incarnate word academy

After three-peat, Red Knights look to restructure


After Incarnate Word Academy breezed to its third consecutive state basketball title March 21, taking the Class 4 girls championship game 60-27 over Mary Institute-Country Day School, the focus turned to next season.

Coach Dan Rolfes will lose senior Napheesa Collier, who has been described as "unforgettable" and super talented by ESPN and by Rolfes as "no doubt" the best player ever in girls basketball in St. Louis. Her combination of skill, athleticism and size sets her apart, he said.

Incarnate Word wins state basketball title with ease

Incarnate Word basketball

Incarnate Word Academy breezed to its third consecutive state title March 21, taking the Class 4 girls championship game 60-27 over Mary Institute-Country Day School.

The Incarnate Word Red Knights, and Napheesa Collier in particular, seemed to have one thing on their mind — driving to the basket. It worked, with MICDS backpedaling most of the game. Collier scored 30 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. Ivana Easley added 10 points.

"This is the best game we played all season," Collier said. "The ball was just finding me. Literally just falling into my lap some of the time."

Incarnate Word Academy students want "Peace for All"

Incarnate Word Academy senior, Ericka Scott.

With students coming from 44 zip codes in the St. Louis metropolitan area, Incarnate Word Academy has become a melting pot for discussion of all things Ferguson.

The all-girls Catholic school is in the north St. Louis County suburb of Bel-Nor, about five miles from West Florissant Road in Ferguson, where demonstrations have taken place since the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

FAITHFUL FAN | Basketball spotlight shines on local Catholic schools

Joseph Kenny

Attention has turned to basketball in St. Louis as the college game's "March madness" tournament time begins. All eyes are on a top-flight St. Louis Billikens team and an exciting Missouri Valley Conference tournament in St. Louis.

But St. Louis has become a hot place for high school basketball as well, and several Catholic school programs are at the top of the list as state playoffs begin.

Bouncing back: Incarnate Word Academy strives to excel on, off the court

Incarnate Word Academy basketball players Grace Fortmann and Sam Cooke cheered after teammate Napheesa Collier scored a basket during a game against Miller Career Academy. Collier has been a leader on the school’s team, which has been ranked number one in the U.S.
Photo by Lisa Johnston

The Incarnate Word Academy basketball team had just lost its first game of the season and its number-one ranking nationally by USA Today.

The 58-49 loss to Blackman (Tenn.) High School came in a tournament in Kentucky. The 15-1 Red Knights of Incarnate Word returned home Jan. 29 to face a tough 12-2 Miller Career Academy team that features top-flight players, including senior point guard Braennan Farrar. University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma and other college coaches were in attendance.

Incarnate Word Academy caps undefeated season

Sid Hastings
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