By James Allen, Albany Times-Union
ALBANY, N.Y. — The first two years of the GIRL’S GymRat CHALLENGE tournament proved to be an unmitigated success because of the quality competition. It is an event that continues to grow in popularity and scope. The 2007 edition featured 120 teams and nearly 1,600 players.
Exodus NYC tried to monopolize the 16-U bracket again after producing wins in 2005 and 2006 under the guidance of coach Apache Paschall, but had its title run cut short in the semifinals.
The quality of play in the championship rounds of all three age-levels was first rate and word of mouth of the quality of the GymRat CHALLENGE is sure spread even more — pretty much putting a guarantee on an even bigger field for the fourth edition in 2008.
Here is a look back at a memorable two days of basketball, with a view of the Most Valuable GymRats, All-GymRat CHALLENGE selections and honorable mention choices.
16-U AGE DIVISION
The NYC Gauchos did not really excel during pool play, yet still earned the No. 3 seed entering the championship round. Once the playoffs began, the Gauchos played better and better with each game. By the time they reached the title game against the New England Explosion, it was plain to see no one would deny the Gauchos from bringing home the title. The offense proved to be high octane all the way, but it was the team’s defense and rebounding skills that helped them prevail.
The Gauchos faced difficult playoff tests against the Jersey Pioneers (34-31) and Exodus NYC (38-33). Each game was extremely physical and emotionally taxing, but the Gauchos proved each time to be the tougher and more-determined squad.
Leg cramps sidelined forward Markel Walker early in the semifinals, but that simply allowed to Gauchos to showcase their team depth. Ebony Thomas and Monique Tilford scored huge baskets down the stretch as the Gauchos pulled away from Exodus NYC late.
Once the Gauchos advanced to the final, they seized command early and wore down a physically-spent Explosion contingent in posting a decisive 39-21 title victory.
16: U GymRat Challenge MVG — Most Valuable GymRat
Monique Tilford (5-8 PG, NYC Gauchos): Feisty and fierce, Tilford is one of many stars on a loaded championship roster for the Gauchos. Where she separated herself is with unique ability of scoring clutch baskets at the most difficult times in the game. Proved too tough to stop off the dribble, Tilford scored most of her points attacking bigger players around the basket. Did an excellent job of setting up teammates and displayed a solid jumper. Scored the majority of her points at crunch time of several close wins.
16-U All-GymRat CHALLENGE Team
Markel Walker (6-2 C/PF, NYC Gauchos): This physically-gifted standout already looks like a college player. A powerful inside force, Walker snatched the ball off the glass and showed she could push the tempo herself. Exceptional skills around the basket, Walker simply is stronger, faster and more tenacious than her opposition.
Gennifer Roy (5-9 PG/SG, New England Explosion): A steady performer who is not flashy, but exceptionally effective at all aspects of the game. Roy can shoot from the outside, score on the inside, rebound, defend, pass and is a quiet leader. Remarkably consistent, Roy earned 15-U MVG honors in 2006. The main reason why the Explosion advanced to the title game.
Alannah Driscoll-Sbar (5-11 PF, New England Explosion): Tremendous wingspan with an uncanny ability to grab rebounds in traffic, Driscoll-Sbar was her team’s best inside scoring option. Runs the floor well and knows how to finish on the break. Scored numerous big baskets, including important hoops in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
Kristen Doherty (5-9 SG/SF, LI Xtreme): Simply the finest shooter and scorer at the 2007 GymRat CHALLENGE, Doherty is only 14 with a game far more mature than her age. In the few moments when she struggled, Doherty responded with the most prolific scoring binges. A lefty bomber, Doherty is gifted with the basketball in her hands and knows just how to set up opponents. A cold-blooded shooter with plenty of moxy.
Brittany Wilson (5-11 PF/SF, Exodus Providence): Super-athletic and a scoring machine, Wilson has the ability to play both guard positions. She blew by defenders after rebounding the ball and created all sorts of problems. Made the most impressive shot of the event — a lefty finger roll off glass when she switched hands going down the lane. The best leaper and a highlight waiting to happen.
Alyssa Fenyn (5-10 SG/PG/SF, Crystal City Stars): When she got hurt in the playoffs, the Stars’ title chances may have went away with her. Polished in every aspect of the game, Fenyn excels playing multiple positions. Fluid with her movement, Fenyn creates space with the dribble and easily gets to the basket. A lethal outside shooter, Fenyn has exceptional vision and can play the point at the next level.
Mallory Lawes (5-7 PG/SG, Crystal City Stars): Lawes is a player who is quietly disruptive. Quick and decisive with the ball, Lawes can score and set up teammates like few others. Knows when to score herself and when to operate in set-up mode. A quality 3-point shooter who is equally effective off the dribble, Lawes is a complete handful to defend.
Joelle Connelly (6-2 C/PF, Crystal City Stars): A powerful scorer in the paint, Connelly came through with huge sequences to help her team advance to the semifinals. Not afraid to use her body, Connelly establishes position and attacks the basket. A superior rebounder and defender, Connelly is a quality free throw shooter and a player you want taking important shots at the end of the game.
Kelsey Beynnon (6-3 SF/PF/C, Lone Wolf Athletics): Versatility defines Beynnon’s game. Blessed with center size, her natural position is small forward and she excels there because of her ability to shoot from the perimeter, put the ball on the floor and rebound. Smooth at everything she does, Benynnon has Division I coaches taking notice.
China Crosby (5-2 PG, CAS Douglass Panthers): Completely disruptive in everything she does, Crosby quickly makes you forget about her size. A point guard with all the tools, Crosby makes her team go with her combination of dribbling skills, tenacity and leadership. She can score, but is an exceptional passer and defender. Taking the ball away from Crosby is a losing proposition.
Kate Agan (6-1 PF/C/SF, Elmira Express White): A hustler who understands her skills and never tries to do too much. An effective scorer in the paint and can knock down a jumper when needed. A solid rebounder and defender. Can handle the ball and is equally adept at playing all three frontcourt positions.
Jelleah Sidney (6-1 SF/PF, Exodus NYC): Great at shooting the ball off the dribble, Sidney keyed her team’s charge to the semifinals. A ferocious rebounder whose outlets helped key the fast break, Sidney can score in a variety of fashions in the paint. Knows exactly how to best breakdown a defender.
Rachel Coffey (PG, Albany City Rocks): A dynamic point guard who can score, but is much better at setting up teammates with her combination of quickness, passing and understanding of how to break down a defense. Completely confounded several guards by exploding to the basket. An exceptional leader who is already a special player, yet Coffey still has tremendous upside.
Megan Gaugler (5-10 SG/PG, Albany Capitals): Hit all the big baskets, including several 3-pointers late in games, for the Capitals during their run to the quarterfinals. A solid defensive standout who makes few mistakes. An excellent decision-maker who moves extremely well without the ball, Gaugler knows how run defenders off screens. A player who wants to take the big shot in the big spot — a quality any coach wants to have.
16:U Honorable Mention All-GymRat CHALLENGE
Lakeisha Sutton (5-9 PG/SG, New Jersey Flames)
Marika Ann Sprow (5-8 PG/SG, New Jersey Flames)
Ebony Wilson (5-11 PF/C, New Jersey Flames)
Chantel Brown (5-10 PF/C, New Jersey Flames)
Kelly Comolli (5-7 PG/SG, Big Threat)
Shannon Comolli (5-7 SF, Big Threat)
Alison McGrath (6-2 SF/PF, Albany Capitals)
Brittany Stahura (6-1 C/PF, Albany Capitals)
Jenna Ruff (5-9 SF/PF, Albany Capitals)
Kelly Murphy (5-8 SG, Albany Capitals)
Ashley Welytok (5-9 SF/PF, Albany Capitals)
Shannon Flynn (5-6 PG, LI Xtreme)
Stephanie White (5-4 PG, Western Mass Cheetahs)
Ashley Deming (5-8 SG, Elmira Express White)
Alex Radetsky (F/G, Hoop Zone Gym Ratz)
Hannah Sparkman (G, Hoop Zone Gym Ratz)
Chelsea Davis (6-2 PF/C, CAS Douglass Panthers)
Megan Milkovich (5-11 C/PF, Triple Threat)
Eryn Marx (5-10 PF/SF, Triple Threat)
Shannon Finucane (5-4 PG, CNY Elite)
Emma Adams (5-11 SF/PF, CNY Elite)
Kristen Kush (6-1 C/PF, CNY Elite)
Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir (5-3 PG, Springfield Sparks)
Felicia Barron (5-6 SG/PG, Springfield Sparks)
Michelle Lafond (5-10 SF, Springfield Sparks)
Esther Wallace (6-2 C, Springfield Sparks)
Bridget Crowley (6-0 PF, Springfield Sparks)
Deanna Mendelson (5-11 PF/SF, Jersey Sting)
Junce Judson (5-9 SF/PF, Jersey Sting)
Julie Kelly (5-10 SF/PF, Jersey Sting)
Latoya Miller (Silver Bullets)
Mariyah Laury (5-6 PG, Jersey Pioneers)
Essence Townsend (6-7 C, Jersey Pioneers)
Lindsey McKeever (5-5 SG, Empire Nighthawks)
Nicole Jones (6-2 C/PF, Empire Dragons)
Shenise Johnson (5-10 PF/SF, Empire Dragons)
Chelsea Sanders (C/PF, Empire Dragons)
Kate Murray (5-10 C/PF/SF, Berkshire Eagles)
Iris Santoni (5-5 PG, New England Explosion)
Samantha Hague (5-6 SG/SF/PG, New England Explosion)
Julie Gorman (5-10 Sf/PF, New England Explosion)
Brittany Myatt (5-6 SG/SF, Lady Cardinals)
Crystal Orr (5-10 C/PF, Lady Cardinals)
Shanique Wylie (5-8 SF, Lady Cardinals)
Courtney Woodward (5-6 PG/SG, Lady Cardinals)
Emma VanDenburg (5-8 SG/PG, Rochester Warriors)
Lindsey Kendall (5-10 PF/C, Rochester Warriors)
Samantha McClean (5-0 PG, New Jersey Lady Giants)
Tazia Carter (5-6 SG/SF/PG, New Jersey Lady Giants)
Nicole Fredrickson (5-9 SF, Crystal City Stars)
Samanatha Kopp (6-3 C, Crystal City Stars)
Laura Maloney (5-10 PF/SF, Monarchs Basketball Club)
Marie Littlefield (6-2 C, Monarchs Basketball Club)
Kathleen King (6-0 SF/PF, Monarchs Basketball Club)
Angelei Aquirre (5-11 SG/PG/SF, Westchester Hawks)
Kwinnyata Mercer (5-8 SG/SF, Westchester Hawks)
Alexis Sprewell (5-11 SF/PF, Westchester Hawks)
Trica Liller (5-5 PG/SG, Westchester Hawks)
Michelle Volpini (5-6 PG/SG, Elmira Lady Express Blue)
Morgan Hafer (5-8 SF/SG, Elmira Lady Express Blue)
Briana Szidat (6-3 PF/C, NE Lady Panthers)
Brianna Wilson (6-4 C/PF, NE Lady Panthers)
Whitney Wilson (6-3 PF/C, NE Lady Panthers)
Stephanie Vaiano (5-5 PG/SG, New York Elite)
Imani Garcia (5-4 PG/SG, CT Future Stars)
Bianca Fracassini (5-9 SF/SG, CT Future Stars)
Kayla Koch (5-9 SF/PF, Long Island Renegades)
Leah Kepping (5-8 SG/SF, Long Island Renegades)
Ashley Hoyt (6-0 PF/SF/C, Lone Wolf Athletics)
Tiffany Johnson (5-10 PF/C, Lone Wolf Athletics)
Katie Dorey (5-6 PG, Lone Wolf Athletics)
Alexa Johnson (6-0 PF/C/SF, Lone Wolf Athletics)
Alyssa Herrington (5-9 SG/SF, Lone Wolf Athletics)
Mary Kovacevic (5-4 PG, Mass Frenzy)
MacKenzie Powers (5-8 SF, Mass Frenzy)
Jamie Bertilson (5-11 C/PF, Connecticut Spirit)
Rachel Brittenham (5-7 PG/SG, Connecticut Spirit)
Kelly McKeon (5-6 SG/PG, Connecticut Spirit)
Riley Dunn (5-9 SF/SG, Big Threat ATA)
Deshena Stevens (6-1 PF/C/SF, NYC Gauchos)
Ebony Thomas (6-0 PF/SF/C, NYC Gauchos)
Jarinda Dunbar (5-10 SG/PG, Franklin Defenders)
Christina White (5-11 SF, Franklin Defenders)
Alexis Scott (5-9 PG/SG, Franklin Defenders)
Christine Marra (5-7 PG/SG, Long Island Liberty)
Kelly Meredith (5-10 PF/C, Bay State Magic Elite)
Taryn Johnson (5-11 C/PF, Bay State Magic Elite)
Amanda Horvers (5-9 SF/SG, Kingston Vipers)
Sara Bendor (6-1 C/PF, Kingston Vipers)
Shakeya Leary (6-3 C, Exodus NYC)
Janine Davis (5-5 PG/SG, Exodus NYC)
Alexa Roche (5-11 SF/PF, Exodus NYC)
Krystal Parnell (5-5 PG, Exodus NYC)
Kaitlyn Fifield (5-9 SF/SG, NE Lady Panthers)
Katherine Goodwin (5-7 PG/SG, NE Lady Panthers)
Brittany Hicks (5-9 SF/SG, Mid PENN Motion)
Alison Wettstein (5-8 SG/PG, Next Level Athletics)
Ashley Zahn (5-10 PF/SF/C, WNY Lady Lakers)
Lindsey Burke (5-10 SF, WNY Lady Lakers)
Trinity Hall (5-7 PG, Exodus Providence)
Ashley Rivera (5-5 PG/SG, Exodus Providence)
Tahnesia Gayle (5-6 SG, Franklin Defenders-Frederick)
Mariah Stewart (Albany City Rocks)
Mariah Wynn (5-8 SG/SF, Lady Dolphins)
Michelle Montagna (5-2 PG, New Jersey Panthers)
Brittany Wilson (5-11 C/PF, Rochester Warriors-Wilson)
Caroline Bernel-Silva (5-11 C/PF, NJ Northstars)
Rebecca Peters (5-8 SG/PG, NJ Northstars)
Bethany Deer (5-10 PF/SF, Saratoga Sparks)
15: U AGE DIVISION
After winning its first game in pool play 58-56 against the NY Elite Angels, the Jersey Sting put it all together with a spirited run through the playoffs scoring over 50 points in every game. The Sting hit opponents hard with balanced scoring attack and a defense that could not be solved. The Sting saved their best for last — scoring a convincing 51-30 victory in the title game. Brooke Hampton scored 11 points in the first half as Jersey opened up a commanding 28-12 lead at intermission. Diamond Lewis led the way in the second half with several steals and conversions — notching a team-high 18 points for Don Hampton’s young squad.
15:U MVG: Most Valuable GymRat
Brooke Hampton (5-7 PG, Jersey Sting): The finest guard in this age group, Hampton confounded opponents with her wide assortment of offensive and defensive attributes. Explosive going to the basket, Hampton knows how to score, set up teammates and be an all-out pest on defense. Exceptional at drawing contact and finishing.
15:U All-Gym Rat CHALLENGE Team
Dominique Pagan (6-1 C/PF, New Heights NYC): Remarkably quick for her size, Pagan is athletic and a real presence inside. Only 14, Pagan is a raw talent who runs the floor extremely well and hits the glass hard.
Courtney Finn (5-9 SG/SF, Bay State Magic): A threat to score from anywhere on the court, Finn shows fantastic court awareness. A potent scorer yet is not a selfish player. Finn does not neglect her responsibilities at the defensive end.
Erinne Cunningham (5-8 PG/SG, Niagara Rapids): Cunningham is a thrill to watch because of the way she handles her duties at point guard or when she moves out to shooting guard. A strong leader.
Rielly Poirier (5-10 PF/C, Bay State Magic): Combined with Courtney Finn to form the tournament’s best tandem, Poirier owns the glass and scores in a variety of ways. Displayed a solid jump shot and sound fundamental skills.
Roe Caliendo (5-8 PG, Long Island Lightning-Goldstein): A point guard equally adept at scoring herself or making the proper pass for teammates to score, Caliendo is a master of the no-look pass and is fluid in everything she does on offense and defense. Can bomb with the best of them from the outside.
Dre’sondra Williams (5-6 SG/SF, Lady Cardinals): Limitless shooting range — even with a defender in her face, Williams is a perimeter nightmare. She makes a 20-footer look like a 2-footer.
Lauren Clarke (5-6 SG/PG, Central Jersey Hawks): A pure shooter who is equally dangerous on the break or in the half court; Clarke caused all sorts of problems with her ability to score from the perimeter or getting the basket. Showed off impressive passing skills.
Shannon LaVelle (5-4 PG, Long Island Lightning): The total package as a point guard, LaVelle is the consummate playmaker and a second coach on the floor. Possessing a jumper and impeccable decision-making skills, LaVelle makes her teammates better on offense and defense.
Tara Lonergan (6-0 SF/PF, Long Island Lightning): Sending the ball inside is a solid decision because Lonergan knows how to finish in the post. She has solid moves in the paint and can pop out to nail the mid-range jumper. Lonergan is lanky and surprisingly aggressive. She knows how to use her body and is not afraid of contact. Takes the bump and finishes.
Sehmonyeh Allen (5-9 SF, Jersey Sting): Anticipation is Allen’s finest weapon. She steals any pass that isn’t pinpoint and creates all sorts of problems with a ball-hawking style of defense. Knows how to score and is only going to get better. The type of players opponents hate to play against.
Kristina Ford (PF/SF/SG, NY Elite Angels): A post player with guard skills, Ford drove past smaller defenders with fluid power and effortless ferocity. Scores in bunches and causes all sorts of match-up problems, Ford proved to be the top post player in her age group. A definite Division I talent.
Abigail Martin (5-10 C/PF, Jersey Pioneers): A relentless presence at both ends of the floor, Martin handled herself extremely well against taller competition. Hustles constantly and outworks those around her, Martin rebounds well and runs the floor.
Emily Bayly (5-11 C/PF, Albany Capitals): A scrappy post player, Bayly is aggressive and consistent in everything she does around the basket. Rebounds and defends well, Bayly finds ways to score and can pop out to knock down a 16foot jumper. Gets the most out of skills.
Lisa Lebak (5-5 PG/SG, Central Jersey Hawks): Showed off a lethal crossover and spin moves going to the basket, Lebak raised her game against better competition. Uses quick first step to shed defenders and knows how to turn those drives into points — for herself or teammates.
Torey Jones (5-8 SG/PG, Exodus Providence): Possessing the ability to take over a game, Jones frustrates the opposition with her deadly jump shot and drives to the basket. Always seems to know what to do to cause problems for opponents. Extremely active in the passing lanes, Jones has an excellent basketball IQ.
Nicole Smith (PG, New Jersey Flames): A player perfectly suited for an uptempo style, Smith is a run-and-gun bundle of fun. Slashes to the basket with ease with an explosive first step; Smith also is a smooth shooter and a tireless defender; A sight to behold.
Ashley Armstrong (5-4 PG, Rochester Warriors): Exceptional vision, deadly with the basketball and adept at handling all situations, Armstrong is smart, a leader and a player you want making all the critical decisions on the court.
Kaylee Cerruto (5-2 PG, Connecticut Storm Rocky Hill): Relentless, scrappy and fearless, Cerruto makes things happen. A smart player who knows how to score and set up teammates. Cerruto is excellent at changing speeds to throw opponents off and uses a sneaky floater to get shots off against taller defenders.
Paula Robinson (5-8 PG/SG, New Heights NYC): A talented floor general who is quick, unselfish, handles pressure and enhances the play of those around her. Robinson has excellent size for the point and the knowledge to know how to use it. Excellent shooting range and can finish around the hoop; Robinson is capable of playing both guard positions at the college level.
Natasha Colon (6-2 PF/C, Springfield Sparks): Understands how to use to her advantage, Colon spreads out wide and gives the guards an inviting target for post-entry feeds. A solid array of moves to go along with quickness, Colon proved to be a handful in the paint. She also runs the floor well and handles her work on the boards with healthy aggression.
Alicia Crooper (5-5 PG/SG, CAS Douglass Panthers): The ultimate definition of a finisher, Crooper understands how to control her body going to the rim. A solid all-around talent, Crooper takes extra special pride in being disruptive at the defensive end and taking chances on offense. Highly entertaining player.
Marielle Duryea (5-5 PG/SG/SF, NY Xplosion): Versatile performer who can pass, shoot, penetrate, defend and react to anything on the court. Druyea loves to play defense and is a true leader.
15:U Honorable Mention All-GymRat CHALLENGE
Shannon Gienty (5-7 PG, Connecticut Magic)
Olivia DeMarco (6-1 C/PF, Albany Capitals)
Shanee Williams (5-8 SG/PG, CAS Douglass Panthers)
Shereen Lightbourne (5-8 SG/SF, CAS Douglas Panthers)
Diana Hubbard (5-6 PG/SG, New Jersey Flames)
Jackie Blodgett (5-5 PG/SG, Connecticut Storm White)
Jamelia Dixon (6-0 PF/C, Exodus Providence)
Sarah Alwardt (5-10 SF/PF, Rochester Warriors)
Kelly Moran (5-6 PG/SG, Connecticut Storm)
Jacqueline Schoninger (5-7 SG/PG, New Heights NYC)
Nishi Tavernier (5-6 PG/SG, New Heights NYC)
Pria Duhaney (5-9 SF/PF, Jersey Pioneers)
Venesha Hunter (5-8 SG/PG, Jersey Pioneers)
Jamia Hope (5-8 SF/SG, Jersey Extreme)
Alexa Ryan (5-10 PF/SF, Central Jersey Hawks)
Kelly Robinson (5-6 PG/SG, NY Xplosion)
Jennifer Robbins (5-4 PG, WNY LadyTitans)
Marissa Bunce (5-8 SG/SF, WNY LadyTitans)
Noelle Miller (5-8 SG/PG/SF, Niagara Rapids)
Erin McNamara (5-6 PG/SG, River Valley Breakers)
Katie Chu (5-9 PG, NY Elite Angels)
Shantasia Padgett (5-9 SG, Lady Cardinals)
Casey Brooks (5-8 SG/PG, Triple Threat)
14 U: AGE DIVISION
The New York Gauchos breezed through pool play with three lopsided victories and proceeded to win three playoff games by double-digit margins. Coach Earl Elliotte loved to watch his club dice opponents to bits in transition, but also was pleased to see a team control the opposition at the defensive end. Featuring a lethal lineup of stars like Charmaine Tay, Brina Brown, Martina Ellerbee, Ariel Scott and Katrina Garrett, the Gauchos handled New york City rival, New Heights Blue in the title game to finish the 2007 GymRat CHALLENGE undefeated.
14: U Age Division MVG: Most Valuable GymRat
Charmaine Tay (5-10, SG/SF/PG, NY Gauchos): On a roster filled with stars, Tay commands attention with a superb skill set and a desire to succeed. Giving her room affords Tay a license to exploit as she will drain a jumper or go by a helpless defender. When playing at the point, Tay controls the pace of play and makes her teammates much better. A complete performer who rebounds, scores and defends well, Tay commands attention in everything she does on the court. Enhancement of her jumper would make guarding Tay an even more frightening proposition.
14: U All-Gym Rat CHALLENGE Team
Shanice Hawkins (5-6, PG/SG, Hoop Zone Gym Ratz): The supremely-quick Hawkins caused a multitude of problems with her ability going to the basket — for herself or setting up teammates. Disruptive at both ends of the floor, Hawkins is a true finisher around the basket. The lefty has huge upside potential.
Shirell Butler (5-3 PG, CAS Douglass Panthers): The true definition of a player who makes those around her better. Butler is lightning-quick and lethal creating havoc on offense and defense. Blows by defenders with ease and knows just when to pass. A point guard equally potent in transition or the half-court game.
Julia Hinchey (5-8 SF, Triple Threat): Other players may have offered more flash, but Hinchey delivered consistent results in several areas. Gets to the basket, shoots from the perimeter and always makes the smart (and proper) pass, Hinchey can shoot effectively with her right or left hand. Has a clear understanding of how to play the game.
Demetria Bell (6-0 PF, Bay State Magic Elite): Tough around the hoop, Bell rebounds the ball with force and outlets it quickly to aid the transition game. A good array of moves in the paint and a solid defender. Bell knows how to come through with the clutch plays at both ends. A player winning programs covet.
Stefanie Dolson (6-5 C, New York Elite): Although the GymRat CHALLENGE did not keep track of blocked shots, it is doubtful anyone in this classification had more swats than Dolson. Rejected many shots, altered others and even prevented opponents from entering the lane, Dolson collected many misses and sparked the break with quick outlet passes. The offensive arsenal needs some polish, but Dolson is definitely a player to keep an eye on.
Kadeida Simmons (5-5 PG, New Heights Blue): This dynamic star is the ultimate pest on defense. Simmons causes opposing point guards to turn the ball over at an extremely high rate. Blessed with exceptional court vision, Simmons turns defensive miscues into potent opportunities for her team to score. Controls the break and makes quality decisions, Simmons can score herself and her value truly can’t be measured by statistics.
Sye Davis (5-6 PG, Jersey Shore Wildcats): Davis makes everyone appear as if they are playing in slow motion. Always moving and thinking two steps ahead of her opponents, Davis explodes to the rim with ease and exploits weaknesses. Has exceptional court vision and savvy, Davis just needs to improve her jumper to her game to the next level. She will, and what a next level it will be.
Jaclyn Kates (5-4 PG, Central Jersey Hawks): Extremely smart and unselfish, Kates is a commanding performer with her ability to understand just what she needs to do. When it is time to score, Kates scores. When a pass is the better way to go, Kates makes the pass. An excellent spot-up shooter, Kates could enhance her game by learning to shoot on the move. A passionate defender, Kates immediately turns mistakes into points. College coaches crave players like Kates.
Jennifer O’Neil (5-6 PG, Exodus Gold): Can score going to the basket, on the move or spotting up, O’Neil always looks under control. She is an exceptional passer and defender. Uses the dribble to create problems and makes the proper pass at the right time. O’Neil is fun to watch.
Rosa Drummond (6-1 PF/C, NH Shooting Stars): Can play facing the basket or with her back to it, Drummond displayed a solid mid-range jumper and an understanding of how to use her body. Knows how to get to the foul line, Drummond uses her body effectively for rebounding or when establishing offensive or defensive position. She has a bright basketball future.
Brina Brown (5-8 SG, NY Gauchos): One of the most exciting players at the 2007 GymRat CHALLENGE, Brown can bomb away from the perimeter, score with a mid-range jumper, penetrate the paint for an easy basket or set up teammates with a pinpoint pass. Brown demands opponents take care of the ball, or it will be gone in a flash.
14:U Honorable Mention All-GymRat CHALLENGE
Maria Thannhauser (5-7 PG, Elmira Lady Express)
Myranda Conroy (5-8 SF, Elmira Lady Express)
Katie Peterson (6-0 PF/SF, Elmira Lady Express)
Christine Conroy (5-7 SF/PF, Westchester Hawks)
Asia Jackson (5-3 SG, CAS Douglass Panthers)
Robi Cardosa (5-2 PG, Lady Dolphins)
Chyna Golden (6-1 C, Central Jersey Hawks)
Jenniqua Bailey (5-6 PG, CT Heat)
Victoria Lesko (6-2 PF, Jersey Sting)
Tiffany Jones (6-3 C, Exodus Gold)
Lauren Battista (6-0 SG/SF, Bay State Magic Elite)
Valerie Driscoll (6-3 C, Bay State Magic Elite)
Ariel Edwards (6-3 C/PF, New York Elite)
Tiffany Jones (6-3 C/PF, Exodus Gold)
Katrina Garrett (5-5 SG, NY Gauchos)
Ariel Scott (6-2 PF/C, NY Gauchos)
Martina Ellerbe (6-2 C/PF, NY Gauchos)
Katie Duma (6-0 SG/SF, Albany Capitals)
Ariana Youngs (5-8 SG, Albany Capitals)
Cecilia Dixon (5-6 PG, New Heights Blue)
Hannah Cain (5-5 PG, Bay State Blizzard)
Shukurah Washington (5-10 PF/SF, New Heights Blue)
Shylyn Sicard (5-4 PG, Western Mass Cheetahs)
Kyleigh Oliveira (5-10 PF, Western Mass Cheetahs)
Brooke Springfield (5-7 SG, NH Shooting Stars)
Alexandra Guidi (5-8 SG/SF, NH Shooting Stars)