Girls' hoops tourney features top teams

By Don Beideman

The fourth annual Hoops for Hope Classic Sunday, weather permitting, to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation will showcase some of the area’s top girls’ basketball teams and one from Virginia.

The out-of-state visitor, Robert E. Lee from Staunton, will take on Cardinal O’Hara, the runner-up in the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs last season, at 3:30 p.m.

Robert E. Lee, runner-up in Virginia’s Group AA Division 3 last season, has everyone back, including record rebounder Daquaa Scott.

Natasha Cloud, headed to Maryland, and Marikate Gardler, who has orally committed to St. Joseph’s, will lead the Lions.

The daylong showcase takes place at the Bala Cynwyd School in the Lower Merion School District. The opening contest pits Mount St. Joseph, which made the PIAA Class AAA final four last season, against Archbishop Prendergast at 11 a.m.

The second game, at 12:30 p.m., has Archbishop Ryan, another Catholic League team, squaring off vs. Spring-Ford of the Pioneer Athletic Conference. At 2 p.m. it will be the Catholic League’s Archbishop Wood vs. Villa Maria Academy.

The Hurricanes are expected to be a contender for the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies title.

Following the O’Hara-Lee game, defending PIAA Class AAA champ Archbishop Carroll will meet Notre Dame, another AACA team, at 5 p.m. The nightcap at 6:30 will feature host school Lower Merion and Friends’ Central, which finished 24-0 in the 2008-09 regular season before losing to Shipley in the Friends League championship game.

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