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Arcadia Fall Tournament Standouts (Sept. 17, 2023)

09/18/2023, 1:00pm EDT
By Andrew Robinson

By Andrew Robinson (@ADRobinson3)

GLENDSIDE — Anytime teams from the SOL, PAC, Inter-Ac, Philadelphia Catholic and Central League are in the same gym, there’s bound to be good competition.

That place was Arcadia’s Kuch Recreation and Athletic Center on Sunday, the Knights’ women’s basketball program hosting its first Arcadia Fall Tournament warm-up event for a score of area teams. While it’s a little tough to put a full team together at this point of the offseason — many athletes are right in the thick of their fall sport schedules — the games were solid all day. Every team had two games, while Archbishop Wood played in four, but the Vikings rotated players so none played more than three times.

Here are standouts from the slate of games at Arcadia:


Anna Azzara (2024 | Spring-Ford)
The Rams drew two of the tougher matchups in Sunday’s action, facing Neshaminy and Archbishop Wood. Azzara, as usual, didn’t seem fazed and played her standard tenacious defense along with a poised offensive game. Getting into the lane with regularity, Azzara always seemed under control as she either finished it off herself or found the next open person to keep the possession moving. 

Neshaminy's Alena Cofield was one of the standouts during Sunday's action at Arcadia. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL File)

Alena Cofield (2025 | Neshaminy)
Cofield gives Neshaminy something not many other teams have due simply to her blistering pace. The guard is a blur flying up and down the court, but also with a high rate of hustle that makes her seem even quicker. She had one of the best plays of the entire event Sunday, flying out of the far corner to redirect a tipped pass in the lane to the near corner to set up a driving lane. While her outside shot didn’t fall Sunday, Cofield didn’t hesitate to take it and her energetic play was a huge boost to a Neshaminy team that had two comeback victories.

Riley Davis (2027 | Notre Dame)
In her first official, unofficial action with the Irish, Davis looked like she’ll be a contributor right away. The guard shot the ball with confidence, got to the rim, initiated plays as an inbounder and wasn’t hesitant to get in on the other end of the floor. That many of her playing spells came alongside other likely starters didn’t hurt either and she had two big plays in a win over CB East with a steal leading to a layup and a nice outlet off a rebound that led to the game-sealing basket.

Izzy Elizondo (2025  | New Hope-Solebury)
The Lions will need a new go-to scorer this season and the junior guard looks like a leading candidate. Elizondo dropped 21 and 24 points in the early slate Sunday morning (thanks to the NHS coaches for that). She showed a poised game last year, settling in as a third option but capable of finding her own, a role that seems likely to expand come December.

Grace Galbavy (2025 | Perkiomen Valley)
A week ago, Galbavy’s playmaking really stood out while this Sunday, it was her defense. The rangy junior wing/forward was a block machine, at one point recovering on a really nice post move against her to still turn away a layup and continually turning away look after look around the rim. Her offense was pretty sharp too, the usual arsenal of threes adding to the pull-ups and fadeaways in the lane with an accent of open-floor transition finishes with PV not having its full lineup available for the event.

Lizzie Halligan (2024 | Notre Dame)
It was noticeable when Halligan was and wasn’t on the floor for the Irish on Sunday. Notre Dame brought one of the larger pools of players to Arcadia and expects to be a younger team this season, so Halligan’s leading hand will be pivotal early in the season. When she was on the court, the guard was up to her usual work of hitting threes, handling the ball and finding teammates for open opportunities.

Emily Knouse (2025 | Archbishop Wood)
Knouse had a good weekend overall, adding an offer from Loyola (MD) during a visit to campus on Saturday, then playing lights-out in her three games on Sunday. Her long-range shooting was on target, so much so her coaches were feigning outrage when she actually missed one and one make with a Spring-Ford defender in her face certainly stood out. Knouse also rebounded the ball well, she was fluid moving through Wood’s offense and her enthusiasm when some of the younger players filling out the roster made their shots was palpable.

Katie Purpura (2024 | Council Rock South)
Purpura doesn’t seem to have an off switch on the court, whether that’s the game stuff like driving to the rim or grabbing an offensive rebound, or dead time where she’s constantly chatting up a teammate or talking with the bench. The guard was strong in both of the Golden Hawks’ games, getting to the rim, shooting from outside and slinging some passes around the floor in a very Purpura-like effort.

Ava Renninger (2024 | Archbishop Wood)
The Vikings point guard was on point in her three outings Sunday, hitting the kind of shots she lived on throughout the state playoff run last year while also keeping the ball moving. In her last game, with a majority of Wood’s incoming freshman playing around her, Renninger controlled the pace well, knowing when to push or look for a hit-ahead pass while also slowing up or looking for her shot when it was needed.

Shayla Smith (2025 | Audenried)
Even with Neshaminy and Archbishop Wood paying her plenty of attention, Smith still made her share of plays on Sunday. Her strength on the drive stood out several times and when she was determined to get to the rim, she almost always did while mixing in a couple different types of finishes. The guard didn’t have a huge outing in either game, but she put plenty of pressure on both defenses she faced and that should be a familiar trend this winter.

Reese Zemitis (2024 | Neshaminy)
Neshaminy won both its games Sunday in come-from-behind manner and Zemitis certainly played a key role in both. The Bucknell recruit caught fire in the second half against Audenried and she shot the ball well overall in both games. Zemitis also had a knack for being in the right spot, finishing a couple rolls to the rim or being there as a trail option on a break and she made a few nice passes from the wing and in the post, an area she’s added to going into her senior season.

Honorable Mention
Bella Bacani (2025 | Perkiomen Valley), Anna Barry (2024 | CB East), Colleen Besachio (2026 | Archbishop Wood), Rian Dotsey (2025 | Haverford), Cora Fattori (2024 | Springfield Delco), Presley Foote (2024 | Pennsbury), Aniyah Howard (2024 | Audenried), Cam Gregory (2024 | Council Rock South), Lola Ibarrondo (2024 | Neshaminy), Chloe Knox (2025 | Notre Dame), Layla Matthias (2024 | Pennsbury),  Mac Pettinelli (2024 | Spring-Ford), Kareena Preuss (2025 | Spring-Ford), Felicity McFilin (2025 | Archbishop Carroll), Nasiaah Russell (2027 | Audenried), Sofia Vitucci (2024 | Pennsbury), Emily Wilson (2025 | New Hope-Solebury), Brooke Wilson (2024 | Archbishop Carroll), Alexa Windish (2024 | Archbishop Wood)

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