Winters series Session III was another weekend of great basketball, high level coaching, and die hard fans as teams were looking to get out of pool play and into the playoff rounds to contend for the coveted Winter Series Championship ball. Throughout the weekend there were a number of close games decided by one possession or in an overtime period.
I'm looking forward to seeing if YKS continues it's dominance in the 8th grade division, does Georgia Southern Starz run the table again in the 7th grade division and who will come out on top in the 5th/6th grade divisions ?
YKS started strong and finished with another chip. They have by far been the most dominant team throughout the Winter Series sessions. They've run the table and are the front runners in 8th grade division each session beyond the consistent play of the twin duo Kate and Mia Spain as they continue to methodically go about their business. Mica Ojo spearheads the attack with dominance on both ends of the floor as she has dominated the circuit.
New Heights entered this session with a win at all cost mindset. The team was solid through pool play and reached the championship game falling short a possession or two from completing their goal. The back court duo of Regina Baker and Kierra Sellers were locked in and had there team rolling along with Leayanna Dorville who made a number of big plays in the championship game. I'm sure they'll be ready for the Finak session !!
Exodus has been consistently improving since opening with a session one with a Championship. and have finished 4-1 in each session since. With two elite standouts in Ryan Carter and Ashley Macalla who both play major roles on the high school varsity level leading the charge. Along with the combination of Allanah Moranrus and LaLA Goode who can stretch the floor from range and mix it up inside their alwya sin the hunt.
27' Destiny Collins / YKS
A essential piece to the puzzle for YKS, she understands spacing, runs the floor with purpose. She finishes well around the rim and has a knack for weak side rebounds with ability to finish with either hand. She also showed added distance as she knocked a few down from range. Slender frame but strong with great hands and is a solid defender.
27' Nakhai Worthy / Georgia Southern Starz
Big guard that was very effective playing inside/out as she took advantage of miss matches. She showed ability to handle under pressure and find open teammates. She owned the high post hitting a number of contested jumpers and played of off two feet well absorbing contact and finishing.
27' Allanah Morantus / Exodus
One of the more physical players i've seen at the guard position. She is an aggressive in your face defender and doesn't avoid any physicality in fact she seeks it out. A slasher with the a solid frame, strength to absorb contact and finish as she had multiple and ones over the weekend. She can shoot from well beyond the arch with consistency which makes her a serious match up problem.
27' Jacylah Goode / Exodus
She has been consistent throughout the previous sessions defensively and on the boards but seems to be more comfortable with team's system which is allowing her to peak. A big wing with Inside/Out ability as she bangs inside and can stretch the floor with from range. She has began to impose her will mixing it up in the middle with key rebounds and big plays down the stretch, definitely one to watch.
27' Hayley Kolk / Mid Atlantic
Tall, lean stature with unbelievable wingspan has improve session after session. She runs the floor hard, moves well in space and is a good paseser out of the high post with touch from 10 feet out. She clogs the paint, rebounds well and runs the floor like a deer. Still finding her way but is fundamentally sound with a huge upside.
28' Ella Pepper / Bay State Jags
A very well rounded game, she spreads the floor by stepping out on the perimeter with effective pump fakes to freeze defenders for jumper or getting into gaps to draw and kick to create to teammates. Scored on all three levels showing her versatility.
28' Kendal Medina / Exodus
Scrappy, high energy guard with scorers mentality and grit on the on the defensive end. Her length caused havoc in the passing lans getting multiple deflections and steals out the press. She excelled in open floor and was aggressive attacking the lanes with reckless abandonment finishing at the rim or kicking to open shooters.
As always we look to showcase young prospects on and off the court. I caught up with two standouts from the 8th grade division for the YoungLife Basketball "Youth Movement". Both of these prospects play the game with three P's -Purpose, Passion and Purpose and were fun to watch compete.
27' Regina Bell / New Heights
The dynamic wing had it going and was able to lead her team back the Winters Series championship game. She was her usual self in slashing the lanes with an array of finishes at the rim in transition. She is exploited defenses with her hesitation moves and was consistent in the mid range. Her quick first step allowed her to take space as she got to the nail or grey areas to get her shot off clean at will.
27' Nyair McCoy / Team Thrill
Exciting PG with strong ball handling skills and a natural flash with high level court vision. A great passer as she made a number of pin point bounce passes and no looks in transition hitting teammates in stride. She effortlessly set the table, showing patience even under pressure to let things develop. She understand how to manipulate PNR situations and seem to make all the right reads high level skill for her age.
27' Gabby Middleton / Bay State 27' Ariielle Lopez / Top Notch
27' Simone Harvey / DPS 27' KiKi Cofield / Team PA
28' Cidney Stanfield / Exodus 28' Madison Reckley / Georgia Southern Starz
30' Caylee Allen / New Heights
Shifty guard that plays with extreme confidence, a very aggressive defender with great anticipation as she created havoc all over the court. Offensively, she has the essentials, speed, great ball control, and can shoot it from range so defenders had to pick their poison. She had her way in transition scoring and dishing to teammates for easy opportunities.
29' Daylin Allen / New Heights
A very poised player who went about things at her own pace which is rare for her age. A utility guard with a strong build, she has great hands, rebounds well with ability to push in transition. Strong handle and can shot well get to her spots off the dribble. Solid footwork as she played off two feet on drives, utilizing step through and reverse pivot on finishes around the rim.
29' Melody Vaugn / Exodus
This kid has been consistent throughout the sessions for her squad, she typically looks to shoot the long ball. This session she showed a willingness to get downhill of the dribble as she attack the paint getting to the rim or floater in the paint.
29' Micah Doy /Team Durant
This little general continues to set the table for her team on both ends of the floor. She is a solid defender that forces teams out of the sets with her ball pressure. Her passing and vision is fun to watch as she attacks gaps, feeds the post and gets everyone in the game.
29' Madeline Hamiel / Fairfax Stars
Athletic guard and very competitive guard and it showed as she flew all over the court throughout the weekend. She handles well, has balance and she took advantage with her speed blowing by defenders in the open court. Still homing her skill set but one to keep an eye on.
29' Sky Slaughter / Fairfax Stars
Nice lead guard with IQ, the lefty plays under control and gets her team going in the right direction. She did a great job facilitating press defenses with no wasted dribbles and made teams pay with her vision as she found streaking teammates with advance passes.
30' Mayani Owens / Kentucky Premiere
Slender but heady point guard who excels in transition as her speed allows her to get into the lanes where she is a crafty finisher. She has a nice form on her jumper and go to was her step back which she used well to create space for jumper. Shot it well but consistency will come as she gets stronger, the form is there.
30' LeLe Lopez
Tough guard that plays with extreme passion. She has improved her ball handling ability over the past few months and you can see her confidence rising. One of the best shooters in the 5th grade division, led her team to a Championship in session 2.
29' Peyton Pugh / Team Miller 29' Cecilia Wansley / Fairfax Stars 29' Kamaya Davenport / Team Durant 30' Breylynn Booker / Lady Threat 30' Jaylin Edmundson / New Heights 30' Breal Hubbard / Bustleton