By Tom Robinson
The JB Hoops National girls team took a 10-player lineup to Chicago for its first appearance in the Nike Tournament of Champions, beginning later today and continuing through Friday.
All 10 players also played for the JB Hoops Bucci team when the Scranton-based AAU program had two teams entered in the Blue Chip USA Invitational Saturday through Monday in Lancaster County.
Lauren Charlton missed the last two games of the USA Invitational with an injury. The rising senior wing player from Dallas is back.
Kayla Rose, who played for the JB Hoops Rose team throughout the USA Invitational, joined the JB Hoops Bucci team during three of the five games at Spooky Nook. The Riverside junior post player will remain with the team in Chicago.
Clair Marion from Abington Heights pulled double-duty with the JB Hoops Bucci and JB Hoops Rose team over the final four games and is also part of the lineup for the Tournament of Champions.
The other seven players were with JB Hoops Bucci through the entire USA Invitational when the team went 4-1 to place second in Pool A. They have seen regular action with the team during its 15-1 regular in live events this season.
There are two players each from Scranton Prep and Susquehanna in that group.
Rachael Rose and Cecelia Collins, both preparing for their junior years at Scranton Prep, handle much of the team’s ball-handing. Rose was the team scoring leader in the USA Invitational with 11.6 per game.
Seniors Mackenzie Steele, a 6-foot-2 center who led the team in rebounding in the last game at Spooky Nook, and Taylor Huyck, who plays on the wing and at forward, are the Susquehanna players.
Riverside also has two players on the roster with 6-foot senior center Leah Hodick joining Kayla Rose.
West Scranton senior guard/forward Nya Johnson and Old Forge senior guard Lindsey Welsh, two newcomers to the program this year, complete the roster. Johnson was second on the team in total points during the USA Invitational with 37 (7.4 per game).
Charlton averaged in double figures, scoring 31 points in her 3 games.
JB Hoops opens the Tournament of Champions at 5:45 Eastern against Bucky’s Northwest Basketball Academy (NWBA) Gold from Shoreline, Wash.