By STEVE AMEDIO
GymRat CHALLENGE Communications Director
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-It’s not easy to win a GymRat CHALLENGE championship. Nothing so worthwhile ever comes easily.
But the 2014 girls’ event, which featured a record field of 240 teams and more than 2,800 players participating at various sites throughout New York’s Capital Region over Father’s Day weekend, showed that there are some team-oriented traits that make the task just a little less daunting.
Things like defense, determination and flat-out tenacity.
Determination? The City Rocks-NIKE squad had it at the 16-under age division. That program captured the same division’s title in 2013. Its 2014 edition, with just two returning players from the previous year’s championship unit, was determined not to fall short this year.
“I spoke to the other players about that just before we started playing in this tournament,” said City Rocks’ standout Hannah Friend. “I told them how last year’s team had won here and how that gave us a standard to uphold.”
Determination….and leadership, too. Friend was the City Rocks’ leading scorer and scored the last seven points of the 16-under championship game to lift her team to a 2014 division win. It marked the first time in GymRat history that a girls’ AAU program has won the same age division title in back-to-back years.
More determination? How about at the 15-under level where the Bay State Magic Elite team came up just short in 2013, losing in the 13-under division’s championship game in an overtime contest. Not only did the nucleus of that team return, but it also jumped an age division to play at the 15-under level.
The squad also brought a sense of determination fueled by last season’s championship-game disappointment. “We had some girls tired and have leg cramps here last year,” admitted coach Jim Wardwell. “We worked on extra conditioning while preparing so that wouldn’t happen again.”
Wardwell’s team was also determined not to let the disappointment it felt in 2013 happen again. “We talked about how we had that sour taste in our mouths on our 200-mile drive home after last year’s tournament,” he added. “We didn’t want that to happen this year.” It didn’t when a balanced attack, led by 5-foot-11 forward Joie Grassi, the division’s Most Valuable GymRat, won every game by double digits..
No sour taste this year for that team. Only the sweet sense of a 2014 GymRat championship
Tenacity? The aptly named Honey Badgers of North Attleboro, MA had all of that. The team chose its nickname in hopes of emulating the real-life version of the animal that is known to be one of the fiercest, most-tenacious creatures on earth.
In true Honey Badger fashion, the team played with fierce, tenacious intensity that particularly paid dividends when it faced a mid-second half deficit in its championship contest before its desired traits were evident in securing the victory down the stretch.
Division Most Valuable GymRat Katie Nelson, a smooth yet hard-playing 5-foot-8 guard, came up her most tenacious when it counted, draining a key three-pointer that helped erase the second-half deficit and, then, making four crucial foul shots down the stretch.
And, defense? It’s probably the least-desireable aspect of the game for young players. But, the Long Island Lightning-Catapano team embraced its ability to stop opponents at the 13-under level. The squad held opponents to a total of 38 points in its three pool-round contests and didn’t let up after that on its way to its division title.
“We stress defense and we use full-court pressure designed to wear down our opposition,” said team coach Tom Catapano. That strategy paid dividends as the team wore down opponents not often but also early. Catapano’s team had such sizeable early game leads in its preliminary round contests that the coach could rest his players to keep them fresh for latter games.
It worked as a balanced eight-player roster, led by Most Valuable GymRat Jenna Annacchiarico, a 5-foot-5 guard, “defended” its way to the division championship.
None of that came easy, of course, in an event that once again featured an outstanding array of top-level girls’ talent. It was a tournament filled, at every level, of the next generation of stars, ones that will go on to make considerable contributions for high school and, eventually, top college programs nationally.
But the 2014 GymRat CHALLENGE showed something else, too … that there just might be some traits to emulate while chasing a championship at the event. Things like determination, tenacity and defensive play. It seemed to work well at the 2014 GymRat CHALLENGE.
16-Under Age Division
Friend Leads City Rocks’ To Second Straight Title in all-nike final
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY– Only two active players returned from the City Rocks’ AAU program that won the 16-under age division championship of the girls’ GymRat CHALLENGE Tournament last year.
“A new cast, and it’s like next man up,” said team coach Keith Danzy. Or, in this case, next girl up. And, the young lady who made the biggest step up was 6-foot wing performer Hannah Friend, one of the two returnees. Friend stepped up, grabbing a leadership role both with her voice and her on-court play to help lift a talented NIKE City Rocks squad to its second consecutive GymRat championship at the event’s top age division.
The title makes the City Rocks the first program to win the same age division’s title in back-to-back years.
Friend, a slender and athletic prototypical wing forward, helped ensure that would happen with a game-high 16 points in Sunday’s 38-34 championship-game victory over the NIKE New England Crusaders at Skidmore College. Friend was the next girl up when it mattered most throughout Sunday’s title game, scoring her team’s last seven points to secure the victory.
Friend’s three-point shot with two minutes remaining gave the City Rocks a 34-32 lead before the Crusaders got a driving bucket from its own standout, point guard Katie Benzen to tie things up with under a minute remaining.
The City Rocks put the ball in the hands of Friend once again, and her hard drive to the basket drew a foul and she calmly converted both free throws to give her team a 36-34 advantage.
When the Crusaders couldn’t score on their subsequent possession, Friend grabbed a rebound and was fouled again. She once again converted both foul shots with seven seconds remaining to secure the 38-34 victory.
Friend’s play not only in the championship contest but throughout the tournament earned her the division’s MVG (Most Valuable GymRat) Award. The work of Friend, who is drawing college interest from a variety of schools ranging from Kentucky to Ivy League programs and a variety of others in between, began even before the City Rocks stepped on the court here over Father’s Day weekend.
“I spoke to my teammates prior to our first game to say that this program won this tournament last year and that we wanted to win it again, said Friend. “Last year our top player, Emily Durr (who is headed to Iowa State next season) was our leader. I wanted to give our team the same type of leadership this year that Emily gave us last year.”
Indeed she did, and Friend’s on-court contributions were every bit as valuable as her pre-tournament pep talk in leading the City Rocks through a GymRat CHALLENG-gauntlet of very tight Championship Round tests . Friend averaged a team-high 14.8 points over the City Rocks’ eight games here, and played her best when it counted most. She had 18 points in a four-point quarterfinal-round victory over the Hudson Valley Elite squad, 23 points in a hard-fought, come-from –behind, semifinal-round win over the Boston Showstoppers and, then, the 16-point performance in the championship contest. All three point totals topped her team in the final three contests.
“I knew we needed to step up and I felt it was my time to shine,” she said. “I really wanted the ball in my hands at the end of those games.” And, when that happened good things happened for the City Rocks. “To win back-to-back titles at the top age division of a tournament with this kind of national-level competition is pretty awesome,” said Danzy, the team’s coach. “It was just different kids representing the brand.”
It’s a brand its players take pride in representing, as was evident in a post-game chant of “We Are City Rocks.” “The key is that we get good quality kids,” added Danzy. “We’ve had success and, now, a lot of kids want to play for our program. We’re to the point where we can be selective about who we get to play for us. “We’re definitely trying to attract good kids and good citizens.”
And, good basketball players, too, as epitomized by this year’s top player Hannah Friend.
16-Under Age Division MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Hannah Friend, (6-0 wing), NIKE City Rocks-Danzy/Taft Prep School: A clutch player who wants the ball when it counts and then delivers when she gets it. She showed long-range three-point shooting ability, yet also was able to get to the basket and score or draw fouls. A crafty defensive player who uses her wing span to snatch balls out of the passing lane. She has a high basketball IQ and a desire to win. Everyone from high majors to Ivy Leagues are showing interest in this special player.
16:UNDER ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Kiana Patterson, 5-6 guard, City Rocks-Dany/Troy H.S.: Feisty and fast. An aggressive on-ball defender. On offense she sees the floor and makes the full-court pass. Also a confident three-point shooter who scored big baskets here. Also has the ability and desire to drive into traffic and finish. Verbal commitment to Central Connecticut.
Abby O’Keefe, 5-8 guard, City Rocks-Danzy/Harley Allendale H.S.: An effective on-the-ball defender who uses quick hands for the steal and, then, can drive and finish in transition. She sees the floor extremely well and delivers the pass. Clutch shooter. She will take and make critical three-pointers, as well as make her share of bucket-and-foul shot plays. Being recruited by Ivy League schools.
Emma Guy, 6-3 center, City Rocks-Danzy/Penfield H.S.: Very good hands and catches everything thrown to her in the post. She can also run the floor when she wants. Good rebounder and nicer power-outlet passes. Has a nice hook when she pins defender under the rim. Alters and intimidates shots on the defensive end. Interest from LSU, Villanova, Boston College and many mid-majors.
Katie Benzen, 5-6 point guard, New England Crusaders/Noble and Greenough H.S.: A two-time Most Valuable GymRat Award winner, having earned that honor previously at the 13-under and 14-under levels and nearly added another MVG to her portfolio while playing up an age level. An intense, scrappy and intelligent court leader, the consummate floor general with high court IQ. She can split the defense to drive and finish as well as hit the three-pointer. Makes moves to past defenders and has a nice step-back to score. Boston College, Wake Forest, other Big East and A-10 teams interested.
Molly Best, 5-9 power forward, R.I. Breakers-Edgehill/Tabor Academy: An aggressive defenders with quick hands that produce many steals. She will break down a defense by driving and slicing for the finish, or dish to open teammates. High court IQ and sees and delivers passes to open teammates. Already has multiple D-I offers.
Maddie Springfield, 5-10 guard, New England Crusaders/Marionapolis H.S.: A smooth stroke on her outside shot. She can knock down the three-pointer and has great range. Very aggressive on the offensive end. She has the ability to drive to the rim and make a strong finish against contact. Has heard from Boston College, UMass and Marist.
Alexandra Maund, 5-10 forward, New England Crusaders/Noble and Greenough H.S.: Has a strong body and strong hands. Uses the dribble to transfer power on drives. She sees the floor and passes well to open teammates. Showed some shooting range here and also drives hard to the hoop to finish against contact. Verbal commit to Yale.
Erika Steeves, 6-2 post, New Heights-Blue/Hotchkiss H.S.: Has good hands and catches passes with authority. Aggressive on the boards and rebounds strongly. Has good range and uses it to shoot from outside as well as in the post. Penetrates from the perimeter to finish or to dish off if stopped. Hearing from Ivy League and Patriot League teams.
Khadaijia Brooks, 5-10 power forward, New Heights-Blue/Bristol Eastern H.S.: Will post up and likes to also use the turnaround to face up and score on the block. Attacks the baseline and slides to the hoop to draw contact. Takes it strong and will pull up to score when stopped. Alters shots on defense. Hearing from Sacred Heart, Stony Brook, FDU and Fordham.
Kiah Gillespie, 6-2 post, New Heights-Blue/Capital Prep: Has good size and speed. Handles the ball effectively to get by defenders and into the paint. Uses the turn-around to score in the post. Has good timing to tip in offensive rebounds. Will pull up to score from the outside off the dribble. Hearing from Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio State, Rutgers, Cincy and others.
Mei-Lyn Bautista, 5-7 guard, New Heights-Blue/St. Mary’s H.S.: Pushes the ball up off the pass and with the dribble. Always looking up and gives her defender the hesitate-and-go-by move to score. She is aggressive offensively and rebounds well from her position. An intense player who is a true leader on the floor. Verbal commit to George Washington.
Tayler White, 5-10 guard, New England Shooting Stars/Northfield Mt. Herman H.S.: A consistently effective shooter who is all about the team’s success. Talks and is a leader on the court on both ends. Very hard-working player with a high motor. Very coachable. Hearing from Roger Williams, Norwich and Rhode Island College so far.
Taylor Cabellos, 6-0 post, Connecticut Hoopsters/Foran H.S.: Has good size/length and uses it well in the paint. Can be a real force inside. Gets good position and makes the defense work to try to stop her. Will use the hook shot to keep defenders pinned under the rim. Hearing from Fairield and several Ivy League schools.
Bridget Sharnick, 5-10 wing, Connecticut Hoopsters/St. Joseph’s H.S.: A strong, very determined driver. Attacks the baseline using the slide move to draw contact at the rim. Finishes shots off the drive, and likes to attack the top as well as shoot to keep defenders honest. Hearing from a variety of Northeast 10 schools.
Sydney Lowery, 5-10 power forward, Westchester Hoopers/St. Luke’s H.S.: A very athletic player who uses that ability to be an effective shot-blocker. Likes to pull up and shoot over the defense when they step in front of her on the drive. Unselfish player who passes well. Drives and spins to score from the top. Verbal commit to Boston College.
Kayla Correa, 5-5 guard, Westchester Hoopers/Spellman H.S.: A very quick guard who uses her quickness on effective drives. A playmaker who sees the floor and threads the needle with passes. She slices the defense to get in position to deliver the pass. A tough and aggressive defender. Hearing from D-II’s and low-level D-I’s.
Sanita Ebangwese, 6-2 center, WNY Lady Lakers/Pittsford-Sutherland H.S.: An athletic player with both strength and size. Has long arms and uses them to receive a pass off the pick and roll. Has good hands and can catch and score. Likes the reverse pivot turn and face to get away from the defense. Hearing from A-10 schools, most MAAC programs and some in the Ivy League.
Amy Duggan, 6-0 forward, New England Crusaders/Noble and Greenough H.S.: She likes to drive as well as to take the open shots. Rebounds aggressive and, then, finishes put-backs. She will drive the baseline and slide to the rim effectively, drawing contact. A left-hander. Interest from America East, some A-10’s and NE-10 schools.
Melanie Hingher, 6-1 forward, Long Island Lightning-Lavey/Massapequa H.S.: A solid and good-sized post player who can take her game to the outside as well. Right now more of a face-up shooter than an on-the-block scorer. Still, strong and aggressive in the paint at both ends of the court.
Courtney Pingelski, 5-8 guard, Saratoga Sparks/Mechanicville H.S.: A flat-out shooter. Steady and fundamentally sound guard who gives 100 percent effort. Has three-point range and can shoot off the dribble. Takes the shot the defensive gives. Confident player. Great team player. Likely a high Division II-level player.
Araion Bradshaw, 5-5 point guard, Boston Showstoppers/Tabor Academy: An aggressive player on both ends of the floor. A floor general with a good handle. Can draw and dish. Goes hard to the rim. Drives gaps well. Gets the ball to the right person’s hands. Active on-the-ball defensive pressure. Handles in traffic. Has a three-point shot. Hearing from Providence, Davidson.
Jillian Libby, 5-11 guard, Maine Wave/Cheverus H.S.: A scorer with three-point range. Versatile on-the-perimeter driver and shooter. Strong build with an ability to get to the basket. Active on the glass for her position. High court IQ, makes good decisions on both ends of the court. Projects as a mid-major Division I player.
Jaide Hines-Clarke, 6-1 forward, Hudson Valley Elite-Gold/Westwood H.S.: An athletic post player who is quick offer her feet. Uses those skills to be active and effective on the glass. Good sized post player who showed a raw skill set and looks to have much potential. Used size/length to be an effective shot-blocker. Division I prospect.
Morgan O’Donnell, 6-1 forward, Bay State Jaguars/Ursuline Academy: A good-sized and developing post player. Already effective rebounder at both ends. Particularly strong offensive rebounder and converts her share of put-backs. She has stationary range inside the arc. Projects as low-D-I or D-2 level player right now.
Vanessa Young, 6-3 forward, Ct. Starters/Loomis Chaffee H.S.: A good-sized face-up post player. Long and lanky, yet very athletic. Showed an above-average mobility in the transition game for someone of her height. Better on the perimeter right now. Also showed off three-point shooting range. Projects as a D-I level player.
Olivia Lane, 6-0 forward, Ct. Storm/Norwich Free Academy: An athletic inside player that brings a developing interior game. Rebounds very well. Has the ability to block and alter shots. Conditioning could improve, which will improve her to get up and down the court better. Projects as D-II level player right now.
Erin Ryder, 6-1 forward, Hudson Valley Elite-Blue/Clarkstown North H.S.: A long, lanky and effective rebounder. Athletic and very agile in the post. She finishes in transition. An effective rebounder that crashes the boards hard. Also showed three-point range here. Projects as a Div. i-level player.
Olivia Burden, 5-8 guard, Hudson Valley Elite Blue/North Rockland H.S.: A combo guard with a great mid-range offensive game. Also can handle the ball vs. pressure effectively. A good on-the-ball defender. Has the ability to get to the basket off the dribble to produce points. Projects as a D-I level player.
Amanda Schiefen, 6-0 forward, Crystal City Stars/Horseheads H.S.: An undersized, yet effective face-up post player. Showed an ability to shoot mid-range jumper. A very good passer, not afraid to give it up to open teammates. Runs the floor well. Lefty shooter. Has heard from D-I’s, including Canisius and Niagara.
Dana Dockery, 6-0 forward, Triple Threat Elite-Hackett/Ketcham H.S.: A face-up post player with a clearly emerging game. Drives well from the high post and finishes in the lane against traffic. Has shooting ability out to 12-foot range. Very strong offensive rebounder, pounds the boards. Projects as D-I level player.
McKayla Roberts, 5-3 guard, Unity Wildcats/Cicero North Syracuse H.S.: She has great court vision and is constantly on the move in either direction. High court IQ. Will find open player and deliver the pass. A calm floor general. Looks like she was born with a ball in her hands. Hard worker on both ends. Projects as a D-II player, hearing from Le Moyne.,
Jenna Giacone, 6-0 guard, Albany Capitals Elite/Bethlehem H.S.: A tall perimeter player who can play the point. Great crossover move to get into a drive. Fundamentally perfect jump shot. Clutch player, hit two pressure free throws to secure one victory here. Thinks like a point guard, drives like a wing, rebounds like a center. Played up a level. Hearing from as high as ACC schools already.
Annie Giannone, 5-5 point guard, Unity Wildcats/Auburn H.S.: Talented, outstanding point guard skills. Hyper active player. Pays attention to coaching. Combination of on-court enjoyment mixed with intensity. Natural point-guard. Spin move from the top to score is awesome. Dynamic player and vocal leader. Le Moyne has shown interest, as have D-III’s.
Jessica Kovatch, 5-8 guard, United N.J.-Navy/Phillipsburg H.S.: A big-time scorer who had 20 in one game here and 16 in another. Makes court-length one-hand passes effectively. Can make the deep 3-pointer. Also attacks the rim to score. Has verbally committed to DII LeMoyne College and Coach Gina Castelli.
Anna Kelly, 5-6 guard, Ma. Huskies-DeSantis/Lexington H.S.: Great anticipation, and uses it to produce steals that lead to layups. Able to lead the break and hit the scorer with nice assists. Makes no difference if she’s going right or left. True point guard with a great handle. Always moving on offense. Can catch and shoot. Smart and athletic. Heaving from Boston College, Providence, UNH, Davidson.
Shannon Murphy, 6-1 forward, Ma. Huskies-DeSantis/Watertown H.S.: Enforces the middle with multiple blocks, including four in a two-possession stretch. Can score from either side of the post. Sprints from block to block. Decent handle for her size. Has verbally committed to Bentley.
Madalyn Smith, 5-8 point guard, United N.J.-Osta White/High Point Regional: Fantastic ball fakes to get ball to open scorer. Equally skilled handle with either hand. Quick and uses that trait on the defensive end. More than capable at every facet of the game. Quinnipiac involved, as are Ivy League and Patriot League teams.
Erin Jones, 5-11 wing, United N.J. Osta-White/Voorhees H.S.: A near six-footer with a point-guard handle. Extremely versatile skilled player who can be effective at any position on the court. Made some amazingly creative assists here. Long, lean and plays with great intensity. Hearing from some MAAC and NEC schools.
Danielle Rauch, 5-8 guard, Syracuse Nets/Bishop Ludden H.S.: A rising standout who played up two age groups. Plays way above her age. Great vision of the court from point guard spot. Makes pinpoint passes to open teammates. Handles an offensive very effectively. Very mistake-free performer, really limits turnovers.
Grace Stant, 6-0 forward, Central Jersey Hawks-Chambers/Rumson-Fair Haven H.S.: Great physique to work in the post. She controls the paint on the defensive end. Seems to score whenever she wants. A go-to player down the stretch of games. Made some clutch plays in games here. Interest coming from Villanova.
Morgan Graziano, 6-1 wing, Central Jesery Hawks/Holmdel H.S.: Capable of playing in the post or on the wing. Does a great job of boxing out on rebounds. Fundamentally sound player. Big scorer here. Matches up defensively on opponents’ best player. Real clutch player who makes things happen. Strong interest from Manhattan.
Leah Dollard, 6-0 forward, Albany Capitals-Elite/Albany H.S.: A real blue-collar worker in the paint. Fabulous on inside reverse lay-up move. Scores with a variety of creative moves inside. High-percentage scorer. Aggressive defender who opponents don’t want to see on them. Interest from Niagara as well as D-II Saint Rose.
Victoria Lux, 6-1 power forward, Maine Firecrackers/McAuley H.S.: A tough physical forward that can do a little of everything. She gets a lot of rebounds, throws good outlet passes, cuts without the ball and can drive to the hoop. Also a nice jumper out to 15 feet. Solid post moves as well. Committed to D-II Bentley.
Sarah Clement, 5-7 point guard, Maine Firecrackers/McAuley H.S.: A rising junior, playing up an age level. Coming off ACL injury, but moved very well here. Point guard with excellent handle that can get to the rim and score when necessary. Great in transition and can also shoot the three. Very good on-the-ball defender.
Ashley Storey, 6-1 post, Maine Firecrackers/Greely H.S.: A talented “big” that plays hard and competes at all time. Rebounds well on both ends and goes out of her area to do it. Really good footwork on the block and a decent-looking jump shot out to the 12-to-15-foot range. Moves well for height. Can attack and go to the glass. Smart, hard worker. Verbal commit to New Hampshire.
Laurel O’Barto, 5-5 guard, Pa. Pride/Blairsville H.S.: A dynamic guard that makes her team better when the ball is in her hands. Tough as they come, and unselfish as well. Excellent defender. Gets involved for every rebound and loose ball. Good pull-up jumper out to 15 feet. Just seems to know what it takes to win games.
Shannon Ryan, 6-4 center, Lake Champlain Lakers/Beekmantown H.S.: A tall, strong and relatively mobile “big” with good hands. Still developing foot work. Extremely competitive and vocal on both ends of the court. Runs the floor well for her size and rebounds well in her area at both ends. Has some perimeter skills, too. Verbal commit to Boston College.
Naomi VanNes, 6-6 center, CBC/Hamden Hill H.S.: A skyscraping center with a good skill set for a rising junior playing up an age level. Knows how to use her size. Already has good footwork and a solid motor. Finishes with either hand around the rim and makes a good effort on the glass. Wide-ranging D-I interest already from the NEC to the ACC.
Erin Cunningham, 5-10 wing, CBC/Wilton H.S.: A versatile, do-everything forward who can play either front-court spot and seems to be involved in every play even if it doesn’t show in the scorebook. Excellent rebounder and outlet passer. Showed the ability to defend multi positions. Also has a nice shot, knocking down some 3’s here.
Amanda Pfohl, 5-9 guard, CBC/Trumbull H.S.: Excellent shooter with good height for the off-guard position. Has a quick release. Really stretches the defense and needs to be respected for her shooting ability. Moves well without the ball to get open. Makes some really tough, contested three-pointers during play here.
Alyssa Casey, 6-1 power forward, NE Lady Panthers/Andover H.S.: A strong, tough face-up forward. She rebounds really well at both ends of the floor. A rising sophomore, playing up two age levels. Can drive the ball to the rim and finish tough plays. Also showed the ability to step out and make a three with her feet set.
Adzeze Okorie, 5-7 guard, NE Lady Panthers/Nashua North: Incredibly athletic and super active player. She was all over the court at all times and made people miserable with her defensive intensity. Good handle and aggressive getting into the paint and, then, having the ability to finish at the rim against contact.
Ashley Merritt, 5-6 point guard, Triple Threat Hackett/FDR Hyde Park H.S.: Possibly the toughest player here. A point guard that runs the team well and could score way more than she does. Uses her handle to get defenders off balance and to get into the lane. Very good shooter, too, even off the dribble or off screens. Plus defender.
Dana Dockery, 6-0 post, Triple Threat-Hackett/R.C. Ketcham H.S.: A rising junior playing up a level. Way under the radar and ready to attract attention. Tough, strong and athletic. A superb finisher around the rim with either hand. Developing a face-up game. Shoots well out to 12 feet right now. Runs the floor well and rebounds at both ends.
Toni Fairhurst, 5-11 post, Cape Cod Bulls/Brockton H.S.: A rising junior, playing up a level. Long, athletic big who goes hard to the glass at both ends. Finishes well around the rim on the offensive end. Defensively she’s a shot-blocker and intimidator. Appears to have enormous potential as a player.
Jariah Johnson, 5-9 guard, CAS Panthers.Frederick Douglas II H.S.: A long, athletic lefty guard that is an absolute terror on the defensive end. Deflections and steals by the dozen here. Quick first step to get into the lane to penetrate and kick, or to finish at the rim. Good 3-point shooter with her feet set. Clas valedictorian. Verbal commit to Saint Peter’s.
Adrienne Graves, 5-10 wing, CAS Panthers/Binghamton H.S.: Tough, physical and athletic player. She plays much bigger than her height. Rebounds well at both ends. Quick first step enables her to get to the rim where she can score with either hand. Capable 3-point shot when open. Ankle injury slowed her a little here, but still showed plenty.
Andi Lydon, 6-2 post, PA Pride/Shaler H.S.: A strong, tough and physical forward that brings her hard hat and lunch pail to every game. Runs the floor hard and is amazingly effective on the glass, particularly on the offensive end. Really good finisher, even through contact. Projects as at least a D-I level player, already heard from Siena, Niagara and American..
LaNay Rodney, 5-7 guard, Westchester Hoopers/Peekskill H.S.: A strong, athletic guard that can flat out score. Physical and has good handle. She can get to the rim at will. Terrific shooter out to 3-point range, even off the dribble or coming off screens. A rising junior, playing up a level. Already projects as at least a D-II player with potential for even better.
Toni Suler, 6-1 post, LBL Dream Team/New Hope-Solebury H.S.: A high academic forward that is incredibly versatile and is adept at finding ways to score. She gets points either inside the paint or facing up on the perimeter. Leader and on-court communicator. Excellent touch around the rim. Outstanding rebounder. Bucknell, Princeton are involved.
Meghan Strong, 5-3 point guard, Lake Champlain Lakers/Ausable Valley H.S.: A pure point guard that runs her team. Works at getting teammates out into transition. Excellent handle and a superb decision maker. Also showed the ability to make the three-pointer when she has room to pull the trigger.
Megan Swords, 6-2 post, Blue Crush/Holy Angels H.S.: A very aggressive player, particularly on the backboards. Uses aggressive play to finish well around the hoop. Strong body and uses it well to create and keep inside position. Just knows how to play in the post.
Jenn Howland, 5-11 forward, WBA Knicks/Rye Country H.S.: A physical inside player who gets in the post and works hard to produce positive results. Knows how to use her body well to get position and to score in the post. Plays a bigger game than expected from her height.
Chelsea Steinruck, 5-6 guard Finger Lake Elite/Waterloo H.S.: Outstanding three-point shooter. Exhibited a strong handle, enabling her to go past defenders. Sees the floor extremely well and delivers crisp passes to open teammates in position to shoot.
Taylor Corts, 5-8 guard, Finger Lakes Elite/Wayne H.S.: A wing player with the athleticism to get to the basket and finish there against contact. Also has a very good handle. Uses those traits to go past defenders and make creative passes. Delivers the ball well to open teammates.
Shyanna McLeod, 5-8 guard, Finger Lakes Elite/Wayne H.S.: An off guard who is a good shooter, both in mid-range and long range. Very aggressive player, and uses that trait to advantage at both ends of the court. Plays at a level bigger than listed height. Very good rebounder from the guard position.
Jordan Agustus, 6-0 forward, New York City Heat-White/St. Mary’s H.S.: Usually the best athlete in the gym. Capable of getting into the lane at will and finishing at the rim, against contact, with either hand. Great handle enables to get any place she wants. Decent outside shot.
Stephanie Jones, 5-8 guard, New York City Heat-White/Louis Chavey H.S.: Terrific shooter, either mid-range or out to three-point range. Very good handle. Her combination of skills enables her to play either at the point or on the wing. Athletic and gets to the basket and finishes against contact.
Nani Redford, 5-6 guard, New York City Heat-White/Long Island Lutheran H.S.: Very aggressive player, a real blue-collar work ethic. Capable of playing either guard position. Good handle, good enough passer to run the team at times. Aggressive play enables her to get to the basket and finish.
Dina Motrechuk, 6-4 post, New York City Heat-White/Moore Catholic H.S.: A true “big” who moves very well for her size. Can really run the floor. Has good hands, catches everything thrown to her in the paint. Uses size well to rebound and finish against contact on put-back buckets.
Davida Dale, 5-11 guard, Rivals White/La Salle H.S.: A big guard with an excellent handle. She was virtually unstoppable here, capable of doing anything she wanted. Very good penetrator and, then, kicking out to teammates. Gets to the basket and finishes with either hand and against contact.
Samnell Vonleh, 6-3 post, Rivals White Whittier Tech: A good sized post player who uses a combination of size, positioning and aggressiveness to her advantage. Great hands, catches anything thrown in her vicinity. Rebounds well, uses her length to grab missed shots. Also a good finisher in the post.
Emily Stephens, 6-0 post, L.I. Renegades Elite/Kings Park H.S.: Moves very well with or without the ball. Showed a nice court IQ. Good size and goes out to shoot over defenders out to the 15-foot range. Far above-average rebounder for her height.
Valarie Martin, 5-11 post, Rivals Blue/Pinkerton Academy: Sets up in the post but comes out to the perimeter and is an outstanding 3-point shooter. Real high motor. First to the floor for 50/50 bgalls. Can get to the rim with ease. Very good handle and sees the floor well.
Emma Tierney, 6-2 post, Maine Renegades/Kingswood Regional H.S.: A good-sized “big” with enough athleticism to get up and down the floor well for her size. Aggressively finishes well around the rim. Good passer from the post, finds guards well on kick-outs.
Jaylen Williams, 6-3 post, Rivals-White/Archbishop Williams H.S.: A “big,” yet a mobile post player. She rebounds well, both in and out of her area. Catches the ball in the post and is able to finish well within 10 feet and in. Has a decent enough handle for her size.
Naomy Balasingh, 5-9 guard, Lady Lions/Valley Streem H.S.: An athletic guard that finishes well and in traffic. Can shoot the mid-range jumper consistently. Draws contact with driving and uses triple threat effectively. Can play any of the three perimeter positions, but most effective at the two or three. Can create for others. Good court IQ.
Tamara McIntyre, 5-5 point guard, Boston Showstoppers/Fenway H.S.: Played up n age level. Tight handle, leads team. Aggressive and assertive on defense. A real worker. Creates turnovers. Distributes well. Can get to rim, draws and dishes. Distributes to talent around her. Has a three-pointer. Very quick. Talks on both ends. Has drive to improve. This was a breakout appearance for her.
Jalissa Ross, 6-2 post, Boston Showstoppers, Fenway H.S.: Solid back-to-basket and face-up game. Nice turnaround jumper and spin move off the defense. Has a 3-point shot. Can attack off the dribble. Runs the floor well for size. Can cover ground fast. Active in the post with pivot. Aggressive on the boards. Unselfish. Reads the defense and finds open teammates. Excellent defensively on top of press. Big East and mid-majors looking.
Andrea Terranova, 5-8 guard, College Prep Ball Academy/Whittier Tech H.S.: A strong defender who moves her feet well. Makes strong drives to the basket and finishes well in traffic. Big scorer here, averaging 18 points per game. Handles the ball well. Drives left or right. Good court IQ. Can shoot the three-pointer. Makes good decisions in transition. Can play some point. Versatile, effective backcourt player.
Megan Collins, 5-8 wing, New England Shooting Stars/North Andover H.S.: High scorer for her team, averaging 18.7 points per game with the ability to score in a variety of ways. Showed a nice long-range shooting touch beyond the three-point stripe, yet also runs the floor well in transition for fast-break points and has the ability to post up inside. Nice drop-step and spin moves in the lane. Good defender and fundamentally sound rebounder. Good court vision and finds open teammates with passes.
16:UNDER ALL-GymRat HONORABLE MENTION
Gabby Giacone, 6-0 post, Albany Capitals-Elite
Heather Kiezek, 6-2 center, Triple Threat
Leandra Echi, 5-7 guard, Triple Threat
Jalani Jackson, 5-3 point guard, Cap Cod B
Oluwaseun Shittu, 5-7 guard, Team Providence
Deja Ross, 5-11 forward, Team Providence
Adrienne Graves, 5-11 forward, CAS Panthers
Ana Holden, 5-7 guard, PA Pride
Alayne Felix, 5-11 forward, HV Knights
Sarah Cargill, 5-9 wing, Hoop Nation
Janera Summers, 5-10 guard, Hoop Nation
Lindsey Sweet, 5-11 forward, Ma. Huskies
Jenna Harsh, 6-0 forward, United Osta-White
Kayla Hill, 5-7 guard, L.I. Lightning-Martin
Charlotte Walker, 5-8 guard, L.I. Lightning-Martin
Luili Ocasio, 5-5 guard, Boston Showstoppers
Gianni Hill, 5-5 point guard, Boston Showstoppers
Rave Brathwaite, 6-4 center, Boston Showstoppers
Kayla Oge, 5-10 forward, NJ Gym Ratz
Carley Christofi, 5-5 point guard, NJ Gym Ratz
Katie Reasons, 6-0 wing, STNY Flyers
Adaeze Okorie, 5-7 guard, NELP
Jaclyn Penneton, 5-11 forward, NE Shooting Stars
Megan Collins, 5-8 guard, NE Shooting Stars
Cara Cavanaugh, 6-1 forward, NE Shooting Stars
Jenna Miner, 5-11 forward, Averill Park Raptors
Rachael Apfel, 6-0 forward, Averill Park Raptors
Savannah Lynch, 5-7 guard, LV Lady Heat-Black
Abby Buttle, 5-9 forward, LV Lady Heat-Black
Jackie Jozefick, 6-0 forward, Connecticut Hoopsters
Shannon O’Meara, 5-8 guard, Connecticut Hoopsters
Emily Nestler, 6-0 forward, YMCA Rochester Revolution
Amber Holt, 5-8 guard, YMCA Rochester Revolution
Sara Ciotti, 5-4 guard, YMCA Rochester Revolution
Ellen Wagner, 5-11 forward, MT Elite-McInnis
Kerri Beland, 5-9 forward, MT Elite McInnis
Alicia Indence, 5-1 point guard, Lightning-Musumeci
Alize Davis, 5-6 guard, Westchester Hoopers
Amber Jones, 5-8 guard, Westchester Hoopers
Kadejah James, 6-2 forward, Westchester Hoopers
Abigail Cuddy, 6-0 forward, Rhode Island Lady Cyclones
Ajia McIntyre, 5-8 guard, WNY Lady Lakers
Candaisy Crawford, 5-9 forward, WNY Lady Lakers
Kelsey Poplowski, 5-8 guard, WNY Lady Lakers
Savannah Crocetti, 5-8 guard, WNY Lady Lakers
Vanessa Udoji, 5-10 forward, New England Crusaders
Olivia Ware, 5-10 forward, New England Crusaders
Caroline Sullivan, 6-1 forward, New England Crusaders
Jackie DelliSanti, 5-8 guard, Long Island Lightning-Lavey
Chelsea Shultz, 6-1 forward, Long Island Lightning-Lavey
Julia Thissel, 6-2 post, R.I. Breakers-Edgehill
Cara Callahan, 6-0 wing, R.I. Breakers-Edgehill
Aalliyah Gillepsie, 5-6 guard, City Rocks
Saeeda Aiz, 5-9 forward, City Rocks
Brianna Nickelson, 5-8 guard, Ladies Play Too
Tajae Stevens, 6-0 forward, Ladies Play Too
Jessica Anderson, 6-0 forward, Rising Stars
Chelsey Koren, 5-11 forward, PA Pride
Shannon Doyle, 5-6 guard, Hudson Valley Knights
Jazmin Diggs, 5-9 forward, Hudson Valley Knights
Taisha Hyman, 5-6 guard, Westchester Hoopers
Morgan Goldenbaum, 6-0 forward, LBL Dream Team
Jessica Gerber, 5-5 guard, LBL Dream Team
Abigal Kelly, 5-9 forward, Lake Champlain Lakers
Micole Kaczmarczyk, 6-0 forward, STNY Flyers
Daniella Dean, 5-7 guard, STNY Flyers
Sara Jackson, 5-10 forward, CT Wave
Taylor Krajewski, 5-7 guard, CT Wave
Emily McPadden, 5-6 guard, NE Lady Panthers
Kelly Lenkey, 5-22 guard, United NJ-Carr
Brenna Coppola,m 5-7 guard, Team Providence
Aliyah Christy, CAS Panthers
Ashley Sims, CAS Panthers
Rachel Simon, Triple Threat
Michaela Martin, 5-9 forward, College Prep Ball Academy
Andrea Terranova, 5-8 guard, College Prep Ball Academy
Page Faherty, 6-0 forward, L.I. Renegades Elite
Aaliyah Graham, 5-4 guard, L.I. Renegades Elite
Courtney Clasen, 5-9 forward, L.I. Renegades Elite
Alyssa Devin, 5-4 guard, CT Starters
Bianca Tomassini, 5-8 forward, CT Starters
Joelle MarkAnthony, 5-9 forward, CT Starters
Megan Kerutis, 5-6 guard, Rivals Blue
Maeve Sussman, 5-9 forward. MA Huskies-Smith
Claudine Fleschene, MA Huskies-Smith
Sadie Nelson, 5-11 forward, Maine Renegades
Ayla Tarte, 5-1 guard, Maine Renegades
Juliauna Dunlop, 5-7 guard, Maine Renegades
Alyx McKiernan, 5-4 guard, Blue Crush
Megan Swords, 6-2 forward, Blue Crush
Tara Lynch, 6-0 forward, Blue Crush
Samantha Dury, 6-0 forward, Blue Crush
Emily Bonifacic, 6-0 forward, Blue Crush
Isabella Lacarbonara, 6-0 forward, WBA Lady Knicks
Lucy Bancone, 5-4 guard, WBA Lady Knicks
Tea Spellacy, 5-11 forward, Mass Frenzy
Gabrielle Guenther, 5-7 guard, Mass Frenzy
Sarah Davis-Daniels, 5-3 guard, Boston Showstoppers
Leiandra Busby, 5-3 guard, Boston Showstoppers
Janee Joyner, 5-1 guard, Finger Lakes Elite
McKayla Hernandez, 5-8 forward, NYC Heat-White
Deanna McCarrell, 5-8 guard, CT Storm
Olivia Lane, 6-0 center, CT Storm
Alysson Hickey, 6-0 forward, Maine Wave
Jessica Camarda, 5-7 point guard, Hudson Valley Elite Gold
Ashley Vanderwall, 5-11 guard, Capital City Stars
Karissa Birthwright, 6-1 wing, Capital City Stars
Emily Ferreri, 5-8 guard, Kingston Vipers
Deanna McCarvell, 5-7 guard, CT Storm
Aimee DeArias, 5-9 guard, Basketball 2 The Limt
Aferi Richardson, 5-11 guard, Team Freckles
Kylie Lorenen, 5-11 wing, Mass Huskies
Sam Leone, 5-9 wing, Mass Huskies
Maddy Frank, 6-0 forward, Syracuse Nets
Elizabeth Millea, 5-7 guard, Syracuse Nets
Kayleah McGuire, 5-11 forward, NY Pride
Allie Monteleone, 5-9 guard, NY Pride
Madison Purcell, 5-10 guard, Albany Capitals
Sarah Cargill, 5-9 guard, Hoop Nation
Casey Davidson, 5-10 forward, NYC Heat
Stephanie Karcz, 5-8 guard, Central N.J. Hawks
Andrea Lennon, 5-4 guard, Central N.J. Hawks
Jessica Louro, 5-10 guard, Central N.J. Hawks
McKenna Brooks, 6-0 wing, Unity Wildcats
Jordan Vaught, 5-4 guard, Unity Wildcats
Gia Mancino, 5-8 wing, USAD Sparks
Carolyn Giordano, 5-7 guard, United NJ Navy
Haley Pilone, 5-8 guard, United NJ Navy
Paige MacNeill, 5-7 wing, NE Lady Panthers
Rebecca Ripley, 5-10 forward, New Hampshire Rivals
Brianna Delio, 5-4 guard, Orange City Crusader
Asiah Knight, 5-9 forward, Stamford Peace
Micheala Martin, 5-9 forward, College Prep Ball Academy
Mia Morrison, 6-0 forward, Finger Lakes Elite
15-Under GymRat CHALLENGE Age Division
Preparation Helps Bay State MagicReverse
SCHENECTADY, NY – The Bay State Magic Elite team’s motivation for this year’s run to a GymRat CHALLENGE 15-under age division championship can be traced all the way back to the same event a year ago.The same roster of players competed at the 13-under level in 2013 and lost in the tournament’s championship game as several team members suffered leg cramps or had their play otherwise hindered by the unusually stifling heat that day.
Since then the team emphasized better physical conditioning and worked to developed an even greater mental toughness designed to avoid another heartbreaking title game disappointment.
The Baystate Magic squad, based in Hanover, MA, knew it had enough talent. And, when it came to this year’s event it also brought a few extras … better conditioning and an even greater focus on securing success.
The year’s preparation paid dividends here over Father’s Day Weekend as the Magic was rarely tested on the road to the GymRat’s 15-under championship that culminated with a 55-40 victory in the title contest over Long Island Lightning-Flynn played at the Pat Riley Sports Center at Schenectady High School.
The result was accomplished by a precocious group of eight players, seven of which could have played at a lower age level. “We took the team up an age bracket because we wanted to challenge them,” explained coach Jim Wardwell.
The squad was more than up to the challenge, particularly on the defensive end when it allowed just 38 total points in its three pool-play games. That was followed by its closest contest, a three-point victory over the Springfield Lady Ballers in the championship-round opener. Otherwise, no other opponent even got within double digits of the Magic. Wardwell said it was a team effort that secured the championship, evidenced by three different players having led the Magic in scoring in at least one of the weekend’s games.
‘We had three or four players who could have been our leading scorer in any of our games,” said Wardwell. “It made it tough for opponents to concentrate on defending any one of our players.”
For sure, as the axiom goes, it’s not difficult for a defense to stop one standout opponent. But, it’s significantly tougher to stop an attack that features three or four capable scorers. Joie Grassi, a multi-talented 5-foot-11 forward, earned the division’s MVG (Most Valuable GymRat) award for her tournament-long consistent excellence. She averaged 11 points per game and was in double figures in five of the team’s seven contests.
Over the two-day event she made 65 percent of her shots, making 30 of 46 attempts. She was nearly as proficient from three-point range, connecting on 7-of-13 tries beyond the bonus stripe (53 percent). She got strong support particularly from Jennifer Worden, a 5-11 forward, who had a team-high 12.3 points-per-game average at the GymRat, and Hayley Wardwell, another guard, who averaged 8.6 points in the tournament.
“We came here prepared,” added Wardwell. “We worked on extra conditioning to prepare for coming here and, then, we reminded the kids that we lost here in last year’s championship game.” It resulted in the three lopsided pool-round games which Wardwell used to his team’s advantage. “By getting ahead by such large margins we were able to rest some kids and play a lot of zone defense which enabled the players in the game to rest a little more, too,” he said.
“But, we also had a lot of motivation based on last year. We reminded the kids about the sour taste from a year ago, and about how we had to have that taste in our mouths while making the 200-mile ride back home after last year’s tournament. We used all that as ammunition for this year’s event.”
Who knows what the Magic will be able to find as motivation when it returns to chase another GymRat CHALLENGE championship a year from now? But, that can wait until next year. The Bay State Magic got redemption in this year’s event, and that’s a very sweet taste.
15-Under Age Division MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Joie Grassi, 5-11 wing, Bay State Magic Elite/Plymouth H.S.: A mult-talented performer with high basketball IQ. She can score in a variety of ways. Very good shooter who made 65 percent of her shots taken here, including 7-of-13 from three-point range. She also moves well without the ball and is crafty with it. Great competitor who contributes to team success with a multitude of individual skills.
15-Under Age Division ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Jen Worden, 5-11 forward, Bay State Magic Elite/Abington H.S.: A long and lanky forward who was her championship team’s leading scorer (12.3 ppg.) here. Very athletic player and is an outstanding defender, really works at that end of the court. Outstanding court IQ and extremely adept at distributing, a creative passer. Already getting some D-1 interest.
Emily Jacques ,6-1 forward, Maine Maniacs-Hancock/Edward Little H.S.: Plays well in the post, particularly at the defensive end. She blocks shots and does a good job protecting the basket. Decent passer from the post, but mostly gets the ball and knows how to score it in the lane. She put her team on her back for a playoff run to the tournament’s semifinal round of play.
Amanda Gaudreault, 5-11 forward, Granite State Rockettes/Central H.S.: Already has good size. Uses it well, particularly as an active defender. Finishes nicely around the basket. A scorer who can step out and shoot on the perimeter with decent range. Runs court well for her position.
Callie Cavanaugh, 6-0 power forward, Springfield Lady Ballers/Holyoke H.S.: A strong low-post player who can also step out and make a mid-range jumper with her feet set. She can just dominate around the basket. A very physical player who rebounds well. Her size and length contributes greatly to her defensive abilities.
Kelsie Jacobs, 5-8 wing, Springfield Lady Ballers/Sabis H.S.: A very quick player who showed a great ability to get to the hoop off the dribble. Yet, also an unselfish player who sees the court well and is capable of delivering passes to open teammates. Perimeter game not there yet … prefers to go hard to A strong,
Alayah Sweeney, 5-5 guard, Springfield Lady Ballers/ Central H.S.: A point guard who makes things happen at both ends of the court. An outstanding defender. She comes up with more than her share of steals on the defensive end. Showed high court IQ and success in the transition game.
Kelli O’Reilly, 5-8 point guard, NJ Sparks Blue/Montvale Township H.S.: A very active player whose high motor makes things happen. Aggressive at both ends of the court. Very disruptive on defense. Offensively, she pushes the ball up court quickly. Uses both hands effectively on the offensive end.
Jamine Gee, 6-2 center, NJ Sparks Blue/Immaculate Conception H.S.: An extremely strong player in the low post. She moves well for her size and has a high motor. Plays hard. Rebounds well in traffic, and a decent passer out of the post. Uses her skills to contribute in a variety of ways.
Lauren Brown, 5-10 wing, WBA Lady Knicks/Horace Greely H.S.: A super athlete who jumps extremely well. Elevates on her shot. Nice 15-foot jump shot. Capable of going coast to coast. Plays under control. Makes others better. Comes up with steals, deflections and blocked shot. Definitely an extremely bright future.
Tiana England, 5-6 point guard, WBA Lady Knicks/Stamford H.S.:A point guard who is at her best in transition. Sees the court well. A slasher who gets to the hoop off the dribble with ease. She distributes the ball well and is a good ball-handler. Showed off a nice hesitation dribble here.
Rachel Cohen, 5-9 guard, WBA Lady Knicks/Scarsdale H.S.: She just knows how to play. Very good shooter when her feet are set. Stays under control, doesn’t try to do too much. Takes what opponents give her. She will keep defense honest by going hard to the hoop off the dribble.
Ciara Dillon, 5-6 point guard, Rivals Black/Beaver County Day School: An exceptional on-the-ball defender. She will stand her ground and take charges on the defensive end. High motor, plays hard. Very good transition player. Her determination set her apart her. She is an engine that makes a successful team go.
Alexi Schecter, 6-2 center, Rivals Black/Lowell H.S.: A strong, fundamentally sound player. Good scorer around the basket. Showed a nice jump shot. Uses a shot fake effectively. Doesn’t just rely on size to rebound, knows how to box out. Will make outlet passes. Can be imposing on defense. Blocks shots and intimidates others. Very good passer. A pleasure to watch.
Elise Graham, 5-7 guard, Ambush/Amith H.S.: A confident, talented scoring guard. She also sees the court well and makes good decisions. Very adept at getting to the hoop off the dribble. She can finish in traffic and against contact. Showed off a nice reverse layup ability here.
Lauren Manis, 6-1 center, MT Elite 10A/Bishop Feehan H.S.: She just knows how to play. Good size and knows how to use it. Spreads out to make herself a good target in the post. Very good high-low passer already. High motor, plays hard. Looks to have good potential for even better.
Tina Lebron, 5-4 point guard, Jersey Cardinals/St. John Vianney H.S.: One of the better shooters in her age division here. Outstanding range and a nice rotation on her shot. Not afraid, though, to also go to the hoop. Used a teardrop shot to get shots over defenders in the lane. In addition to scoring she will penetrate and dish.
Lee Echi, 5-10 point guard, Triple Threat Elite prep/Beacon H.S.: A very quick point guard who knows how to use her spee to advantage. Hustles at all time. Very good handle and she sees the court and distributes well to open teammates. Plays the game under control.
Dana Dockery, 6-0 forward, Triple Threat Elite Prep/Roy C. Ketcham H.S.: She is very comfortable at the high post, and knows how to use her size there. A nice turnaround jumper in the lane and is tall enough to get it off over defenders. Good front-court player who has excellent potential for even better.
Christina Holmgren, 5-9 forward, Stamford peace/Wilton H.S.: A versatile forward, does a lot of things well. Excellent on the defensive end. Capable mid-range jump shooter. She is also a good passer, finding open teammates. Good offensive rebounder who really attacks the boards at that end.
Arianne Smith, 5-7 point guard, WNY Lady Lakers/Bishop Kearney H.S.: Very quick and uses that speed A on opposing ball handlers. Very disruptive player on the defense end, gets her share of steals/deflections.
Kelsey Shaw, 5-9 forward, Maine Firecrackers/MDI: A physical player who has an impact on the game. A lefty who can get into the lane off the dribble and score when there. Showed a nice spin-dribble move here. Also capable of grabbing a rebound and going coast-to-coast with it.
Jillian Webber, 6-0 forward, New England Rebels/Andover H.S.; A good defender who uses her length to block shots. Active on the offensive end, too. Scores around the basket, or with a nice mid-range jumper. Unselfish player who sees the court and gets the ball to open teammates. A little added strength would help even more.
Alexis Fotopolous, 5-6 guard, L.I. Lightning-Flynn/Hampton Bays: An outstanding shooter with a quick release, one of the top shooters here. Yet, she contributes to her team in a variety of other ways, too. Very good defender who comes up with more than her share of steals. Very versatile game and came up big in clutch situations here.
Amanda Kelly, 6-0 power forward, Long Island Lightning-Flynn/St. Dominic’s H.S.: A physical power forward. She is an excellent passer and uses bounce passes well. Tough, blue-collar player who can dominate a game. Rebounds in traffic, strong around the basket. Nice mid-range jump shot. Good hands. Good passer in high-low situations. Plays hard at all times.
Jenna Silletti, 6-2 post, Long island lightning-Flynn/LUHI: A “big” with a high motor, plays hard at all times. Knows how to seal in the low post. Can score both inside and outside. Consistently made the foul-line jumper here. Strong inside player. Gets up, uses length to block more than her share of shots.
Bria Wilson, 5-6 point guard, WNYf Lady Lakers/Greece-Athena H.S.: Part of an excellent guard tandem on this team. Very good ball handler who uses that skill to get past defenders and dish. Gets into the lane off the dribble at will. Capable enough shooter to keep defense honest. Works very hard on the defensive end.
Taylor Miller, 6-1 center, Bay State Magic-Elite/Falmouth H.S.: Anchors the middle on both ends for a strong team. She really controls the paint. Already has good size. A real competitor with a high motor. Strong rebounder who knows how to box out. Strong, physical player who knows how to use those traits well.
Brianna Purcell, 5-4 point guard, Rivals Black/Bedford H.S.: Does everything to win games. Extremely determined player with a high motor who plays hard at all times. Top hustler. Sees the court well and distributes to open teammates. Very good and quick in the transition game. Showed ability to make jumpers here.
Mikaiya Moore, 6-1 wing, New Heights Blue/Copiague H.S.: Strong slasher with either hand. Smooth player who has an all-around offensive game. Drives well, yet has 3-point shot. Composed on both ends of the floor. Makes her teammates better. One of the better players here at this level.
Kasia Lucky, 5-7 point guard, New Heights Blue/Grand Street: Very strong point guard who plays with high energy. Has speed, quickness. Great at taking it to the hoop with the ability to finish against contact. Great defensive ball pressure, gets steals for lay-ups. Finds open teammates in transition. Also a nice mid-range shooter.
Milicia Reid, 5-7 guard, New Heights Blue.: One of the best, scrappiest defenders at this level. Great ball pressure as well as on-court awareness. She gets more than her share of steals. Plays with a real passion. Strong slasher to the basket and gets there going in either direction.
Jordan Heinhold, 6-0 wing, Baseline Elite Truth Blue/Immaculata H.S.: A strong lefty with a nice spin move and finish going to the basket. Also has three-point range. Aggressive rebounding ability around the basket. Plays with passion, a hard worker on the court at all times.
Lauren Jaunich, 6-1 forward, Vermont Pacers/Champlain Valley Union H.S.: Post size with guard skills. Can hit the 15-footer, yet doesn’t miss from point-blank range. Runs the floor looking for the ball. Boxes out every time, and secures rebounds with two hands. Sits in post, is patient and passes out well. Soft touch around hoop and consistently finishes. Flasher through the paint, makes herself a good target.
Marissa Gattuso, 5-6 guard, Evolution Basketball/Woburn H.S.: High energy point guard who advances the ball quickly in transition. Uses her dribble to create separation and draws contact while getting to the rim. Excellent use of misdirection. Always back in defensive responsibility. Quick hands, strips opponents as they approach the rim. Active without the ball. Pass-first, but can knock down perimeter jumper. Team-oriented leader.
Jackie Ciccotto, 5-7 guard, NYC Heat-Robalto/Tottenville H.S.: Ability to draw defenders and kick to open teammate. Pursues offensive rebounds consistently. Matches up well with bigger defenders. Good court vision, finds her open teammates. Plays hard no matter the score. Team-oriented leader.
Nicole Jorgensen, 6-4 center, South Shore Elite Shamrocks/Quincy H.S.: True back-to-the-basket post player who passes well out of the paint. Reads passing lanes and gets steals; initiates transition. Runs her lanes while in transition, gets to the box. At times seemed to be frustrated. When she wants to be, she is hard to stop.
Charee Osborne, 5-9 center, CT Storm/New London Sci & Tech H.S.: Uses her strength to be a force in the paint. Gets a wide base on the catch and, then, is virtually unstoppable. Very light on her feet. Once she secures defensive rebound will use her dribble to start break. Fights through screens to close out on perimeter and helps and recovers well. Relentless in the paint, never gives up a chance to rebound. Demands ball in the paint. Sees floor well and is a good passer.
Cebria Outlow, 5-9 forward, CT Storm/Norwich Free Academy: Mentally tough, does not get rattled. Took a hard hit here and didn’t come out of the game. Will rip ball out of defenders’ hands. Consistent perimeter range. Looks to tip the ball while trailing defensively. Knack for being in the right place on the boards. A monster on the offensive glass.
Tami Falay, 6-2 forward, Evolution Basketbll/St. Mary’s H.S.: Long, lanky and quick-footed. Wants to post at the foul line. Shot-blocker. Always active on defensive end. Gets on the floor for loose balls. Reads passing lanes and steps in for steals. Trouble finishing at rim at times. Passes well from high post, especially in high-low situations.
Jennifer Inman,5-4 guard, Central Jersey Hawks/Holmdel H.S.: Constant high energy and hustle which is contagious. Will give up her body at both ends of the floor. Capable of changing temperament of the game. Plays hard regardless of the score. Attempts to box and rebound, even though she is much smaller than opponents.
Alissa Alston, 5-5 guard, CAS Panthers: Explisive first step and ability to stop on a dime. Can play either guard spot. Great court vision, utilizes no-look and behind-the-back passes. Deep 3-point range. Utilizes floater when driving middle. Defensive plays the ball well, has the ability to strip and excellent timing to block a shot. Can score at will and at times should be more selfish.
Ardella Brown, 5-7 point guard. CAS Panthers/Murry Bertraum H.S.: Hop in her step. Uses change of speed and direction to drive lane and draw defenders in order to dribble and kick. Can advance the ball up court easily. Versatile guard that can play any perimeter position. Uses her size to her advantage. Team leader through both words and actions.
Olivia Allrich, 5-9 forward, Saratoga Sparks/Ballston Spa H.S.: Will attack the basket with her dribble. Battles in the paint, although fumbles the catch at times. Has ability to pass on the move. Extremely high motor. She never stopped working hard here.
Emily Padalino, 5-10 wing, Saratoga Sparks/Albany Academy for Girls: Can play back to basket or step out on the perimeter and make the three-pointer. Very patient when calling for the ball in the post, flashes to open gaps against zone. Intelligent and strong post defender. Mentally tough, a silent leader.
Meg Turner, 5-9 wing, CMAC Hawks/Shepherd Hill Regional: A physical defender in the post who bumps cutters. Will block shots. Versatile player. Defensively can play the guard position. Possesses guard skills on the perimeter. Plays hard regardless of the score. Interacts with teammates and officials professionally.
Gabriela Jerahian, 5-4 point guard, South Shore Elite Shamrocks/Quincy H.S.: Pesky on-the-ball defender always looking to strip her assignment. Advances the ball with the pass, not the dribble. Crafty point guard. Runs her lanes and finishes at the rim. Not afraid of contact. Never stops moving. Team leader in words and actions.
Brianna Witt, 5-4 point guard, WBA Knicks/Suffern H.S.: Excellent speed with or without the ball. High court IQ. Directs her teammates where to go. Always in great help position ready to trap. Great passer in transition, advances the ball with ease. Uses change of speed and direction to her advantage. Closes out with hand in opponents’ face.
Milan Johnson, 5-7 guard, NJ Sparks/Teaneck H.S.: Outstanding shooter with very quick release and three-point range. Also can play at the point and runs team effectively from that position. Vocal with her teammates. A leader who knows what her team should be doing and isn’t afraid to direct them.
Katie Higgins, 6-1 wing, NJ Sparks/Monclair H.S.: A long combo guard. Consistent movement on the offensive end. Works hard to get open and cuts effectively. Uses change of speed and direction well. Three-point shooter who loves the baseline shot. Looks to get the ball into the post effectively.
Sadie Otley, 5-8 guard, Vermont Pacers/Champlain Valley Union H.S.: Stepped up a little more each game here. Best offensive game in the early rounds of playoffs. Very effective three-point shooter. Also runs the floor well. Good use of footwork to keep from getting trapped after picking up her dribble.
Laurel Jaunich, 6-1 forward, Vermont Pacers/Champlain Valley Union H.S.: Adjusted her game, using different facets as opposition got better/taller here. She showed great composure against physical play. Effectively mixed up her game to include more perimeter play. Reads passing lanes well and picked off passes. Showed very good footwork when trying to seal in the paint.
Montana Braxton, 5-10 guard, Maine Maniacs/Cape Elizabeth H.S.: Great defensive anticipation and creates consistent chaos on the defensive end and in the open court. Outstanding first step and attacks and finishes at the basket against contact. Needs a little more shooting range, but strong at the foul line. Key team member here.
Hayley Wardwell, 5-10 guard, Bay State Magic Elite/Cardinal Spellman H.S.: Key part of championship team. Outstanding shooter, particularly from three point range. She hit more than 50 percent of three pointers (13-of-25) over seven games here, and only missed one free throw (13-of-14) over the weekend. Extremely quick release, and hit some shots several feet beyond the bonus stripe. Athletic and strong off-guard. Already exceptional height for the position.
15-Under Division HONRABLE MENTION All-GymRat CHALLENGE
Sierra “Cece’ Hancock, 5-4 point guard, Maine Maniacs
Dominique Lewis, 5-4 point guard, Maine Maniacs
Maddie Hasson, 5-9 forward, Maine Maniacs
Marissa Stacy, 5-6 point guard, Granite State Rockettes
Reena Olsen, 6-1 center, NY Pride-SISCA
Dalyssa Fleurgin, 5-11 forward, TW Bluehounds Blue
Jamese Word, 5-8 guard, VBG Cast
Blessing Ojiofore, 6-3 center, New Jersey Sparks Blue
Emily Corl, 5-8 guard, CT Attack Townsend
Marisa Peczuh, 5-6 guard, CT Attack Townsend
Tiana Pugh, 6-1 forward, City Rocks Utica 10
Tess Bogosz, 6-3 center, Lady Lions
Monica Viapiano, 6-0 forward, Rivals Black
Elizbeth Elder, 6-2 center, New York Red Wings
Sarah Te-Biasu, 5-2 point guard, TW Bluehounds White
Alexa Neal, 6-0 center, TW Bluehounds White
Kerri Tellian, 5-6 guard, NJ Lady Titans
Alie Wickersheim, 6-1 center, NJ Lady Titans
Destine Perry, 5-8 point guard, CT Heat
Rashana Sider, 5-6 guard, CT Heat
Katelyn Rourke, 5-9 guard, Mass Wildcats
Chelsea Rairdon, 5-11 forward, Maine Firecrackers
Erin Murphy, 5-7 guard, Maine Firecrackers
Catherine Sweeney, 5-11 forward, New England Rebels
Lauren Lapertosa, 6-0 forward, Unity Wildcats
Kendra Offiaeli, 6-1 center, CT Attack Townsend
Dana Muckstadt, 6-0 forward, MT Elite 10A
Lauren Rudolph, 5-7 guard, MT Elite 10A
Courtney Bundschuh, 6-2 post, WBA Lady Knicks
Ashley Burube, 6-2 forward, Rivals Black
Grace Carter, 5-7 point guard, Mass Wildcats
Alyssa Torres, 5-7 guard, Long island Lightning-Flynn
Haley Blasetti, 5-9 guard, Baystate Magic Elite
Jennifer Worden, 5-10 gaurd, Baystate Magic Elite
Claire Wanzer, 5-8 guard, Baseline Elite Blue
Alyssa Camara, 5-5 point guard, Mass Ducks
Kenna Guynup, 5-7 point guard, Lake Champlain Lakers
Massie Treacy, 5-6 guard, CT Magic
Lunday O’Sulivan, 6-0 forward, Rising Stars
Kyra Rose, 5-9 forward, Mass Ducks
Ashley Sowah, 5-2 point guard, RI Lady Cyclones
Jordan Heinhold, 6-0 forward, Baseline Elite Blue
Marlee Gunn, 5-6 guard, Vermont Pacers
Cristina Camerlengo, 5-5 guard NYC Heat-Rosalbo
Megan Dixon, 5-8 guard, South Shore Elite Shamrocks
Samantha Ashton, 5-4 CT Storm
Casey Friend, 5-7 guard, WBA Lady Knicks
Monica Luke, 5-9 forward, NDO Hornets
Kaylie Doherty, 6-0 post, CMAC Hawks
14-Under GymRat CHALLENGE Age Division
Honey Badgers’ Fierce Play Captures Championship
SARATOGA SPRINGS. NY – The honey badger is a small yet tough, relentless and fierce animal, one about which Matt Forbes had read about years ago in a children’s book. When it came time to chose a nickname for his North Attleboro, MA-based AAU program, Forbes and team members opted to call the squad the Honey Badgers and hoped the squad’s style of play would be reminiscent of the ornery badger-like animal.
The AAU basketball-playing Honey Badgers more than lived up to the description with their fierce play at both ends of the court to knock off the Bay State Jaguars, 55-50 to capture the championship of the 14-under age bracket of the GymRat CHALLENGE in the title game played at the Saratoga Recreation Center.
“The kids just stepped up and helped each other out,” said Forbes. “We only had seven players here, but we got through it. We’ve been practicing at least two hours a day to not only being able to play together but to be in condition and that made a difference.
“We’re also dedicated to fit our nickname. We recognize that the Honey Badger is the most fierce and fearless animal on the planet. We decided that it’s a good name, and that’s what we want to play like.” When the team was formed, though, there were other nicknames under consideration. “The other one we strongly considered was “Net Shredders,” said Forbes. “Thankfully we didn’t pick that one or we might have become a bunch of shooters who didn’t play any defense.”
Forbes team, though, had the requisite point scorers as well, most particularly 5-foot-8 guard Katie Nelson, who averaged 17.4 points over the tournament and whose all-around play earned the division’s MVG (Most Valuable GymRat) award.
All seven team members averaged at least 3.2 points per game, with Molly Lahiff (8.8 points per contest and Caroline Collard (8.2) the other leading scorers in the balanced attack.
Nelson had a game-high 18 in the title contest over in-state rival Bay State. She also produced in the clutch, connecting on a big three-pointer midway through the second half to erase a three-point deficit and, later, made two clutch free throws in the closing seconds that secured the outcome.
The game championship game featured familiar foes. Some opposing players are even in-season high school teammates.“It did feel a little weird with some of us playing against school teammates,” said Nelson. “But it makes it that much nicer to be able to beat players you know and respect.”
The Bay State squad had won the GymRat’s 13-under age division last year and featured some outstanding players, including last season’s 13-under MVG Keelah Dixon, who had 23 points in the semifinal round but was limited to 12 against the Honey Badgers’ fierce defense.
“The thing that’s rewarding is that we’re a team made up of players from just one town while the Bay State team draws the best players from a variety of communities,” added Forbes. “When we’re able to beat them, we know we’re beating a very good team.”
It didn’t come easily. It took tenacious and fierce play not that different than the team’s nickname namesake. “It’s also a cute-looking animal,” added Katie Nelson. “That’s why we like the nickname. We think we’re like the Honey Badger, both cute and fierce.”
14-under Age Division MVG – Most Valuable GymRat
Katie Nelson, 5-8 guard, Honey Badgers/Bishop Feehan H.S.: A long, athletic combo guard who really settles a team when she has the ball, but is also a dangerous offensive force herself. She already has a complete offensive skill set with a strong handle and the strength to finish against contact at the rim. Deadly consistent shooter, with range even beyond the three-point stripe. Averaged 17.4 points per game in play here and also served as a capable and creative distributor to make teammates better. Never seems to get flustered. Very bright future for her.
14-Under Age Division ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE TEAM
Caitlin Estes, 5-10 guard, Saratoga Sparks/Scotia-Glenville H.S.: A big-time shooter with very deep three-point range. Very strong perimeter defender who uses her length and athleticism to shut off drives. Active hands and high motor on defense that allows her to get more than her share of steals, deflections.
Stella Clark, 5-6 point guard, Jersey Shore Wildvcats/Manasquan H.S.: A lightning-quick guard that sets the tone on both ends of the court with her aggressiveness. Possesses outstanding court vision and makes great decisions in transition. Can knock down shots from all over with range past the three-point line. Lock-down defender that uses foot speed to harass the ball and cause turnovers.
Faith Masonius, 5-11 forward, Jersey Shore Wildcats//St. Atherine’s School: A seventh-grader playing up two age divisions with success. Already a good-sized post player with skill. Can post with a strong drop step and touch and also has ability to face up and attack the basket. Good passer in the high post and very strong outlets to start transitions. Smooth jump shot with developing three-point range.
Mikayla Markiam,f 5-5 point guard, Jersey Sting-Roth/Manasquan H.S.: A fast point guard that uses a burst to get past defenders and be a force in transition. Able to finish at the rim with good vision that also allows her to drive and dish for easy baskets. Flashed some long-range shooting ability here, too.
Masseny Kaba, 6-3 center, Boston Showstoppers/Tech Boston Academy: Has outstanding length and quickness. Already good footwork and hands allows her to be a great finisher in pick-and-roll situations. Strong rebounder and uses length to block shots. Owned the paint defensively here.
Katherine Cain, 6-5 center, Hudson Valley Elite-White/Pine Bush H.S.: Outstanding size/length. Soft hands allow her to catch and finish quickly off offensive boards and dump-offs from driving guards. Good help-side defender who has good touch to keep her blocked shots in play. Doesn’t just swat at the ball.
Gabrielle Zaffiro, 5-9 guard, Rising Stars/North Shore H.S.: Strong guard with a very high motor. An outstanding finisher at the rim. Uses her length and game-long effort to get in passing lanes to get steals/deflections and to score points in transition game.
Kate Sullivan, 5-8 guard, Mass Frenzy/Granby H.S.: A lanky, smooth combo guard that has good enough court vision to play the point with scoring ability from all over. Can finish in traffic and also flashed some three-point range here. Hard-working player who doesn’t hesitate to hit the floor for loose balls.
Sophia Gatzounas, 5-7 guard, Mass Frenzy/South Hadley H.S.: A strong frame with long arms and a great motor. Complete player who can defend, rebound and scored. Flashed some three-point range on her jumper here, but at her best using her strength to finish through contact at the rim.
Mackenzie DeWees, 5-7 point guard, Central Maryland Attitude/Manchester Valley H.S.: Athletic and a strong ball handler. Outstanding feel for the game and cool under pressure. Can shoot off the dribble with a nice step-back and has three-point range. Quick hands and feet on defense and goes hard on every possession. Great vision, gets easy baskets for teammates.
Francesca Venegas, 5-6 guard, Central Maryland Attitude/Atholton H.S.: A good ball handler with an all-around offensive game. Can finish with contact, can knock down runners in the lane and showed a consistent jump shot out to the three-point line. Active hands at the top of the press gets a lot of steals and deflections.
Aislinn Flynn, 6-1 forward, Lightning-Prisco/Long Island Lutheran H.S.: Long and athletic forward that does a good job challenging shots from help side without fouling. Also blocks shots on guard drives. Flashes of a good touch in the post. Moves well along the baseline against zone and has a smooth jumper 0out to 18 feet. Sets good screens and has a good catch-and-finish off the pick-and-roll.
Hannah Fabiano, 5-8 wing, New England Flames/Campbell H.S.: Athletic player with a strong frame. Uses her strength to finish at the rim and possesses a solid jumper. Defensively, great timing as a shot blocker and is an excellent rebounder with good instincts. Seems to know where missed shots will fall.
Emma Forbes, 5-5 point guard, Honey Badgers/North Attleboro H.S.: A quick and energetic guard that makes a lot happen on both ends of the floor. Offensively can attack and dish with good vision. Can knock down the three-pointer. Defensively uses her quick feet and hands to pester the ball and cause turnovers.
Ama Asamoah, 6-0 post, Basketball 2 The Limit-Black/Weston H.S.: A big post player with size and length but also with the ability to move well up and down the floor. She can drive to the basket and finish against contact. Uses size and length to get more than her share of rebounds.
Amaya Finklea, 6-3 post, New England Crusaders/Noble & Greenough H.S.: A tall, long post player who has a nice shooting touch around the basket. She runs the floor exceptionally well for her size. Rebounds well and is highly effective on put-backs. Still working to develop post moves.
Dorian Cohen, 6-0 post, New England Crusaders/Wellesley H.S.: A good-sized post player who uses her length to be an effective shot blocker. She is also athletic enough to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. Does her best work inside and finishes well around the basket against contact.
Lucie Passwater. 6=1 post, Bel Air Wildcats/John Carroll H.S.: A very confident, good-sized player. She can put the ball on the floor, get into the lane and finish well at the rim. She demands the ball in the post. Good-enough perimeter shooter, out to the free-throw line extended.
Amani Free, 5-10 wing, City Rocks Utica/Cicero North Syracuse H.S.: Has a very good handle for her size/position. Aggressively attacks the basket. Can get inside and has some good post moves. Very athletic player. Exceptional rebounder at both ends and also can shoot the perimeter shot.
Heidi Scarth, 6-1 post, LI Lightning-Ramalu/Ward Melville H.S.: Has a good-sized build and utilizes it well. Uses height to finish around the basket against contact. Also uses her length well on the boards. Outstanding rebounder.
Yasmin Lewis, 5-9 wing, Maryland Belles/Senton Keough H.S.: A good-sized guard/post combo with a great handle. Also has good rebounding ability, jumps out of the gym. Very aggressive on the glass. Finishes high off the glass. Smart on defense and offense, high IQ. Great attitude and very respectful towards opponents and officials.
Chyna Latimer, 5-1 guard, Maryland Belles/Patterson H.S.: An athletic player, big guard who is a great rebounder for her size. Has great control of the ball, outstanding handle. Sees the floor well, runs the offense. Runs the floor well and makes outstanding decisions.
Emily Esposito, 5-9 wing, Maine Firecrackers/Gorham H.S.: A long, athletic guard/post combo. She has a nice mid-range shot. Also has guard skills in terms of handling the ball very well; Displayed a high basketball IQ knowing when to keep the ball and when to distribute. Real team leader; Very consistent player. Contributes with both her scoring and rebounding ability.
Grace Guachione, 5-6 guard, Berkshire Blazers/Miss Halls School: Long, athletic guard that has the ability of a big post. She crashes hard for rebounds on both ends and is the leader of her team. Has long-range ability, consistently hits the three. A good handle and a good in-lane floater. Uses long arms to be a good defender.
Erin Hill, 6-0 guard, Cape Cod Bulls/Marthas Vineyard H.S.: Good size and uses her length to be an aggressive rebounder. Attacks the basket fairly well. Very strong with the ball. She’s not going to lose it. Consistent on the glass, particularly on the offensive end for put-backs
Payton Steinman, 5-7 guard, Berkshire Blazers/Pittsfield H.S.: An aggressive, smaller guard. She really attacks the rim fearlessly. Smart and a good ball-handler. Runs the floor exceptionally well. Good three-point shooter. Uses her quickness to be a plus defender.
Geia Alverio, 5-4 guard, Cape Cod Bulls/Monomy H.S.: A tough, all-out hustler. She can shoot, dribble-drive to make plays or attack the basket strongly. She can get off her feet exceptionally well. Rebounds well for her size. Absolutely the heart of her team. Great ball-handling skills and sees the floor. Exceptional passer.
Brianna DeLeo, 5-9 guard, Orange County Crusaders/Monroe-Woodbury H.S.: Outstanding scorer that puts up points consistently. Plays hard at all time. Good handle which enables her to bring the ball up easily against pressure. Scores in a variety of ways. Good long-range ability.
Shannon Murphy, 6-1 wing, MA HJuskies/Watertown H.S.: A swiftness about the way she moves, whether taking someone off the dribble lal the way to the hoop or scoring from slashing through the paint. She makes it all look natural and easy. A combination of smoothness and finesse.
Sarah Devo, 5-11 guard, MT Elite 9A/Attleboro H.S.: Great stroke just inside the three-point stripe, whether set or in motion. Quick movement as she plays the top of the zone defense in full court and in half. Runs the floor well to get easy baskets, and she will stop and pop for the mid-range jumper.
Olivia Orlando, 5-11 wing, Rivals Red/Tilton H.S.: Aggressive player on the defensive end. Able to pick off passes by reading the offense as she played second layer of defense on press and, then, turns around to go coast-to-coast. Has a consistent mid-range jumper. Type of player that can post up smaller guards.
Jasmine Watson, 5-6 guard, Central Jersey Hawks/West Windsor Plainsboro-North H.S.: Able to take it strong to the hoop, but also has a nice perimeter shot that always needs to be contested by the defense. Does a great job of picking opponents’ pockets and going coast-to-coast. Very strong finisher against contact.
Isabella Folgo, 6-0 forward, Team BSB/La Salle Academy: An all-out worker. She never backs down or stops competing, whether it’s holding her position on the block or going after rebounds. Has an unstoppable power dribble drop-step from the right block.
Emily Briggs, 5-8 wing, CT Attack-P’ergola/Canton H.S.: A hustler at all times. When she steps on the court, she gives it 100 percent. Crashes the boards hard on defense and especially on the offensive end. Will keep battling for boards until she finishes the put-back. Constantly cutting through the paint on offense and staying active.
Hailey Conley, 5-8 guard, CT Storm/Norwich Free Academy: A shooter! Has deep three-point range that makes her shot look natural and easy under any sort of pressure. Can sink the shot coming off the screen with the correct footing on both sides of the court. Flat-out scorer.
Marissa Fontaine, 6-0 forward, Bay State Jaguars/Bishop Feehan H.S.: Not only has a strong post-up game but can shoot the outside jumper, especially the corner three. Will come across the paint from the corners and lay in the little runner directly off the pass. Makes that play look effortless with a smooth finish.
Jordan McLemore, 5-7 point guard, New Jersey Sparks/Leonia Middle School: Very quick to get up the floor. Has a deadly low and fast cross-over that gives her a dynamite first step past her defender. For her size she gets so low and has arms out wide on defense, a maneuver that makes it hard to get past her.
Victoria Hazard, 5-11 wing, Central Mass Shooters/Northbridge H.S.: The type of player that will outwork everyone on the floor. Will dive on the floor and scrap for any loose ball. She has the ability to watch where a shot hits the board to grab a rebound. When she isn’t slashing through the paint she has an eye for hitting cutters on the give-and-go to the hoop.
Veronica Burton, 5-6 guard, Bay State Jaguars/Brown Middle School; A shooter with great form and almost perfect rotation/arc on the ball. Low, quick defender who uses her feet and not her hands 100 percent of the time. Able to force her opponent any direction she wants, making her able to control the floor.
Keelah Dixon, 5-3 point guard, Bay State Jaguars/Braintree H.S.: The MVG of the 13-under division last year, she helped lift her team to the championship game in this year’s event. The type player who not only posses athleticism but also has good court IQ. Knows what the next step is going to be and seems to think ahead. She can drive and shoot from the outside. Really pushes the ball up the floor.
Christina Dicindio, 6-2 forward, Central Jerey Hawks/West Windsor Plainsboro-North; A forceful post-up player with low/wide stance that continues in to her power move. Becomes a hard defender because she comes hard off screens to defend the three. Has a great finish around the hoop. Outstanding court sense, knows whether to score or pass. Unselfish player. Took two game-changing charges back-to-back to spark her team in out contest here.
Rebecca Ripley, 5-11 guard, Rivals Red/New Hampton School; Versatile and exciting player. Very low in the post, strong and controlled. Ball handle like a point guard. Has a consistent three stroke that is continuous and flowing. Great spin move once in the paint to go opposite of the defender. Uses this move for short jumpers. Long and lengthy making the move hard to defend.
Amanda Tores, 5-7 point guard, Rivals Red/Proctor Academy: An attacker and a player that goes the extra mile and puts in extra effort to get the job done. Very smooth at slicing the paint and finding gaps in the defense to drive to the hoop. Great court sense, easy for her to find open player or cutter in the paint. Gets almost every rebound due to all-out hustle. Able to get her hands on the ball on defense.
14-Under all-GymRat CHALLENGE Honorable Mention
Amaya Finklea, 6-3 post, New England Crusaders
Bridget Lancaster, 6-0 guard, New England Crusaders
Erin Antosh, 6-2 post, Cape Cod Bulls
Danielle Caivana, 5-5 guard, City Rocks Utica 9
Taylor Tripptree, 5-7 guard, Lightning-Ramaliu
Hope Brown, 5-8 post, United NJ Gallo
Kritina Harrell, 5-7 guard, United NJ Gallo
Mary Reitter, 5-8 guard, LI Renegades Blue
Kayla Mitchell, 5-8 guard, Maryland Belles
McKenna Dale, 5-9 post, CT Attack-Seymour
Veronica Christ, 5-8 wing, United NJ Gallo
Alyson Reid, 5-4 guard, New England Crusaders
Amani Ball, 5-11 forward, Baltimore Starz
Morgan Staab, 6-2 center Rising Stars
Cameron Tooley, 5-7 guard, Saratoga Sparks
Catherine Masonius, 5-6 guard, Jersey Shore Wildcats
Kaltie Foos, 5-10 forward, Jersey Shore Wildcats
Guyn Stoll, 5-7 guard, Jersey Shore Warriors
Michaela Sullivan, 5-11 forward, Rhode Island Thunder
Elfreda Hoff, 5-3 point guard, Rhode Island Thuder
Caroline Collard, 6-0 center, Honey Badgers
Julia Strachan, 5-8 guard, Honey Badgers
Molly Lahiff, 5-8 guard, Honey Badgers
Eireann Kolden, 5-8 guard, New England Flames
Abbie Fields, 6-0 center, New England Flames
Allison Lamonica, 5-2 point guard, LI Lightning-Prisco
Jessica Berman, 5-11 forward, Central Maryland Attitude
Sophia Guerrier, 5-6 guard, Basketball 2 The Limit
Samantha Ross, 5-4 guard, Jersey Sting
Jessica Lessard, 5-10 guard Boston Showstoppers
Kayla Kaloostian, 5-5 guard, Boston Showstoppers
Karli Retzel, 5-4 guard, Mass Frenzy
McKenzie Press, 5-7 guard, Hudson Valley Elite-White
Hailey Reynolds, 5-11 guard, Hudson Valley Elite-White
Mia Behrens, 5-6 point guard, LI Renegades-White
Tamara Gonyea, 5-7 point guard, CT Bandits
Shea Frady, 5-4 guard, Lake Champain Lakers
Caitlyn Gresh, 5-0 point guard, CT Attack Pergola
Katherine Puda, 5-7 guard, Central Mass Shooters
Meg Reen, 5-5 point guard, MT Elite 9A
Alexandra Yoest, 5-8 guard, NDO Hornets
Emily Wander, 5-3 guard, NY Crush Elite
Emily Miccile, 5-9 guard, MT Elite 9A
Caitlin Boermeester, 5-5 guard, MA Huskies-Sheehy
Christina Bonfiglio, 5-8 wing, Bay State Jaguars
Kelly Fogarty, 5-8 wing, Bay State Jaguars
13-Under GymRat CHALLENGE Age Division
LI Lightning-Catapano Team Earns Title With Defense
LOUDONVILLE, NY – Offense looks nice, but defense wins games. And, that was clearly evident in the Long Island Lightning-Catapano team’s success in the 13-under age division of the GymRat CHALLENGE.
Defense? How about never allowing more than 41 points in just one of its six games in games played at Siena College? Overall the Lightning gave up an average of 37 points per contest. How about that work making all six of the Lightning’s victories of the blow-out variety with no score closer than the 15-point margin in a 53-38 championship-game victory over the Albany Capitals Elite squad?
The Lightning truly coasted to victory, getting the type of with-ease wins usually associated with playing superlative defense. “That’s what we stress; we’re a defensive-oriented team,” said Lightning coach Tom Catapano. “We press, we press and we press some more. We have nine kids who can all play, and they play hard. We just wore teams down here, and you could see that by the second half of our games. We came into this tournament knowing it was going to be a war of attrition, and our goal was to do just that, to wear down opponents.” His team did just that with all nine members of the roster contributing.
Jenna Annecchiarico, a 5-foot-5 do-everything guard, led the scoring attack averaging 11.0 points per contest. She had a game-high 12 points in the championship contest and was named the age division’s MVG (Most Valuable GymRat) for her strong play throughout the weekend. “I’m considered our shooting guard, but what I do best is play defense,” said Annecchiarico. “I like to guard the other team’s best player.”
The Lightning’s point guard Grace Stone was the team’s second-leading scorer over the six-game event, averaging 9.8 points. Aziah Hudson, a 5-6 forward, was a strong third scorer averaging 9.3 points per contest in the tournament. “One of the reasons we’re able to play such good defense is that we have a strong bench,’ added Stone. “They come in, play well, give us a rest and everyone stays fresh. We know we can count on each other.
“By now we play well together. We’re all good friends on and off the court.” That feeling of togetherness has paid dividends … or, possibly has been a product of success. The program has already won three tournament so far at this relatively early stage of the AAU season, including the Boo Williams Invitational.
“There’s no doubt that the success we’ve had so far reinforces what we’re trying to do and that our defensive concentration is working,” added Catapano. “Even more important, though, is that they’re even better kids than they are players. This is just a special group.” It’s a group made special, at least on the court, by a rare dedication to defense that enabled the Lightning to add the prestigious GymRat CHALLENGE tournament title to its growing list of successes.
13-Under Age Division MVG-Most Valuable GymRat
Jenna Annecchiarico, 5-5 guard, LI Lightning-Catapano; A versatile player and a natural leader. Very intense player at both ends. Not afraid to go hard to the basket. Showed nice mid-level range. Good handle with both left and right hand. Sees the court well and will look to get the ball up court. Key defender on defensive-oriented team.
13-Under Age Division all-GymRat CHALLENGE team
Britneey Gabriel, 6-0 forward, New Jersey Sparks: Lots of power and strength in this “big.” Goes hard to the basket and knows how to use her size to her advantage. Very athletic and will get her hands on the ball near her if it’s loose. High motor.
Kelina Manard, 5-7 guard, New Jersey Sparks: Very fast up the court and a great passer. Drive-and-kick is her specialty. Could have a ton of assists because she sets up teammates so well. Will take the ball to the rim, but has a pass-first mentality.
Grace Stone, 5-8 forward, LI Lightning-Catapano/Luhi School: Very nice-looking set jump shot. She is a real leader, the voice of her team. High motor and hard worker. Plays hard with aggression at all times. Standout rebounder. One of the keys on a strong defensive team.
Aziah Hudson, 5-7 guard, LI Lightning-Catapano/Baldwin School: A terrific scorer in any number of ways. One of the leading scorers on the championship team. Decent rebounder for her size. Plays with high level of intensity. Will create turnovers or deflections for teammates to get steals.
Hannah Bean, 5-2 guard, NE Crusaders/Thurston Middle School: Can see the court very well. Great passer and finds open teammates in good position every trip down court. Showed a good pull-up jumper off the dribble here.
Lauren MacDonald, 5-11 forward, NE Crusaders/Thurston Middle School: Tall and long forward and uses that to her advantage. Seems to get her hands on every loose ball. Plays with high intensity on both ends. Great on-the-ball defender. Gets more than her share of blocked shots.
Gabrielle Zaffiro,l5-9 guard, Rising Stars/Glen Head School: Will take the ball hard to the rim. Aggressive player and a real leader on the floor. Showed a nice handle. Will take the ball over when needed. Big-time scorer here, averaging 23 points over three games.
Janai Crooms, 5-9 guard, Bay State Jaguars/Park View Middle School: Will attack and go hard to the basket. Very strong build and can take a hit. Crafty with the ball. Will drive most of the time, but will also kick out to an open teammate. But, if there’s a lane she will go full steam ahead.
Ashley Ducharme, 6-1 post, Bay State Jaguars-Rodriguez/Pierce Middle School: Gets on the boards and boxes out, a real rebounding machine. Runs the court well and has a nice jumper … smooth catch and shoot move. Recovers from being bumped very well to go up strong for the finish.
Nirel Iaugbo, 5-8 guard, VBG 8th Pinacle-Reynolds/North Andover Middle School: Very athletic and uses that trait to her advantage. Will get up the floor fast and will defend well to get steals. Draws fouls with offensive moves. Aggressive player at both ends of the court.
Samantha Chapps, 5-11 post, CT Storm/Old Saybrook Middle School: Nice-sized player but needs to add a little bulk/strength. Talks on defensive end. Very long and uses length to block shots in the lane. Looks to pass first and is adept at finding open teammates.
Maggie Kirby, 5-8 guard, Albany Capitals/Bethlehem H.S.: An intense player and a standout scorer. Never stops moving, high motor at all time. Dominant rebounder at both ends of the court. Stays after loose balls and missed shots at all times.
Erin Fouracre, 5-8 forward, Albany Capitals/St. Pius School: Came off the bench in one game and hit four straight shots. Goes hard for rebounds. Quick and fast. Can be dominant at times. Very crafty when going to the basket and knows how to draw a foul.
Lydia Williams, 5-4 guard, Albany Capitals/Holy Names: Does all the little things. Very intense, aggressive player which makes her a great defender. Good ball-handling skills. Looks to pass first. Quiet player, but very key on the defensive end.
Aliyah Wright, 5-6 guard, Albany Capitals/Our Saviors Lutheran: Solid guard looks for the open teammate. Very good passer. Very intense player, particularly on the offensive end. High motor/energy. Not afraid to dive on the floor for a loose ball.
Gretchen Zalis, 5-8 forward, Lake Champlain Lakers/Seton Catholic: A straight-up hustler and fighter in every aspect of the game. Uses her tenacious play to great effect as a rebounder and on the defensive end. Good basic offensive moves on the block.
Alyssa Waters, 5-1 point guard, Lake Champlain Lakers/Beekmantown; A true leader of her team. Very fast dribbling up the court. Glue of the team, keeps everyone together with her encouragement, example. Nicer runner shot. Can also step out and hit the three.
Tamia White, 5-5 point guard, NJ Lady Titans/Thomas Jefferson: Very quick to react to a loose ball. Great handle, but still learning to handle pressure. Might give it up, but will get it back. Her quickness will earn the ball every time. Not afraid to get on the floor.
Dezian Gonzales, 5-7 guard, NJ Lady Titans/Don Bosco Tech Academy: Great defender in every aspect. Gets steals, blocks shots gets deflections. A real in-your-face defender. Showed a good pull-up jumper on the offensive end. Good quickness/speed and quick to react to any situation.
Hailee Jantorno, 5-0 point guard, United NJ-Clarke/Timberlane Middle School: A very good point guard. She runs her team very well. Can handle the ball in timing. Great timing on delivering passes. Gets to ball to teammates in right spot at the right time. Very active at both ends.
Kayla Mokwuah, 6-3 center, Springfield Lady Ballers/Williams, Mass., School: Runs the floor really well going both on offense and defense. Her size enables her to dominate the boards. She changes and blocks a lot of shots. If she continues to work she has great potential.
Shyla Sanford, 5-5 guard, Albany Lady Falcons/Shaker H.S.: One of the best-conditioned players in the event. Her pressure defense is a game-changer at times. Also shows offensive ability. Hit a buzzer-beater from halfcourt in one game. Definitely has a nice ceiling.
Grace Heeps, 5-9 forward, Saratoga Sparks/Columbia H.S.: A very versatile player who can score in a variety of ways. She gets to the basket, can shoot the three and also the mid-range jumper. A scorer’s mentality without being selfish. Tough and scrappy. Good ball-handler. Aggressive drive which leads to foul shots.
Imani Harris, 5-4 guard, Albany Lady Falcons/Albany H.S.: A solid performer in the backcourt that can handle the ball well, even in traffic. Good at getting to the basket. Very effective outside shooter. Looks like she’ll continue to develop.
Jena Butka, 5-7 wing, Bay State Magic/Atlantc Middle School: A very versatile player that can hit the 15-footer. Very effective on the boards and has a knack for the basket. Capable of helping a team at either end of the court.
Nkemanaka Nwabuda, 5-11 post, NDO Lady X-Men/Elmont: A very active post player. She can score inside off the blocks as well as run the floor well in transition. Has an ability to change and block shots on the defensive end. Also a good passer out of the post.
Zhancia Thybulle, 5-3 guard, NDO Lady X-Men/Elmont: Very quick with the ball in her hands, and excellent in transition situation. Also has excellent vision and can find open teammates. Because of her quickness she applies pressure on defense and causes turnovers.
Michelle Sidor, 5-6 guard, NJ Ratz/Saddle River Day: Terrific player who can really do it all. Can really handle the ball. Exceptional passer and standout three-point shooter. One of the best players in the 13-under bracket in every aspect of play.
Ashley Mitrow, 5-5 guard, United NJ-Clarke/Readington Middle School: A combo guard effective at either backcourt spot. A very good shooter from the outside and understands how to score She is also very aggressive on defense and causes many turnovers. Complete game.
Bailey Savage, 5-4 guard, Central Mass Shooters/Charlton Middle School: Very good feel for the game. Good court awareness and finds open teammates in traffic. Solid handle, can go left or right when attacking the rim. Good shooter off the catch and has three-point range.
Natalie Fraioli, 5-8 wing, Central Mass Shooters/Sutton Middle School: A very good shooter. Lefty that has deep range beyond three stripe off the catch. Will also attack the rim if given the opportunity, but primarily a jump shooter. Picked apart zone defenses with her shooting all weekend.
Alexandra Scariati, 5-5 guard, Jersey Cardinals/Rutgers Prep: A very good feel for the game. Can spot up from three if given room. Has very good vision and with a solid handle is able to find her open teammates for easy shots.
Jasmine Van Note, 6-0 forward, Jersey Cardinals/Saysville: Great finisher around the hoop. Can use either hand when she gets to the rim. Runs the floor well and has solid footwork on the block on the offensive end. Good defender who blocks shots.
Sarah Bennett, 5-4 wing, CT Attack/Suffolk Middle School: A real sharp shooter. Deep range from three, particularly off the catch. Has very good court awareness, nows when to shoot. Hit four treys in one game here and had 19 points in that contest.
Aleah Nelson, 5-2 guard, Maryland Belles/Parkville: Extremely quick player. Has the ball on a string in the open court. Finishes around the rim and has the ability to stretch the floor with a deadly three from the top of the key. Had a game-high 34 points in one contest here.
Taylor Geiman, 5-9 wing, Maryland Belles/South Western Middle School: Versatile player, has good size and can play in the post. But, also has a good handle and can go right or left off the bounce. Has the range to shoot from three, and has a solid mid-range jumper, too.
Tori Hyduke, 5-5 guard, Central Jersey Hawks: Complete player. Great handle and can go left or right. Deep range from three, but can put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. Very crafty in the lane, finishing with either hand or finding teammates for easy baskets.
Nicole Gallagher, 5-5 point guard, Mass Premier Swish/Bishop Feehan: Tough, gritty point guard that is a pest on defense and gets her hand on almost every pass to get deflections. Can knock down the 17-footer consistently, but attacks the rim when given the chance. Good handle allows her to get into defensive seams and find teammates for open looks.
Kiera Fernandez, 5-9 wing, Mass Premier Swish/Billingham Middle School: A solid all-around player. Smooth stroke from the perimeter. Can step out and shoot the three. Can also play in the post. Gritty, physical player willing to do the dirty work for the team to have success.
Brooke Kelly, 5-6 guard, Stamford Peace/Trinity Catholic Middle School: A solid combo guard that hustles on both ends of the court. Sees the floor well. Good passer, nice mid-range game. Looks to create off the dribble. Very quick feet on defense.
Meara Carter, 6-3 center, Boston Showstoppers/Smith Leadership Academy: A dominating presence on both ends of the floor. Uses long arms effectively to get frequent blocks. Looks to run the floor. Very good rebounder. Also has a nice 15-foot jumper.
Colby Upchurch, 5-5 point guard, Boston Showstoppers/Boston Latin School: An exciting point guard with a very quick step. Great penetrator that finishes with either hand. Can step outside to make the three as well. Fast hands on defense creates turnovers.
Victoria Hanley, 5-7 guard, WBA Lady Knicks/St. Joseph’s: A pure shooter who possesses a great set shot. Double-digit scorer here who can’t be left open on the perimeter. Very good defender, too. Quick feet that she uses to get defensive positioning.
Alexa Huertas, 5-6 point guard, Rockland Rockets/Fieldstone: A strong point guard that sees the floor well. She is a true floor general. Looks to get the team involved but knows who is hot. Good defender with quick feet. Has a nice jump shot that is created by ability to drive.
Katie Mager, 5-8 guard, Rockland Rockets/Felix Festa: An exceptional three-point shooter. Runs the floor well. Plays both ends of the floor. Good defender that plays both post and perimeter well. Looks to pass as much as she looks to shoot. Very unselfish.
Danielle Robinson, 5-8 forward, New Jersey Sparks/Brick Avon Academy: Very athletic “big.” Rebounds well on both ends of the court. Dangerous because an ability create off the dribble. Gets to the foul line a lot due to her aggressive style of play.
Forever Toppin, 5-5 guard, New Jersey Sparks/Haledon Public: Guard with quick hands and feet which allows her to create offer her defense. Very good dribbler with a nice pull-up jumper. Gets to the rim with ease. Always looking to push the ball up court in a hurry.
Christina Antonakakis, 5-3 point guard, Long Island Lightning-Caverly/Holmdel H.S.: A crafty floor general who controls the tempo on defense and offense. Great ball handler who creates for both herself and teammates. Very active hands that produce many steals. Very coachable.
Rose Caverly, 5-9 guard, Long Island Lightning-Caverly/Red Bank Catholic: A combo guard that can do it all: Pass, shoot and play defense. She hustles at all times. Very comfortable with the ball in her hands. Looks to run the offense, but also knows when to take the open shot.
Diana Willand, 5-6 guard, MA Huskies-Vinton: Good shooter with deft touch. Very smart player. Knows where to be on the court at all time. Plays both ends of the court well. Very active defender. Also exhibited a nice mid-range jumper.
Danielle Hore, 5-4 point guard, Buffalo Defenders/Sacred Heart: Great ball-handler with very good court vision. Looks to pass first. Sees to finish everything around the rim on drives. Can step outside the three line. Very nice stop-and-pop shot.
Ryan Weise, 5-6 guard, Mid-Jersey Mavericks/Allentown: A solid shooter who knows her role. She finds openings in the defense and exploits them. A hustler on both ends of the floor and uses her motor to great effect. Plays very good team ball.
Mya Grimes, 5-10 center, Mid-Jersey Mavericks/Lawrence: Very effective around the rim on both ends. Great rebounder that can start and, then, finish the break. A double-digit scorer/rebounder threat in every game. Gets great position on offense for easy layups.
13-under ALL-GymRat CHALLENGE Honorable Mention
Victoria Mirecki, 5-9 forward, NJ Gym Ratz
Jenna Roche, 5-5 guard, Bay State Magic-Roche
Zoe Amalbert, 5-6 guard, Gym Ratz
Abigail Gilbert, 5-1 guard, United NJ-Clarke
Erin Malin, 6-1 center, Hoop Nation
Emma Boslet, 5-3 guard, Hoop Nation
Kiarra Johnson, 6-0 forward, Baseline Elite-ICC Truth
Nichelle O’Neil, 5-4 guard, Baseline Elite-ICC Truth
Julia Dandridge, 5-11 forward, Central Mass Shooters
Emma Huma, 5-8 forward, Bay State Magic Elite
Bridgette o’Reilly, 5-9 forward, Bay State Magic Elite
Barbara Ronca, 5-5 guard, Bay State Magic Elite
Sabria Glasgow, 5-4 guard, Jersey Cardinals-Klinger
Natalia Stralkos, 5-8 forward, Jersey Cardinals-Klinger
Adeline Vail, 5-3 guard, New England Rebels
Kyla Raccio, 5-3 guard, CT Attack
McKenna Finken, 5-9 forward, CT Attack
Hartlee Meier, 5-7 guard, CT Attack
Makayla Daniels, 5-4 guard, Maryland Belles
Katie Fabrii, 5-6 guard, Maryland Belles
Kaelynn Satterfield, 5-11 forward, New Heights
Sophie Tougos, 5-11 forward, Albany Capitals
Saniyya Adams, 5-8 forward, Albany Capitals
Sydney Coffore, 5-6 guard, Central Jersey Hawks
Tass Sussman, 5-11 forward, Mass Premier Swish
Ashley Sampson, 5-7 forward, Mass Premier Swish
Lia Baronchi, 5-3 guard, LT Storm
Alexis Greffen, 5-6 guard, Bay State Jaguars-Rodriguez
Asiah Digle, 5-4 guard, Bay State Jaguars-Rodriguez
Kendall Currance, 5-6 guard, Bay State Jaguars-Rodriguez
Rachel Johnson, 5-6 guard, MT Elite 7A
Annie Keanan, 5-8 guard, LI Lightning-Zeitsiff
Kaia Harrison, 5-3 guard, LI Lightning-Catapona
Emma Cuccurullo, 5-10 guard, LI Lightning-Catapano
Emila Shuria, 5-1 guard, Rising Stars
Paige Chilton, 5-9 forward, Lake Champlain Lakers
Amber Porrett, 5-9 forward, NJ Lady Titans
Ebony Brown, 5-10 forward, NJ Lady Titans
Molly Kirby, 5-8 guard, Albany Capitals
Molly Ryan, 5-7 guard, NJ Panthers
Maddy Selvaggi, 5-7 guard, NJ Panthers
Elizabeth Strambi, 5-8 guard, NJ Panthers
Cheyenne Johnson, 5-1 guard, LI Lightning
Jessie Mauer, 5-6 wing, LI Lightning
Alexis Doherty, 5-6 wing, Boston Showstoppers
Nicooe Ventura, 5-8 wing, LI Lightning
Alexandra Adornetti, 5-5 guard, Mid-Jersey Mavs
Sydney Watikins, 5-6 forward, NJ Sparks
Caitlin Townes, 5-5 guard, NJ Sparks
Kayla Fleming, 5-5 guard, NJ Sparks
Alivia Paeglow, 5-10 center, Saratoga Sparks
Jess Wagoner, 5-8 forward, Saratoga Sparks
Cassidy Mitchell, 5-7 wing, WBA Lady Knicks
Jamie Provino, 5-4 guard, WBA Lady Knicks
Bridgid Griffin, 5-9 wing, M.A. Huskies
Kerri Johnson, 5-6 guard, M.A. Huskies
Alexa Kellner, 5-11 center, Stamford Peace
Maya Klein, 5-6 guard, Stamford Peace
Emily Novick, 5-10 forward, Rockland Rockets