The Erie Saints girls basketball team, coached by Villa Maria coach Doug Chuzie, continued its impressive summer at the Nike Showcase in Chicago last weekend. The Saints went 4-1 in the tournament to finish in third place. The Nike Showcase has been around for 13 years and has hosted 288 teams and more than 4,000 players. Last summer, more than 550 NCAA Division I basketball coaches attended the camp.
The Saints started the tournament off by defeating Kalakaua, Hawaii 53-50 in overtime. Kalakaua sent guards to BYU and Utah last year. Erie then defeated Columbia, Washington 44-35. Columbia has had 30 Division I players over the past 14 years and has six state championships and over 700 wins during head coach Al Aldridge’s career.
The Saints followed their opening wins by defeating the St. Louis Rockets 47-33 to qualify for the semifinals. Erie ran into a tough Arizona Sting team though to end its run at the championship. Arizona won 53-48 before going on to win the tournament championship by 15. Erie concluded the tournament by beating the St. Louis Red Knights 55-49 in the third-place game. The Knights were coached by Dan Rolfes and featured many players from his Incarnate Wood team, which was ranked in the top 40 nationally this past winter.
The Erie Saints are wrapping up their summer season this weekend in the USJN national tournament in Washington D.C.
The Saints’ roster includes seniors Karlee McBride and Leah Bennett of Villa Maria along with Brenna Robbins of Mercyhurst Prep and North East’s Alex Artise. Erie also features juniors Lindsey Mifsud, Amesha Harden-Pullium and Katlyn Unger of Villa Maria as well as Angelina Starr of Franklin and Nikki Arbanas of Hickory.