Wednesday, February 27, 2019

‘Franimal’ Fran Belibi Makes 1-Handed Dunk, February 27, 2019

Regis High basketball star Fran Belibi is at it again! The high school senior had a dunk for the ages on Tuesday night with a one-handed dunk.
She’s been nicknamed the Franimal for her ability on the court.
Regis took on East High School in the 5A Quarterfinals on Tuesday where Belibi stole the show and took a pass for the dunk.
Regis beat Denver 72 to 15. Regis will play Horizon in the Elite Eight on Friday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Mitty’s Haley Jones a finalist for top national honor

Darren Sabedra,, February 26, 2019

The stage is set for Archbishop Mitty’s Haley Jones to have one heck of a finish to her high school career.

Her team just won its fourth consecutive Central Coast Section Open Division championship and is seeded No. 1 in the Northern California Open Division regional, three wins from a state title that would give Jones the one trophy she and her teammates have yet to hoist.
The individual awards are piling up, too.
Tuesday, the Stanford-bound star learned that she is among the five finalists for the Naismith high school girls player of the year award, announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
The others are junior Paige Bueckers of Hopkins High in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, senior Zia Cooke of Rogers High in Toledo, Ohio, sophomore Azzi Fudd of  St. John’s College Prep in Washington, D.C. and senior Jordan Horston of Africentric Early College Prep in Columbus, Ohio.
The winner will be chosen in March.
Jones is averaging 26.4 points and 12.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.7 steals and 1.8 blocks per game this season.
In January, the McDonald’s All-American became Mitty’s all-time leading scorer, eclipsing a mark beach volleyball superstar Kerri Walsh Jennings held for 23 years.
After Mitty beat Pinewood on Friday night, Jones said, “We’re just looking forward, game by game, trying to be back because the senior class also hasn’t won a state title. We’re trying to get there.”
The Monarchs have a bye in the first round of NorCals. They will play host to No. 5 seed St. Joseph Notre Dame or No. 4 seed Salesian on Saturday night. SJND visits Salesian on Wednesday.


Stanford signee Haley Jones is one of five finalists for the 2019 Naismith Trophy High School Girls' Player of the Year the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday.

The nation's consensus No. 1 recruit, Jones is the first top prospect to sign with Stanford since Chiney Ogwumike came to The Farm as the top player in the country in Nov. 2009. Ogwumike is Stanford's only previous winner of the Naismith Trophy High School Girls' Player of the Year award, taking home the honor in 2010.

The 6-foot-1 Jones is averaging 26.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.7 steals and 2.8 blocks in 27 games thus far for Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, which won its fourth consecutive Central Coast Section Open Division title on Friday with a 72-51 victory over Pinewood. She averaged 21.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists as a junior  and was named the 2017-18 California Gatorade Player of the Year and earned All-America honors from USA TODAY and MaxPreps.

This past summer, she won a gold medal with the United States at the FIBA U17 World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, alongside fellow incoming freshman Fran Belibi. Jones was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 10.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in seven starts for Team USA.

Both Belibi and Jones along with fellow signee Ashten Prechtel, the No. 16 overall player in the class, are on the West Team for the 2019 McDonald's All American Game on March 27 in Atlanta. Of Stanford's 24 McDonald's All-Americans all-time, nine will be on the team together next season. The Cardinal's incoming class, which also includes five-star talent Hannah Jump from Pinewood, is ranked second nationally by espnW HoopGurlz.

‘Pretty Cool’: Harlem Globetrotter Champ Thompson Hits The Court At Regis Jesuit High School

Michael Spencer,, February 21, 2019

The Regis Jesuit High School girls basketball team got a visit from Champ Thompson of the Harlem Globetrotters on Thursday. Thompson and the Globetrotters are in Colorado for their 2019 Fan Powered World Tour.

“It’s always a huge honor to get to meet a Harlem Globetrotter, and she went to Stanford so I’ve been watching her for a long time, so this is pretty cool,” said Regis Senior Fran Belibi who is committed to play at Stanford next season.
Belibi went viral two years ago when she became the first female in Colorado high school history to dunk in a game. She has since got viral again for more dunks.
“Just being able meet a professional and someone who played at the highest level and came out of it and had great advice to share about what to do and what to do after is definitely amazing,” added Belibi.
The Globetrotters will play at Pepsi Center in Denver on March 2 at 1 p.m. and at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield on March 2 at 7 p.m.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fran Belibi and the Harlem Globetrotters

click to video and story

Cealey Godwin,, February 21, 2019

The secret is out on Fran Belibi.

The 6-foot-1 forward out of Regis Jesuit can throw down some ridiculous dunks.

She became the first female in the state of Colorado to register a dunk in a high-school game back in January of 2017, her sophomore year with the Raiders. Two years later, she added to it, tagging up with a teammate for an alley-opp, another first in the state of Colorado but the first nation-wide.

The videos quickly went viral, catching the likes of Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Golden State’s Steph Curry, WNBA champion Sue Bird, as well as Harlem Globetrotter Lili 'Champ' Thompson.

“Obviously her dunking ability, but I know she’s a well-rounded player. I know she has a work ethic so, just a really nice young lady to hang out with and, you know, shot some hoops,” Thompson said.

A rookie with the one of the most well-known sports entertainment groups, Champ spent an hour of her Thursday afternoon hanging out at the Raider’s practice, showing off the quick handles and tag-teaming on some dunk combinations.  

“Girls don’t really go out and practice alley-ooping so a lot of people don’t really know how to do it so it’s nice to have someone who comes in and knows how to do it,” said Belibi, who heads to Stanford next season.

It’s another area the two can relate on, as Champ played three years with the Cardinal before finishing off her collegiate career at Notre Dame.

“She was just kind telling me about how to find that place to belong and just what to do in those regards being there and playing basketball,” added Belibi.

Champ's biggest piece of advice:

“Just to take advantage of the opportunity. It goes by really quickly, it’s a lot of fun and just remember to have fun with it.”

Mitty beats Pinewood again in Open final

Pinewood's Hannah Jump (24) shoots layup against Archbishop Mitty's Haley Jones (30) in the first period of their Central Coast Section Open Division girls basketball championship game in Santa Clara, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.

Darren Sabedra,, February 22, 2019

Archbishop Mitty coach Sue Phillips always says she wants her teams ready for March. The big games arrived a little early this season, but the Monarchs were ready.
Boy, were they ready.
In the annual matchup against Pinewood for the Central Coast Section Open Division girls basketball championship, Mitty left no doubt which team was best, rolling to a 72-51 victory at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Center on Friday night.
It was the Monarchs’ fourth consecutive CCS Open crown — all against Pinewood — and the program’s 28th section title overall. Pinewood has lost in the Open final the past five seasons.
“We played really, really good defense tonight,” Phillips said. “Had some breadowns but really locked in on their 3-point threat. The 3s that they did make, it wasn’t the people that really get them going.”
Of course, the white elephant in the room was the game that got away from Mitty, a triple-overtime loss to Pinewood in the Northern California Open Division final last season at SCU.
The Monarchs were eager for payback, as Haley Jones said after she finished with 26 points and nine rebounds.
“We wanted it really bad after last year,” Jones said. “It was kind of a redemption game. We also wanted it for the senior class because it’s a four-peat in CCS, which hasn’t been done in the Open Division. Now we’re just looking forward, game by game, trying to be back because the senior class also hasn’t won a state title. We’re trying to get there.”
Hunter Hernandez, only a sophomore, had a huge game for Mitty, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
“Hunter’s amazing,” Phillips said. “Hunter can do anything on the floor. The way she got on the glass today, particularly on the offensive boards, and just asserted herself early on the offensive side, she’s always been a defensive presence for us. It’s great to see her put both ends of the floor together.”
Mitty took command early, building a 10-2 cushion midway through the first quarter. The Monarchs cut off passing lanes with active defenders and length, dominated the boards and kept everyone not named Courtni Thompson from getting into any offensive rhythm.
If not for Thompson, who finished with 18 points, the score might have been out of reach by halftime.
Instead, her 13 first-half points — which included three 3-pointers — kept Pinewood within striking distance at the break, down 30-21.
But Mitty scored the first four points of the third quarter and maintained the double-didgit edge the rest of the way.
“They deserved to win,” Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler said. “We played really hard, but we just didn’t do a great job minimizing how many easy baskets they got — putbacks. Hunter Hernandez had 21 and I would say 14 of them were off of putbacks or open layups. Sheer hustle, just attackling the ball, wanting the ball more than us. It was a physicality issue and desire for the ball.”
The victory locks up the No. 1 seed for Mitty in the Northern California Open Division regional, which will become official Sunday and this season means home games through the regional final for the top seed, as long as it keeps winning.
“It really wasn’t about the opponent,” Phillips said of the win Friday. “It was about securing the No. 1 seed.”
Pinewood hopes for a No. 2 seed. But its loss at Carondelet, which won the North Coast Section Division I title Friday, might prevent that from happening.

Discovery Canyon’s Ashten Prechtel injures shooting hand in second-round loss to TCA

The Classical Academy’s Kaitlin Walters goes for a layup next to Discovery Canyon’s player Ashten Prechtel during the varsity girl’s game at The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019

Lindsey Smith,, February 22, 2019

Ashten Prechtel’s final high school game was not exactly what she envisioned.
The McDonald’s All-American led the Discovery Canyon girls’ basketball team by averaging more than 55 percent of the team’s total points through the regular season. But midway through the third quarter of a Class 4A second-round game against The Classical Academy, it was clear Prechtel was off her game.

Early in the third Prechtel apparently injured her right hand, keeping her off the court for a majority of the second half.
The absence of the team’s all-around player allowed the Titans to use their aggressive defense to claim a 49-35 win over Discovery Canyon.
I wish I could have stayed healthy through the game, I feel like it would have been a different result had that happened,” Prechtel said. “It was so hard to sit out. I tried to go back in but I couldn’t shoot or do anything. I didn’t want to think it, but right when I got hurt around then I had the feeling this would be my last game.”
With Prechtel on the bench, TCA capitalized on offensive rebounds in the third quarter - typically a difficult feat against DCC’s 6-foot-5 center. From there senior Autumn Boyles went to work, putting up 12 points in the second half to give the Titans a nice cushion.
“With (Prechtel) out we controlled the other girls and picked up our offense in the second half,” said TCA coach Frank Haist. “It was an ugly game a little bit, but it was our first game in the playoffs, sometimes that happens.”
Despite the injury, Prechtel entered the game a few times through the second half and scored three points - all off free throws. She was 0-for-3 from the field and 3-for-8 from the line. Prechtel led the Thunder at halftime with 12 points. She spent her time on the DCC bench icing her hand.
Prechtel said she is not sure what exactly happened, or the extent of the injury, but she plans to have it checked out.
DCC coach Heath Kirkham suspects it is broken.
“It’s one of those things that sucks and I wish that we could be back on Monday but I just am looking towards the future,” said Prechtel, who will play basketball at Stanford next year. “I know this isn’t my last game ever, and making sure my hand heals is the most important thing right now.”
But despite Prechtel’s absence Kirkham was proud of the fight in his team through the second half.
“We’ve had so many injuries, lost one of our teammates,” said Kirkham, referencing the loss of junior guard Avory Kvale, who died in a car crash with fellow DCC student Kaden Currier in December. “We’ve gone through so much tremendous adversity this season and it’s been unbelievable. These girls have been stepping up all year long.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a team that has gone through what they’ve had to go through, and to come out tied for second in the conference and win a playoff game — I’m just so proud of this team.”
The Discovery Canyon girls’ team sported pink scrunchies and blue shoelaces in memory of Kvale and Currier.
Prechtel finished with 15 points, followed by nine by Mackenzie Seitz. Tuesday Prechtel broke the state rebound record with 1,322 career boards heading into Friday's second-round game. She also had 69 double-doubles before Friday, ranking her second all-time in Colorado behind Mesa Ridge's Kylee Shook.
“We wanted to come out and prove that we could do it,” Prechtel said. “After everything that we’ve faced I think we just all really wanted it, and it was just unfortunate circumstances.”
TCA will move on to play No. 2 Holy Family in the third round. Holy Family punched its ticket to the round of 16 with a 61-26 win over No. 34 Glenwood Springs.
“We’ve been out of our shooting groove for a few games, so we’re hoping it comes back against Holy Family,” Haist said. “We had some open looks that just didn’t fall today, especially in the first half. You have to have a little bravado, a little strut and confidence when you shoot and I thought we did that in the second half.”
Boyles led TCA with 16 points, followed by Kaitlin Walters with 12.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Discovery Canyon senior Ashten Prechtel breaks Colorado rebounding record in playoff win

Vinny Benedetto,, February 19, 2010

Discovery Canyon senior Ashten Prechtel clenched the misfired Wilson basketball early in a first-round playoff win over Northfield on Tuesday in the Thunder gym to climb atop the Colorado record book.
Her third rebound of the opening minutes gave her 1,300 for her career, one more than the record previously held by Mesa Ridge standout Kylee Shook.
“Obviously it wasn’t my main focus going into the game, but it was pretty cool feeling,” Prechtel said.
“Hopefully it stays on there for a long time.”
Unofficially, Prechtel finished with 25 rebounds, which would give her 1,322 and counting heading into the No. 18 Thunder’s second-round game at No. 15 The Classical Academy on Friday.
The 49-38 win matched Discovery Canyon’s deepest run into the playoffs in Prechtel’s four years, and the Stanford-bound star can now focus exclusively on extending her prep career.
“My focus is to win games, but I was just trying to be more aggressive going after rebounds,” Prechtel said after grabbing a combined 53 rebounds in the final two games of the regular season.
“Obviously it helped.”
Prechtel had her way early on.
She scored the game’s first 10 points, including a jumper and 3-pointer that hardly drew iron, but the Nighthawks’ aggressive double teams eventually threw the Thunder out of rhythm. Northfield answered with a 9-0 run to make it a one-point game.
“They had a good gameplan, but (there were) a lot of nerves,” Thunder coach Heath Kirkham said. “We’ve got a lot of girls that don’t have any playoff experience.”
Prechtel added a couple more buckets to finish with 14 first-half points and as many rebounds, and the Thunder led 22-21 at the break.
She scored the first four points of the second half, but another stretch of poor execution from the Thunder saw the visitors take a 32-30 lead with just over two minutes left in the third.
Prechtel’s second 3-pointer gave the Thunder a three-point advantage to end the third before she scored the first bucket of the fourth to make it 37-32.
Northfield rallied back to cut Discovery Canyon’s lead to 39-37 before junior Mackenzie Seitz made her biggest impact, scoring a pair of buckets from the post and drawing a charge with the Nighthawks honing in on Prechtel.
“We always have to find a way to work around it,” Seitz said. “It was just a combination of good passes and assists and just finding the open player.”
The charge set up the final field goal of Prechtel’s 27 points.
“I don’t care what you do,” Kirkham said. “You try to run a box-and-one, whatever they did, double team her all over the floor, she’s going to get her points. She continues to work hard on offense even though she’s not in the flow.”
Then, Seitz finished off her 14-point performance to give the Thunder a nine-point lead with little more than a minute left.
“Mackenzie played great at the end,” Prechtel said. “I’m super excited for her. I just want her to keep playing like that and to keep building confidence.”
Seitz is the teammate that often works against Prechtel in practice.
“It’s very frustrating,” Seitz said before adding a rare made shot against a 6-foot-5 defender is cause for celebration.
“I love playing against her. She makes me better.”
As of Tuesday, Seitz works against the best rebounder in Colorado girls’ basketball history.
“Ashten will forever leave her mark on this program,” Kirkham said. “Not only as being the best player in school history, but for girls to come.”

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Stanford recruits among semifinalists for national award, February 15, 2019

Stanford signees Fran Belibi and Haley Jones are two of 10 players selected as semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy High School Girls' Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Friday. Stanford is the only school with multiple players on the list.


Discovery Canyon's Ashten Prechtel receives McDonald's All-American jersey, takes a step closer to prestigious game

Discovery Canyon's Ashten Prechtel, center, holds up her McDonald's All-American jersey Thursday before Thunder's regular-season finale against Palmer Ridge.

Chhun Sun,, February 14, 2019

Her smile said it all.
Ashten Prechtel couldn't help but exude happiness when she received a McDonald's All-American jersey just before her Discovery Canyon girls' basketball team played its regular-season finale at home Thursday night. The 6-foot-5 senior center took one step closer to representing her school, her program and her state in the most prestigious showcase of the nation's best talent in the sport.
Soon after she was honored during a Senior Night ceremony, Prechtel held a jersey sporting the No. 19 on both sides and her last name on the back. She appeared surprised by the gift.

more..., February 14, 2019
Ashten Prechtel of Discovery Canyon receives her McDonald's All-American jersey before her final regular season home game last night. Prechtel will play in the prestigious high school all-star game in Atlanta on March 28th.
click to video

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The Haley Jones Blog: Getting to know the No. 1 player

Haley Jones,, February 7, 2019

Haley Jones is the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN HoopGurlz 100 for 2019 and recently signed with Stanford. The 6-foot-1 wing, who hails from Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), was named to the preseasonALL-USA team and helped Team USA win gold in Belarus last summer. Now Jones has agreed to give USA TODAY exclusive access into her world by chronicling her life in a blog.
Hi everyone, it’s Haley Jones here with my new blog: Daily Dose of Haley!
For the first blog I will keep it simple. Since you may not know much about me, I’m going to share my answers to a BuzzFeed personality quiz with you!
In bold will be the BuzzFeed statements and I’ll give a short answer on whether I agree or disagree with the statement so you can get to know who I am.

Discovery Canyon's Ashten Prechtel picks apart Lewis-Palmer

Vinny Benedetto,, February 6, 2019

As a freshman, Discovery Canyon senior Ashten Prechtel watched as the area’s premier post player — former Mesa Ridge standout Kylee Shook now at Louisville — earned an invite to the lofty McDonald’s All-American Game.
Prechtel, a freshman starting on varsity at the time, decided she’d aim for her own invite.
“I, like, made it my goal that I wanted to be that,” Prechtel said. “I mean, I didn’t really know if that was realistic or not.”
It became reality Jan. 24, when Thunder athletic director Ron Sukle dropped in on her weights class to deliver the news she accomplished that goal.
“It was a really good feeling,” Prechtel said. “I’m still like really excited about it.”
In Tuesday’s 48-36 win at Lewis-Palmer (7-13, 5-6 PPAC), the 6-foot-5 Stanford signee performed like a player deserving of the honor, setting a career high with 35 points for the Thunder (11-7, 7-4).

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Senior Ashten Prechtel first Discovery Canyon Campus player named to McDonald's All-American Basketball Team

Danny Summers,, February 4, 2019

Discovery Canyon senior Ashten Prechtel has been named to the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Basketball Team.
Prechtel, a 6-foot-5 center, will play in the game March 27 in Atlanta. She will represent the 12-person West squad against the East.
“This is a great honor,” Prechtel said.

From basketball newbie to one of the best, Fran Belibi shares her journey so far

Alison Mastrangelo,, February 4, 2019

If you haven't heard by now, Regis Jesuit High School has a very talented female basketball player. In fact, she's one of the best in country. Senior forward Fran Belibi hasn't been playing the game for very long but she is certain leaving her mark, one dunk at a time. Some say she is evening changing the game.