Deja Kelly of Duncanville High School (left) and Lauren Betts of Grandview High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
By Bob Corwin
A new event in the She Got Game Classic series took place at Fieldhouse USA in Mansfield, Texas, during the December 5-8 weekend. A total of 42 college coaches (mostly NCAA D1) attended one or more days of this She Got Game Classic Dallas powered by Premier Basketball. Given that it was a new, relatively small event with just 19 teams, colleges came from as far away as the West Coast and East Coast to see some of the nation’s top young prospects (see below) who were participating in the event.
See the photo of the back of an All Aussie Travellers uniform. It has name and graduating class on it (somewhat rare but clever idea!). Texas’s governing body (UIL) allows its teams to play visiting teams from outside the USA. This Australian group is really a traveling club team rather than representing a high school in Australia. Its players are hoping to attract interest from US colleges and several (see few mentioned below) deserve that!
Team of the tournament: Duncanville
At least for the last decade, it has been unprecedented for a top DC area team to come to Texas to play a local power of Duncanville’s magnitude. The organizers of this event pulled off the match-up and the game did not disappoint!
Back of All Aussie Travellers uniform (note player name and graduation year) (PC: Brittany Graham)
Duncanville (TX) 77-70 Bishop McNamara (MD)
One question asked in watching a game is “who is a D1 prospect”? In watching this contest, a better question would have been “who isn’t a D1 prospect”? Answer here is maybe a couple!
The lead went back and forth until midway in the last period. The score was tied at half at 31 and Bishop Mc led 49-44 after three quarters. With 5:09 left in the game, Bishop Mc led 58-53. Its Madison Scott (see below) was whistled for a foul. Madison got visibly upset with the call and was given a technical foul which resulted in the lead being cut to 58-57 (amounting to a four-point play). The sequence fueled Duncanville which shortly thereafter took the lead from a team which temporarily lost its mojo and never got even in the closing minutes. Duncanville’s Deja Kelly (see below) led all scorers with 32 points while Yonta Vaughn (see below) led Bishop McNamara with 19 points.
Looking at some of the talent (all D1 at some level) present alphabetically within graduating class with height, position and school...
Bailee Chynoweth, 5-9, shooting guard, Austin Westlake High School (TX)
Unsigned, Chynoweth is a three-point specialist with a decent level of athleticism. In one game at Mansfield, she hit nine threes.
Cali Clark, 6-2, center/power forward, Cherry Creek High School (CO)
Signed with Colorado State, Clark has a fine assortment of low post moves. She can finish going right or left near the rim.
Shay Holle, 5-11, small forward, Austin Westlake High School (TX)
Signed with Texas, Holle, above average athletically, has good foot speed and likes to penetrate for a short pull-up or go all the way to the rim. For best results at the next level, she needs to add more range.
Deja Kelly, 5-8, guard, Duncanville High School (TX)
Signed with North Carolina, Kelly exploded for 25 second-half points (32 total) in the win over Bishop McNamara. She handles the ball well enough to play the point but is also an adept scorer via drive or perimeter stroke (3 triples in this contest).
Rhyle McKinney, 5-10, guard, Argyle High School (TX)
McKinney was a one-person army in her team’s 45-43 overtime win over a talented Bishop Ireton (VA) team. In posting 26 points, the SMU signee did a bit of everything hitting threes, driving, pulling up for jumpers and posted five steals to boot.
Madison Scott, 6-2, forward, Bishop McNamara High School (MD)
Signed with Ole Miss, Scott is a quality athlete with a lot of upside liking the short jumper or working her way to the rim to score. For Bishop McNamara, she needs to be more aggressive at times rather than deferring (maybe a bit too unselfish).
Jana Van Gytenbeek, 5-7, point guard, Cherry Creek High School (CO)
Signed with Stanford, Van Gytenbeek continues to show why she is one of the top point guards in the 2020 class. She makes good decisions quickly helping to make teammates better with quality playmaking. She can score via penetration or perimeter shooting (off the catch appears better).
Maykayla Jackson, 5-7, point guard, Midlothian High School (TX)
Jackson showed decent speed with the ball, looking to get to the rim but also showed a mid-range pull-up. She needs to work on adding more shooting range to raise her stock amongst D1 recruiters.
Laila Jewett, 5-11, guard, Bishop Ireton High School (VA)
Jewett is a good athlete capable of playing either guard slot. She plays hard, can attack the basket, can hit perimeter shots, is a good passer and will D up. She posted 17 points in her team’s loss to Argyle. Power 5 programs should be on this case.
Kindyll Wetta, 5-9, point guard, Valor Christian High School (CO)
Orally committed to Colorado, Wetta is an unselfish lead guard who keeps the ball moving thus making others around her better. She also can shoot the three to supplement her dynamic passing. Her play strongly contributed to her team going 3-0 at the event.
Nyah Wilson, 5-9, guard/small forward, Duncanville High School (TX)
A good athlete, Wilson can shoot the three but also can drive strongly (changing speed and direction some) to the basket. She posted 17 points (including three triples) in the win over Bishop McNamara.
Piper Anderson, 5-10, shooting guard, All Aussie Travellers 2 (AUSTRALIA)
Anderson has a diverse skill package. She drives using up-fakes and spin moves. While perhaps more of a driver, she showed a nice perimeter stroke. On defense, she appears to be above average in reading passing lanes. A good mover, she may need to toughen up a bit for college play.
Raegan Beers, 6-3, center/power forward, Valor Christian High School (CO)
Beers has a tremendous skill set as posts go. Strongly built, she can score via posting, showing good body control going up using either hand. She can also attack off the bounce for a dribble or two (secondary option). Like her teammates, she is a good passer. Defensively, she showed she can block shots. Power 5 programs are ready lined up for this top flight recruit.
Jana Van Gytenbeek (#4) and Cali Clark of Cherry Creek High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Raegan Beers (#15) and Kindyll Wetta of Valor Christian High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Lauren Betts, 6-7, center, Grandview High School (CO)
Betts can already “fill in the blanks” as to college choice, rightfully being rated one of the very top prospects nationally in the 2022 class. She runs well, is a monster defensive presence in the key, has improved her finish around the basket and is one of her team’s better passers. She was one of the top performers at Mansfield with her team going undefeated.
Darianna Littlepage-Buggs, 6-1, forward, Classen SAS @ NE (OK)
Littlepage-Buggs is one of the top athletes in the 2022 class with Power 5 programs hot on her trail. She runs well and has great “ups” doing most of her scoring getting near the rim. As a high quality athlete, perhaps the game has come too easily (getting to the rim) to her and she needs to add shooting range to fulfill her high upside for the next level.
Rose Nelson, 6-0, small forward, All Aussie Travellers 2 (Australia)
Nelson looks to drive and has good body control (strong build) with ability to finish in traffic. A nice plus is her ability to change direction while on the drive. She does appear to need to build shooting range.
Yonta Vaughn, 5-7, point guard, Bishop McNamara High School (MD)
Since last seen, Vaughn has filled out some and grown into her body looking more in control of the offense. Above average athletically, she can score via driving or shooting the three (three made in the loss to Duncanville). Power 5 programs have already lined up for her services.
Sahnya Jah, 6-1, forward, Bishop McNamara High School (MD)
Jah is a quality athlete with long stride and stroke. She appears to like the baseline area to shoot the three or drive to the rim. While her game is still young, it has Power 5 written all over it.
Pace Rickard, 5-5, guard, Austin Westlake High School (TX)
Rickard still needs to fill out but the combination of good IQ and stroke already has her on D1 radar.
Emi Steele, 5-9, small forward, Colleyville Heritage High School (TX)
Steele was a bright note for her team which lost three times at the event. She showed nice speed with the ball in attacking the basket. She needs to build shooting range to maximize her stock for the next level.
Tristen Taylor, 5-5, point guard, Duncanville High School (TX)
As yet, Taylor is relatively thin in build but already has significant presence on the court. She shared point guard duties with teammate Deja Kelly, showed she can shoot the three, score at mid-range and get to the rim. Currently, all is done in limited quantities given her youth and talent around her. Power 5 schools should be lining up if not already doing so.
Kadia Ward, 5-7, shooting guard, Midlothian High School (TX)
Strongly built for a young player, Ward uses her body to attack the basket and get to the foul line. Adding shooting range might be one area to work on. She played hard on defense.
Darianna Littlepage-Buggs of Classen SAS @ NE (PC: Bob Corwin)
Yonta Vaughn of Bishop McNamara High School (PC: Bob Corwin)