Mac Irvin Fire 17U Godfather, winners of 2020 Justify Division of 2019 Battle in the Boro (PC: Tara Arnold)
By Bob Corwin
The 15th annual Battle in the Boro, presented by National Exposure Basketball, saw 570 teams gather at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky, from July 10-13, 2019. Approximately 500 college coaches coming from NCAA Divisions one, two and three, NAIA and junior college ranks attended at least one day of the event along with numerous media/scouting services.
We are in horse country
This year all divisions in the Battle in the Boro were named after Triple Crown winning horses. For those of you unfamiliar, the task entails the rare feat of winning the three premier races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) for three-year-old horse.
In our four reports, the top division in each age group is discussed. In part 1, Justify (rising seniors or younger) is featured.
Picking up the action in the final...
2020 Justify: Mac Irvin Fire 17U Godfather (Chicago, Illinois) 49-44 Ohio Elite Black (Centerville, Ohio)
Mac Irvin Fire got to the final in large part by upsetting (77-67) pre-event favorite Sports City U (of Ohio) earlier in the event using its superior team speed and quickness to counter a team otherwise loaded with Power 5 prospects.
The final pitted Ohio Elite’s more structured offense versus Mac Irvin Fire’s smaller but quicker open court players. Both teams were cold early with not much separation. Ohio Elite took a 29-27 lead into halftime.
So to speak, Mac Irvin came out “on fire” to start the second half going up 35-29. However, Ohio Elite responded and the game remained within a few points to the end. With two minutes left, Mac Irvin nosed ahead 47-44 on a pair of free throws. From there on Ohio Elite could not score thanks to stout defense by the winning side.
Mac Irvin’s Darrione Rogers (who was named MVP) led all scorers with 22 points. Ohio Elite Black was led by all-tournament selectee Nyla Hampton with 14 points.
Darrione Rogers (#21) and Danyel Middleton of Mac Irvin Fire 17U Godfather (PC: Tara Arnold)
Special thanks to Tara Arnold (who contributed to the above narrative and supervised all-tournament selections for the Justify Division) and Jack Harlow (who served on the all-tournament selections committee concentrating on the Justify Division).
Players below are listed alphabetically with height, position, graduation year and club team with home town in parenthesis. The criteria for selection was performance at the event in conjunction with success of the team. Congratulations to all selected!
2019 Battle in the Boro
2020 – Justify
Korie Allensworth, 5-10, point guard, 2020, OK Swarm 17U Blue Star Musselman (Duncan, Oklahoma)
Lexus Bargesser, 5-8, guard, 2022, Michigan Premier 2020/2021 Blue (Grass Lake, Michigan)
Madison Bartley, 6-3, power forward, 2020, Ohio Elite Black (Kettering, Ohio)
Bailey Butler, 5-8, point guard, 2021, Wisconsin Academy (South Wayne, Wisconsin)
Abrie Cabana, 5-10, point guard, 2021, Michigan Premier 2020/2021 Blue (Grass Lake, Michigan)
Anabel Ellison, 5-9, point guard, 2020, Tampa Thunder Team Dupree (Clearwater, Florida)
Nyla Hampton, 5-6, point guard, 2020, Ohio Elite Black (Huber Heights, Ohio)
Aanaya Harris, 6-0, small forward, 2021, Team Factory (Omaha, Nebraska)
Emily Jones, 6-0, shooting guard, 2020, TN Flight Navy (Jackson, Tennessee)
Cotie McMahon, 5-11, small forward, 2022, Sports City U (Dayton, Ohio)
Loyal McQueen, 5-8, point guard, 2020, FBC Bouncenation Jay (Darlington, South Carolina)
Danyel Middleton, 5-9, small forward, 2020, Mac Irvin Fire 17U Godfather (Bolingbrook, Illinois)
Faith Paramore, 5-11, shooting guard, 2020, Ohlde Elite Pink (Haven, Kansas)
Emma Risch, 6-0, shooting guard, 2023, East Coast United Murray (West Melbourne, Florida)
Darrione Rogers, 5-11, shooting guard, 2020, Mac Irvin Fire 17U Godfather (Roselle, Illinois) MVP
Emily Ryan, 5-9, point guard, 2020, Wheat State Elite Chaos – Ferguson (Claflin, Kansas)
Whitney Sollom, 6-4, center, 2020, Michigan Mystics Dream Team (Howell, Michigan)
Madeline Westbeld, 6-2, forward, 2020, Sports City U (Kettering, Ohio)
Madison Bartley (#12) and Nyla Hampton of Ohio Elite Black (PC: Tara Arnold)