The Judge Memorial High School basketball team is making its fourth appearance in nine years at a prestigious parochial prep tournament as the Bulldogs compete in the 29th annual Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Maryland this week.
In Thursday's opening round of the three-day, eight-team tournament, Judge opens against one of the pre-tourney favorites - Houston's Marist High School. The matchup pits the Bulldog's Jimmy Soto, the 5-9,three-year all-stater who averaged 29 points a game this season, against Marist star Asseff Olajuwaon, the 6-foot-3 younger brother of former collegiate and current NBA star center Akeen Olajuwon.The three-day tournament is being played at Frostburg (Md.) State College.
Besides Judge Memorial and Marist, the remainder of the ACIT field includes defending champion DeMatha High of Hyattsville, Md.; host Bishop Walsh High; Washington, D.C., champion Archbishop Carroll High; Baltimore champion Calvert Hall High ; Philadephia runner-up Father Judge High; and Canadian champion Notre Dame High of Ontario.
In last year's tournament, Judge won two of its three games and finished in fifth place, with Soto earning a spot on the all-tournament team.
The Judge Memorial contingent, which left Monday afternoon, won't be the sole Utah representative at the tournament. Utah Jazz General Manager Frank Layden is to be the featured speaker at Wednesday night's touranment banquet.
Judge Memorial finished second in this year's 3A state tournament, losing to Timpview in the championship game but still amassing a 22-2 overall record.