Agot Makeer of Crestwood Prep Event MVP and Jayda Dixon of Sidwell Friends School Event Breakout Performer (PC: Bob Corwin)
Started in 2011 and held annually (other than Jan 2021 [Covid-19 affected]), The Mecca brought together 29 high school teams to play one or more pre-set games over the January 26-28 weekend at the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx, New York. Approximately 50 college coaches attended one or more days of the event presented by The Lady Choz (the female arm of the New York Gauchos [an adidas-sponsored club]).
Team of the tournament: Crestwood Prep of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Crestwood has lost only once all year to USA’s current #1 team Archbishop Mitty of California. In this event they took down two ranked teams in IMG and Sidwell Friends. If they were eligible for US rankings (team is considered #1 in Canada), Crestwood would probably rank third behind Archbishop Mitty (California) and Long Island Lutheran (New York).
Agot Makeer, 6-1, guard, 2025, Crestwood Prep (Ontario, Canada)
Makeer posted 40 points (9 triples) in the win over IMG. In the win over Sidwell Friends, Makeer posted “just” 17 points but her defense was critical in securing the win. A long, lanky Power 5 prospect, she can play either guard slot. Hopefully, to those of you geographically challenged, the title of this article should now have become clearer!
Key matchups (pairings well done!):
Given the matchups are set well over a month in advance with the chance that injuries can greatly lessen a team’s competitiveness, there were a very high number of games that came down to the last few minutes of play before a winner was clearly decided.
Crestwood Prep (Ontario, Canada) 76-70 IMG (Florida)
This was one of the most bizarre games you will ever see. One must understand that both teams essentially started a line-up of future D1 players. When quality teams play sometimes one gets off to a big start and the other adjusts and comes back. However, coming back from being down 56-26 at half is a tall order but IMG drew even at 61 with just over three minutes left limiting Crestwood to just five points for over a quarter and a half. Key was holding Crestwood’s Agot Makeer to zero points in the third quarter after scoring 29 on the first half. Unfortunately for IMG, Makeer got going again in the fourth (11 points including two big threes) finishing with 40 points for the game. Duke signee Toby Fournier posted 18 points for the winners. IMG was led by Louisville signee Tajianna Roberts with 21 points and Miami signee Leah Harmon with 15 points.
Morris Catholic High School (New Jersy) 63-61 DME (Florida)
This one was close to the end with teams only separated by a point at half, three quarters and until freshman Jax Edelman (see below) made a stick-back as time expired to keep Morris Catholic undefeated. Mia Pauldo led Morris Catholic with 28 points. DME was much more balanced putting four players into double figures led by Syracuse signee Keira Scott (see below) with 19 points.
Christ the King Regional High School (New York) 48-44 Albertus Magnus High School (New York)
This game featured two of New York’s better teams (combined 25-3 coming in) and two of the nation’s best players in the 2026 class. Christ the King was ahead by a few points for much of the game. Both 2026 stars (Olivia Vukosa of Christ the King and Julia Scott of Albertus Magnus [see below]) showed well finishing with 21 and 19 points respectively. Vukosa also affected the game with multiple blocked shots.
Crestwood Prep (Ontario, Canada) 54-48 Sidwell Friends School (DC)
This game should have had no losers as both teams played at a high level. Sidwell had a narrow edge through three quarters leading 41-35 but was held to just seven points in the final stanza by stout Crestwood defense while posting 19 points themselves. Toby Fournier led all scorers with 22 points with Makeer posting 17 points and playing strong D at the other end. Jayda Dixon (see below) led Sidwell with 18 points. UCLA signee Zania Socka posted 16 points but none in the fourth quarter.
Bishop McNamara High School (Maryland) 61-53 Rutgers Prep (New Jersey)
This was billed as a battle between McDonald’s All-Americans Mikayla Blakes (recent Vanderbilt commit; see more below) and Maddy McDaniel (South Carolina signee). Both held up their ends of the bargain as McDaniel had 20 points and Blakes 19 (both leading scorers for their respective teams). The difference in this game sort of centered around its physicality (as the refs let them play) and Bishop McNamara seemed to adjust more quickly to this going out to a 20 to 10 lead after one quarter and the lead remained in the five-to-ten-point range for much of the remainder of the game.
Below are some of the players who showed out in a noteworthy way listed alphabetically within graduation class with height, position and school. State location of school is in parenthesis. Several players mentioned above who were discussed in recent prior articles may have been omitted below.
Mikayla Blakes, 6-0, point guard, Rutgers Prep (New Jersey)
Recently committed to Vanderbilt, Blakes does it all for her team scoring (drives or perimeter shooting), handling and playing hard at both ends.
Toby Fournier, 6-3, post, Crestwood Prep (Ontario, Canada)
Having watch Fournier (Duke signee) multiple times in the last few years, she rarely has a bad game. Over those viewings, her team seemed to do better than one might expect in various matchups. Most of her scoring is in the lower key but range is improving some. She hits the boards hard and does not shy away from contact. In her team’s two wins at the Mecca, she posted 40 points total.
Leah Harmon, 5-6, point guard, IMG Academy (Florida)
Signed with Miami, as lead guards go, Harmon can shoot the ball, she posted 34 points as IMG lost a close one to Crestwood and won 64-63 versus a strong Capital Courts team out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Brianna Mead, 5-7, shooting guard, South Shore Christian Academy (Massachusetts)
Unsigned, with little in the way of scholarship offers as of late January, Mead posted 17 points in her team’s 76-70 loss to William Penn Charter. She showed variety in perimeter scoring and driving to the rim. Perhaps lacking the consistency to go higher, she deserves a look from non-Power 5 Division 1 programs and certainly Division 2 schools.
Keira Scott, 6-1, small forward, DME Academy (Florida)
Signed with Syracuse, Scott showed good variety going inside and shooting from the perimeter. She totaled 30 points as her team lost 63-61 to Morris Catholic and defeated Shabach! Christian Academy (Maryland) 64-59.
Danielle Williamsen, 5-7, shooting guard, St. Joseph by the Sea High School (New York)
A Marist signee, Williamsen put on a shooting clinic with six threes (35 points total) in a 77-68 win over Trenton (NJ) Catholic.
Patricia Augustine, 5-11, small forward, Capital Courts Academy (Ontario, Canada)
Augustine’s value is not always readily apparent in box scores. Sometimes she scores but often is making the pass that leads to the assist. Regardless, Augustine makes good things happen for her team. Her progress should be monitored from the Power 5 level down. At the event, Capital Courts lost 64-63 to IMG and beat Blair Academy (New Jersey) 59-55.
Kaylinn Bethea, 5-8, guard, William Penn Charter School (Pennsylvania)
Bethea plays running mate to star freshman Ryan Carter (discussed below). She is a strong driver whose outside shot needs to be respected. She posted 29 points in the win over South Shore Christian and should be getting recruiting interest at the Mid-D1 level anyway.
Payton Dulin, 5-8, point guard, Baldwin Senior High School (New York)
Baldwin played the last game of the event and many of the college coaches had already left for the day. Dulin is a field general with decent athleticism and basketball IQ. Maybe she does not shoot it well enough to attract Power 5 interest, but mid-majors should be monitoring her maturation.
Logyn Greer, 6-3, forward, Friends’ Central School (Pennsylvania)
With a long agile build, Greer is a likely Power 5 prospect based on height and mobility needing to embrace contact better at times. Playing away from the rim, she posted 11 points in her team’s 48-47 win over Winston Salem Christian.
Jocelyn Grier, 5-8, shooting guard, Winston Christian School (North Carolina)
Having multiple mid-major offers, Grier may yet threaten the Power 5 level. She posted 36 points as her team split two games at The Mecca. Quick to the rim and able to shoot the three, at times she may rush things a bit and handles could improve some.
Kennedy Henry, 6-1, small forward, Blair Academy (New Jersey)
Orally committed to Virginia Tech, Henry is long and lean in build. She posted 28 points doing a bit of everything (three-ball, mid-range, drives, put-backs) to score in a 59-55 loss to Capital Courts.
Makylah Moore, 5-10, wing, Nazareth Academy (New York)
Nazareth Academy is not having the best of seasons but the team does have college prospects (likely below the Power 5 level), Moore being one of them. She moves well for a thickly built wing (needs to watch conditioning) and has a nose for the basket.
Mia Pauldo, 5-6, guard, Morris Catholic High School (New Jersey)
Mia (of the Pauldo twins) was at her best in posting 28-points on five three’s and 13/14 from the foul line in a 63-61 win over DME.
Madison Howard, 5-8, shooting guard, Monsignor Scanlan High School (New York)
Howard may not be strong in build but that does not prevent her from attacking the rim embracing physical play. She posted 23 points in a 62-44 loss to Bishop Ireton High School of Virginia. Her progress should be monitored from the Power 5 level down.
Julia Scott, 6-3, forward, Albertus Magnus High School (New York)
Having Power 5 offers, Scott moves very well for her height and medium build. While she can step out, scoring area appears to be primarily in the paint. She has a smooth stroke, good passing vision and appears to be a good foul shooter. Still young, it might help her to get physically stronger.
Olivia Vukosa, 6-5, post, Christ the King Regional High School (New York)
Known in the game as Big O, Vukosa is considered by most to be one of the top five prospects in the class able to score near the rim or face up on the perimeter. For a strong build, she moves very well and with long arms is a threat to block as well as rebound out of area. Playing for Croatia at the 2023 FIBA U16 European Championship, she was probably the top prospect there and managed to lead Croatia to qualify for the U17 FIBA Championships in Mexico. She has the option of staying with Croatia or trying out for the USA U17 team which has also qualified for that world title. My advice to Croatia is “don’t leave home without her!”
2027 (names to know with some impacting in the event more than others)
Jezelle Banks, 5-9, guard, Ursuline Academy (Delaware)
Banks is a high-level Power 5 prospect on a team that starts four players below grade 11 and at times as here (losing 56-40 to South Shore High School of New York) the lack of experience shows. Banks has good size and looks to attack the basket as her primary scoring option able to play the point or off-guard slot. She posted 18 points in the loss to South Shore but still needs to fill out physically. Talk out of the Ursuline camp is that she is the best prospect to come through the school since Elena Delle Donne now in the WNBA.
Ryan Carter, 5-10, guard, William Penn Charter School (Pennsylvania)
Carter can come at you in a lot of ways. She is a strong driver but can also hit the three. One of the top freshmen in the USA, Carter posted 33 points in a 76-70 win over South Shore Christian.
Jayda Dixon, 5-8, guard, Sidwell Friends School (DC) Event Breakout Performer
According to a Sidwell staffer, Dixon had not been a major factor before The Mecca where an injury to a starting guard gave her a more significant role and she responded very well. She posted a modest 12 points in a 71-45 win over Bishop Ireton of Virginia and was even more impressive with team leading 18 points (both driving and shooting the three) in the loss to Crestwood. Power 5 programs should be monitoring her maturation.
Jax Edelman, 6-0, shooting guard, Morris Catholic High School (New Jersey)
Edelman is considered one of the top freshmen in New Jersey likely already garnering Power 5 interest. She has a smooth perimeter stoke, nice build at about 6-0 and willingness to play in a system taking appropriate shots. In the win over DME she made the winning stick-back as time was running out. However, she is more zone buster than board banger for the long haul.
Josephine Pinnock, 5-7, guard, Christ the King Regional High School (New York)
Pinnock is the daughter of a basketball coach and has good understanding for a young player. With a NCAA Division 1 upside, Pinnock showed some perimeter stroke and driving ability in posting 11 points in her team’s win over Albertus Magnus.
Qandace Samuels, 6-2, small forward, Bishop McNamara High School (Maryland)
Samuels obviously has good basketball genes with her sister playing for UCONN as a freshman. The talk around the Metro DC area is at Qandace is better at the same age. With several older D1 players on the team, there is not much pressure on her this year. Currently her game is primarily shooting from the wing to baseline area. Upside looks very high!
Julia Scott of Albertus Magnus High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Olivia Vukosa of Christ the King Regional High School (PC: Bob Corwin)
Ryan Carter of William Penn Charter School (PC: Bob Corwin)