Covering Prospective Student-Athletes in the SouthEast US and beyond
Berlin, OH – In part 1, we took a brief look at the top teams, top seniors and named an All-Tournament Team. In part 2 we look at some of the top underclassmen in the event and offer some brief notes on their abilities.
While we mention only a few players here, with 28 teams and 20 games over the 3 day weekend, there were many players who stood out. One thing that should be mentioned from my experience at Classic in the Country, it’s rare for major prospects that play back to back days here to have 2 good games. Part of that maybe that the competition level is high and teams have to turn around on back to back days and play other top teams. That said there were many overtime and close games throughout and only a few blowouts/double digit games all of which occurred in non-marquee games.
Peyton Banks – 5’11 PF – Wadsworth – Banks caught our eye more for her productivity than anything else. She smoothly drained three 3’s in the first half of Wadsworth’s 1st game and never really slowed down from a production stand point. She’s got a solid built frame and what she may lack in foot speed or athleticism she makes up for in shooting ability. She also played on the interior, rebounding and scoring back to the basket.
Jasmine Hale – 5’9 CG – Glen Este – Jasmime is playing the point guard position on her high school team but that maybe more out of necessity than anything else. She’s long, decently athletic and can really score, mostly on drives to the basket. In the college game she maybe better suited on the wing, but for now, playing the 1, is only going to help her grow her ball handling, leadership and court vision.
Alexis Green – 5’8 WF – Hoover – A blue collar kid who is probably overlooked on most people’s list. The reason we love Green is she is willing to do all the little things winning teams need. She played very hard the entire time, she talked loudly on defense, she was a leader and most importantly she was a competitor with a will to win. There was no player in the “blue collar, understand your role on the team, do whatever the team needs you to do” role better than her.
Morgan McMillen – 5’9 CG – Berlin Hiland – Another player that probably doesn’t get the credit she deserves. She just doesn’t fit the mold of an elite player, but thats what makes us love her game. She’s an underdog. Her IQ and tenacity coupled with some good footwork and fundamentals is what helped her score 26 points and grab 8 rebounds in Hiland’s upset win over Africentric.
Maya Dunson – 5’10 WF/SG – Huber Heights Wayne – A lefty with a great frame, she’s transitioned to a good shooting wing player with a nice touch. Dunson was one of the few players at the event to record a 20 point game and she did so in Wayne’s overtime win over Homestead.
Shai McGruder – 6’1 PF – Huber Heights Wayne – One of the few kids who was able to put back to back good games together on back to back days, a rarity at Classic in the Country. In the win over Homestead she was less impressive recording a 10 point, 9 rebound performance. In the loss to Solon she had a very impressive first half finishing on a variety of athletic layups in transition. She finished the Solon game with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Naz Hillmon – 6’2 Post – Gilmour Academy – Although she struggled to finish against Berlin Hiland, her rebounding ability, 16 boards (11 points), was a big part of the reason Gilmour beat the host squad in the final game of the event. On Sunday against Mason she did a much better job of putting the ball in the bucket, 15 points on 7-11 shooting, although the longer, taller Mason team did a better job keeping her off the glass holding her to 9 rebounds.
Madison Greene – 5’6 PG – Pickerington Central – One of my favorite players at the event. We only got to see her 1 time and while we would have preferred to see more of Madison, one time was certainly enough to know that she could play at a high level. The thing I liked most about her was that she seemed to have fun. That positive energy rubbed off on her teammates.
Sammie Puisis – 6’2 WF – Mason – One of the top prospects at the event as well as nationally, Sammie was one of the only few “big-time” prospects to play 2 really good games. Most of the other “name” players had 1 dominating game and 1 ho-hum game, but Sammie had a 20/7 game in their loss to Homestead and a 22/8 game in their win over Gilmour. While she may not have elite level athleticism, she possesses so many other high level attributes, including the ability to stretch the defense from deep 3 point range.
Jordan Horston – 6’1 SG – Africentric – If there was someone who we really got excited about her upside it was Horston, an ultra athletic, long, lanky player who most likely will play the shooting guard position in college. She was electric in transition, specifically when she’d get a defensive rebound and start the break, as was the case when she hit the game tying basket vs Hiland on a 15 footer, off a defensive rebound she pushed to the offensive end.
Destiny Bohanon – 5’9 PG – Huber Heights Wayne – Wayne despite going 1-1 at CITC, probably had the most talented team and Bohanon is probably their most talented player. She’s a long lanky explosive PG, who is great on drives to the basket and in transition.
Nevaeh Dean – 6’1 Post – Lakota West – A strong physical post player, Dean certainly had the look of an older more experienced player, finishing well around the basket in the St. Rose game, tying Abby Prohaska for leading scorer honors. The next day she was less stellar against Valencia Myers, but did a good job holding Myers well below her averages. Ability could be enhanced by better conditioning as she looked winded especially in the fast paced St. Rose game. That said she played well enough to warrant a write up here, something very few players in the event can say.
Anyssa Jones – 5’10 CG – Westerville South – She was super impressive in their only game against Hoban in which Westerville’s press and athleticism, particularly Jones overwhelmed them. Anyssa played only 17 minutes in the win but scored 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, showing why she’s easily considered one of the top freshmen in Ohio.
Other Underclassmen who stood out –
Lexi Lance – 6′ F – Wadsworth (Toledo commit)
Kyla Whitehead – 6’2 F – Pickerington Central
Adrian Crockwell – 5’8 PG – Reynoldsburg
Makenna Drabick – 5’9 WF – Hoover (Eastern Michigan commit)
Ti Fulton – 6′ PF – Mason
Kennedy Schlabach – 5’6 PG – Berlin Hiland
Natalie Zuchowski – 6’3 Post – West Branch
Mikayla Markham – 5’6 PG – St. Rose (NJ) (Columbia commit)
Luciana Thomas – 5’11 F – St. Rose (NJ) (Monmouth commit)
Madisyn Oxley – 5’6 SG – Lakota West
Abby Prohaska – 5’10 SG – Lakota West (Notre Dame commit)
Valencia Myers – 6’2 Post – Solon
Mariah Modkins – 5’3 PG – Solon
Jamir Huston – 6′ WF – Shaker Heights
Maliya Perry – 6′ SG – Pickerington Central
Gabby Marshall – 5’9 CG – Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame
Bryana Henderson – 5’3 PG – Lakota West
Annika Corcoran – 5’9 CG – Gilmour Academy
Sommer Pitzer – 5’3 PG – Westerville South
Peyton Guice – 5’9 SG – Westerville South
Emma Tecca – 5’9 SG – Archbishop Hoban
Emma Printz – 5’6 CG – Tri-Village
Makira Cook – 5’7 PG – Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame
Megan Wagner – 5’6 PG – Mason
Nyla Hampton – – 5’6 CG – Huber Heights Wayne