assists, stole two passes and even drew an offensive foul by taking a charge. Matched up against a guard-oriented Notre Dame team, the senior served as the defensive communicator and helped wall up the paint to keep things on the perimeter.

Haverford senior Caroline Dotsey finished with 24 points in a win over Notre Dame. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Caroline Dotsey (2023 | Haverford)
When Dotsey’s first shot of the day — a 3-point attempt from the perimeter — didn’t go in, the Maine recruit did, using her size advantage and array of post moves to full effect. Dotsey carried the Fords on offense in the second quarter, scoring or assisting all 14 Haverford points while putting Notre Dame defenders in a mixer under the basket. As the Fords found their balance in the second half, Dotsey kept going to work inside, using all 6-foot-1 of her build and wingspan to haul in passes rolling to the rim to help close things out, adding five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal to her efficient 24 points, which came on 9-of-15 shooting and a 6-of-9 effort at the foul line.

Deja Evans (2023 | Archbishop Wood)
Evans finished with 11 points, 10 boards, four assists,  three blocks and a steal. That impressive statline may not even do justice for the way the 6-foot-2 forward impact the game. Evans, an Albany commit, completely took over in the second quarter when she piled up nine points and a pair of assists as the Vikings scored 27 points in the frame to take control of the game. She was opportunistic with her touches inside, not forcing anything, and even stepped out to knock down a three. Her length on defense caused all kinds of problems as she rejected multiple shots that looked like they might be easy looks at the rim. She leaped to pick off a pass in the third quarter as well to stop a PC break. 

Lizzie Halligan (2024 | Academy of Notre Dame)
Halligan opened Sunday’s game with a nice hit on a fallaway three, but didn’t get the same fortune on a lot of her other looks the rest of the way. Still, she battled her way to share the team-high of 12 points with her sister Katie, the pair combining on a couple nice baskets in the second quarter. Even if she wasn’t all the way on, Halligan competed on the defensive end, picking off three steals and grabbing a team-best seven rebounds to pair with two assists and helped keep Notre Dame around until the last few possessions.

Neshaminy junior Lola Ibarrondo had 17 points and six steals in a win over Villa Maria. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Lola Ibarrondo (2024 | Neshaminy)
Ibarrondo picked up in offer from Holy Family after an impressive outing Sunday at Ursinus. The 5-foot-7 point guard gives Neshaminy an edge with her style of playing, bringing toughness and energy at both ends of the floor. She finished with 17 points in the win over Villa, getting to the line 12 times (9-for-12), including an early and-one that helped fire up her team. She is an aggressive driver and not afraid to attack from either side of the rim. Ibarrondo flies around the floor on defense as well, picking pockets or jumping into passing lanes for six steals and grabbing five rebounds as well.

Zoe Kashner (2023 | Sanford, Del.)
The 5-10 forward scored 14 points for the Warriors, including sixth in the fourth as Sanford turned the game into a romp. She also added five boards. Kashner showed a good feel for the floor putting herself in good position to receive the ball. She’s got a nice midrange jumper that helped her scoring output and can also really pass the ball. She didn’t pile up huge assist numbers, but consistently helped Sanford swing the ball around the court for good looks. 

Chloe McGrorty (2023 | Mount St. Joseph)
McGrorty cooled off after a hot start, but finished with 14 points (seven in the first quarter). She does a little bit of everything for her team, also adding three steals, four assists and five rebounds. She has a good handle and a good sense for when to attack the basket. She could be heard throughout Sunday’s game encouraging her teammates to relax. She knocked down a midrange jumper off the bounce and also finished tough inside a few times. The passing ability stood out as well as she had good vision for cutting teammates, even if they didn’t all convert into assists.

Laine McGurk (2023 | West Chester Rustin)
McGurk had an interesting day, going scoreless on six shots in the first quarter, then hitting 4-of-5 for nine points in the second and then being held to a pair of free throws and one other attempt in the third. As soon as Carroll’s lead billowed, the Drexel recruit changed her whole approach, going downhill and attacking the rim at every opening. McGurk finished with a game-high 20 points including three strong finishes in her nine-point fourth quarter, adding eight rebounds while being the center of attention defensively.

Villa Maria senior Mara McHugh scored 18 points against Neshaminy. (Photo: Owen McCue/CoBL)

Mara McHugh (2023 | Villa Maria Acad.)
McHugh finished with a team-high 18 points and had almost all of the Hurricanes scoring in the first half, when she scored 10 of her team’s 12 points. McHugh showed off her midrange game early and found her spots inside. The 5-11 forward is really long and can get shots off over people. After a quiet third quarter where she didn’t see much of the floor, McHugh came back in the fourth and showed off a new part of her game, knocking down a pair of threes with pretty looking form. Like the rest of the Villa squad, she is a worker on defense too.

Kara Meredith (2023 | Archbishop Wood)
Meredith was named team MVP in a win over Archbishop Wood. She scored a team-high 14 points and like the rest of her squad, contributed to the constant ball movement with four assists as well. Meredith, a 6-foot wing committed to Holy Family, stepped outside to knock down a pair of threes. She’s also an opportunistic cutter and has soft touch around the basket to finish, concluding the first half by slicing down the lane to finish off a 10-0 Wood run. Meredith didn’t go off for any monster stretches like teammates Ava Renninger and Deja Evans but she was a steady offensive presence throughout for the Vikings, scoring in every quarter.

Sanford senior Dallas Pierce had 16 points in a win over the Mount. (Photo: Jack Verdeur/CoBL)

Dallas Pierce (2023 | Sanford, Del.)
Pierce was scoreless after the first quarter. She got going with eight points in the second quarter and finished with 16 in the game to go along with five assists and nine boards. The 5-10 wing can really shoot it from deep, but did all her damage within the arc on Sunday, including an 8-for-8 showing from the foul line. She was a force on the glass, particularly when she grabbed eight boards in the second half. She can put the ball on the floor as well, which materialized into scoring opportunities for herself and teammates.

Ava Renninger (2024 | Archbishop Wood)
The 5-foot-6 guard has a knack for getting where she needs to, as displayed by her ability to navigate through Penn Charter’s defense for a couple tough finishes, a pair of timely threes and some incisive passing that fueled a highly productive first half for the Vikings. Renninger put a mark on a few categories, scoring 12 points with six rebounds and a game-high seven assists. She also had one of the game’s biggest shots, knocking down a corner three late in the third to bail a Wood offense that had gone into a rut.

Aleah Snead (2023 | Penn Charter)
Snead, a St. Joe’s commit, finished with a team-high 16 points for the Quakers. The 5-11 wing is a threat from so many places on the floor. She didn’t step back for any shot from behind the line on Sunday, but can knock down jump shots. Inside the paint, the lefty is tough as well, finding ways to get up her shot in crowded space. Most impressive may be her ability to get out in transition. She pushed the ball and scored herself a handful of times and with her size and speed she is really tough to spot with a full head of steam.

Brooke Wilson (2024 | Archbishop Carroll)
Wilson always brings plenty of energy to the court and she needed all of it Sunday, between guarding Laine McGurk, scoring, passing and rebounding as the Patriots held on late. Wilson finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points to go with a robust and game-high 11 rebounds while passing out four helpers with a block and a steal for emphasis. The 5-foot-9 junior stuck with McGurk through just about every screen and action Rustin ran to get her free and on the other end, kept coming up with the right play to keep things moving.

Archbishop Carroll's Taylor Wilson scored 16 points against West Chester Rustin. (Photo: Andrew Robinson/CoBL)

Taylor Wilson (2023 | Archbishop Carroll)
Wilson knows her strengths very well and it’s led to plenty of consistent performances from the 5-foot-11 wing-turned-post just like Sunday’s 16-point, five rebound, two assist, three block effort. The Army recruit’s teammates are starting to follow her example, the Patriots getting a lot of good looks either by getting the ball into Wilson down low or letting her kick the ball back out and finding an open shooter. Wilson had five points in Carroll’s 12-0 run to open the fourth quarter and kept her calm on the court when Rustin’s defense got aggressive trying to force a comeback.

Reese Zemitis (2024 | Neshaminy)
Zemitis has one of the purest shooting strokes around and hit one three on Sunday, but with the long ball not falling found other ways to score. The 6-foot-1 wing displayed her ability to put the ball on the floor and used her strength to finish inside. She can handle the ball particularly well for a player her size and was able to make a few moves to carve out a path to the basket for herself. She added six boards to her statline as well and played some really good defense, adding three blocks and a steal. As a post defender she does a good job of staying straight up, almost enticing opponents shoot the ball into her long arms.

Honorable Mention

Ryan Carter (2027 | Penn Charter), Lola Flynn (2023 | West Chester Rustin), Aniya Eberhart (2024 | Haverford), Alexis Eberz (2026 | Archbishop Carroll), Katie Halligan (2023 | Academy of Notre Dame), Zy Kilgoe (2023 | Sanford, Del.), Emily Knouse (2025 | Archbishop Wood), Layla Mahani (2025 | Sanford, Del.), Ava Panetta (2023 | West Chester Rustin), Georgia Pickett (2023 | Mount St. Joseph)

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