All Ohio Xpress, winners of 9th Grade Division of Midwest Showdown 2019 (PC: Bob Corwin)
All Ohio Xpress get revenge on WV Thunder 2022 Lupardus by taking 9th Grade Division
By Bob Corwin
In part 1 (Elite) and part 2 (10th grade) other divisions of the 2019 Midwest Showdown (May 25-27 in Cincinnati, Ohio area) were discussed. Here the 9th Grade Division will come under review in similar fashion.
Picking up the action in the 9th Grade Division final...
All Ohio Xpress 57-54 WV Thunder 2022 Lupardus
This was a re-match of last year’s 8th Grade Division final with similar personnel. The biggest differences were greater physical maturity (as would be expected) on both sides and the addition of significant size in the form of all-tournament selectee Kyla Oldacre for the Xpress. Her impact was immediate posting eight first quarter points in the paint. From an Ohio viewpoint, she got little help in the period and the West Virginia up tempo transition game had them ahead 18-15 after one quarter. The second quarter saw the pace slow down a bit as MVP LaSonja Hill (see below) scored 10 Xpress points and allowed the host team to go out up 33-30 at the break. West Virginia was led by all-tournament selectee Mikayla Martin posting 10 points (all in paint) for the half.
All Ohio led 43-39 after three quarters as Oldacre came alive with her last eight points of the game (total 18). The hosts led 53-45 with three minutes left but then wilted under the trapping of West Virginia. With 16 seconds left, the lead was just two (56-54) but the Thunder could not equalize and All Ohio Xpress (playing primarily with 8th graders versus the Thunder’s 9th) squared the ledger from last year. West Virginia’s Martin led all scorers with 19 points for the contest.
Division and Championship Game MVP LaSonja Hill was a main contributor for the Xpress over the weekend. She ran the offense, scored via the three and attacking the basket and was active on defense. In the final, she posted 18 points (eight in the fourth quarter). A good athlete with motor, Power 5 programs should be monitoring her maturation.
Special thanks to Harry Elifson and Amber Gray who worked with me during the weekend to select the all-tournament teams.
Players are listed alphabetically with listed height, position, graduation year, and club team. Home town is in parenthesis.
2019 Midwest Showdown
9th Grade Division
Taylor Anderson, 5-6, guard, 2022, Michigan Crossover 9th Grade 2022 (South Lyon, Michigan)
Madison Booker, 6-0, forward, 2023, AL Southern Starz 2023-Looney Nike (Ridgeland, Mississippi)
Isabella Carlson, 5-5, point guard, 2022, B Wright 2022 Memphis Rise (Southaven, Mississippi)
Hillary Griffin, 5-11, forward, 2022, Michigan Premier 2022 Blue (Jackson, Michigan)
Imani Hickman, 5-10, forward, 2022, WV Thunder 2022 Lupardus (Huntington, West Virginia)
LaSonja Hill, 5-5, point guard, 2023, All Ohio Xpress (Springdale, Ohio) MVP
Mikayla Martin, 6-0, power forward, 2022, WV Thunder 2022 Lupardus (Ashland, Kentucky)
Kyla Oldacre, 6-5, center, 2022, All Ohio Xpress (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Bailey Shriver, 5-6, point guard, 2022, Western PA Bruins-Zeise 2022 (Johnstown, Pennsylvania)
Macie Taylor, 5-7, shooting guard, 2022, 2022 Dayton Lady Hoopstars Black (Troy, Ohio)
Lili Wilkin, 5-7, guard, 2022, Team B Wright 2022 UAA (Nolensville, Tennessee)
Avery Zeinstra, 5-7, guard, 2022, West Michigan Drive 2022 Copeland (Byron Center, Michigan)
LaSonja Hill of All Ohio Xpress (PC: Bob Corwin)