By Bob Corwin
In part 2, we will take a brief look at the Sophomore Showcase Division. However, before that, a brief explanation of how the Boro All-tournament teams were selected will be presented.
All-tournament selecting - not easy
First, you must be prepared to gather data on 170 teams in three showcase (junior, sophomore, freshman) divisions and have less than four days to produce the finished product (three all-tournament teams). While some teams, particularly in the older (junior) division, came in with "rep," quite a few of our contender teams were unknown quantities (at least to the committee) as the tournament began. With just seven sets of eyeballs to fan out amongst the troops, it was a tight fit to gather data on each team. Just about all teams got at least one half of viewing time by one of the committee members. On top of that, the committee kept ears to the ground listening for talk of exceptional performances (still sometimes missed). Before days two, three and four, the committee met in the morning to see where things stood and where greater attention was needed for direct observation.
About half the slots were awarded based on how their team did (Gold Bracket champions got three slots with runners-up two). Gold semi-finalists generally got one. However, matters were complicated at tournament's end as two Sophomore Showcase semi-finalist teams withdrew without finishing scheduled play, knocking out a couple of likely all-tournament candidates. A couple of Freshman Showcase candidates also got scratched for the same reason. As chairman of the committee, I feel we did a reputable job but there clearly were other viable candidates who could have been selected in place of those taken.
Picking up the action in the Sophomore Showcase Gold Bracket (first and second place teams from pool play) Final ...
WV Thunder 2019 Johnson 55-37 North Texas Lights Out 2019 Elite
Both teams received byes into the final as the other semi-final winners withdrew from the event for various reasons. Whether it be fatigue or just good defense, the pace in half one was slow with the Thunder up 20-19. In half two, the normally well-oiled West Virginia offense started to click and it was lights out for North Texas as they did not threaten in the latter stages of the half.
WV Thunder was led in scoring by Dena Jarrells (5-5 point guard, 2019) with 16 points. Division MVP Savannah Wheeler (orally committed to Marshall; see below) finished with 13 points. For the event, Wheeler shot well and played hard helping to set the tone for her squad. All-tournament team member Nila Blackford (see below) posted 12 points hitting the boards as she has for much of the club season. Emily Saunders (also orally committed to Marshall; see below) also garnered All-tournament honors for her inside scoring and shot blocking during the event. North Texas was led in scoring by All-tournament team selection Adhel Tac (see below) with 10 points. Her active play in the point contributed greatly to her team's success. North Texas's Kierra Nelson (see below) also received All-tournament honors thanks to her play attacking the basket and scoring at the rim.
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. For players to qualify, their team had to complete its respective tournament schedule (some had to leave early due to other commitments). Congratulations to all selected!
2017 Battle in the Boro
Sophomore Showcase Division
Nila Blackford, 6-1, power forward, 2019, WV Thunder 2019 Johnson (Louisville, Kentucky)
Allison Campbell. 5-11, combo guard, 2020, Central PA Dynamite (Altoona, Pennsylvania)
Brynn Farrell, 5-10, combo guard, 2020, Team Miller-Kevin (Metuchen, New Jersey)
Kaliah Henderson, 5-9, combo guard, 2019, Tampa Thunder 2019 Carn (Riverview, Florida)
Jayne McCauley, 5-8, shooting guard, 2019, Empire State Basketball 2019 (New Rochelle, New York)
Kierra Nelson, 5-9, small forward, 2019, North Texas Lights Out 2019 Elite (Plano, Texas)
Caranda Perea, 6-2, forward, 2020, Central PA Dynamite 2020 (Altoona, Pennsylvania)
Lauren Sampson, 6-0, shooting guard, 2019, Bay State Jaguars Doner 2019 (Waltham, Massachusetts)
Emily Saunders, 6-5, center, 2019, WV Thunder 2019 Johnson (Mullens, West Virginia)
Mackenzie Smith, 5-7, combo guard, 2019, I-90 Elite (Camillus, New York)
Sara Stapleton, 6-3, center, 2019. MN Stars Nelson (Blaine, Minnesota)
Adhel Tac, 5-11, power forward, 2020, North Texas Lights Out 2019 (Garland, Texas)
Nadjy Tyler, 6-3, power forward, 2019, Philly Triple Threat 2019 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Alexia Wagner, 5-10, combo guard, 2019, Team Wisconsin Select Black 2019 (Galesville, Wisconsin)
Savannah Wheeler, 5-6, combo guard, 2019, WV Thunder 2019 Johnson (Catlettsburg, Kentucky) MVP
Rickie Woltman, 6-3, power forward, 2019, St. Louis Eagles 2019 (Saint Charles, Missouri)
Special thanks to my fellow all-tournament selections committee members: Joe Fenelon, Jack Harlow, Ed Jackson, Tim Lownsdale, Matt Shewmake and Kyle Turnham.
Tag(s): High School