Saturday, December 31, 2011
Moriah Jefferson has found, claimed and conquered on every level and plans on doing the same at the next level. She leaves yours truly with so many fond memories of this gifted player and based on her hard work and dedication to not only herself but her team as well which has always come first, her legacy is set as far as being one of the best players to come from Texas
Southlake Carroll came into Sandra Meadows undefeated and ranked #2 in the state however after two losses in the event, that will drop but it shouldn't by much. Here's another team from Region 1 that has a chance to make some noise and they are being led by freshman Kennedy Leonard. Poised beyond her years, this young lady has a very bright future and whatever she's missing during her growing years will not be a problem once it's all said and done. In their opening game against Mesquite Horn, she finished with a double-double and in their second game against Little Rock Hall, she had close to 10 assists in the first half. Although Hall came back from a double digit deficit at the half on the back of Tyler Scaife's 41 points, Leonard showed she has what a takes to be a big time player in the future.
Once again"the game starts at the one" and sometimes the little one as freshman Lakendra Bassett stands only 5'3 but like so many other of the 9th grade guards that aren't 5'5 or above, Bernesha Peters, 5'1 (Spring) Tana Driver 5'2 (Midland) and Adriiana Jackson 5'1 (North Shore), Bassett has shown she has smarts which enables her to run a team efficiently, she has handles that let her to break down defenses, she can hit the long ball but most important of all, she isn't intimidated one bit. I see big things happening for this young lady in the future, plenty of upside and who knows how it will turn out.
The good news for Keller is that there is another Miner coming up, Lindsey's younger sister Mallory is only a freshman and she was dropping bombs from long range herself. Making it as far as they did against competitive teams should give the team confidence in district play and losing to a great team like Canyon is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Mansfield Rotary Champions did it shorthanded and went through some tough teams en route to winning it all. If they can stay healthy and have everyone back, don't count them out. Here's the story and of course, more to come from my adventurous three days at two knockout tournaments. GPR
Friday, December 30, 2011
Duncanville is clicking on all cylinders right now and in order to beat them, you better not come out slipping. Having offensive weapons at all 5 starting positions, baseline to baseline intensity on defense and keeping the intensity up when you have to sub is simply something to be reckoned with. My three days in the Metroplex was exciting to say the least and several stories will be popping up over the weekend on several teams and players but today it's all Dville on GPR
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Mansfield Timberview held off Canyon 37-35 while Pflugerville defeated Amarillo 51-45 as they both advance to the finals which will be played at 7pm
A couple of teams from outside of Texas came to play in the Sandra Meadows Classic with something to prove and evidently done have done just that as St Thomas More and Little Rock Hall have both reached the final four. More has that dynamic guard duo of McNeese State signees Keke Veal and Kia Wilridge while LRH features one of the top 2013 guards in the nation, Tyler Scaffe. To get to the finals, More has to beat Plano West, the only team to beat Duncanville this season and guess who the Arkansas have to beat? Duncanville! More info on these and others to come, first semifinal game will tip off at 9am.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Lot's of interesting things happened on opening day in the Sandra Meadows Classic as several teams I expected to win didn't. The states top three ranked private schools lost as well as the areas highest ranked public school which leads me to believe that there will be an abundance of talent for me to see today. McNeese State signed a couple of Top 100 guards who play for St Thomas More, Keke Veal and Kia Wilridge, and they will play in one of the days marquee match-ups against THESA who has the nations #1 point guard,Connecticut signee Moriah Jefferson. Action packed day ahead and of course, more to come
College Park and Hightower are the only area teams left who haven't lost. Tyler Gilbert led three Hurricane players who scored in double figures with 19 points while Uma Rajagopalan and Alexia Sanders combined for 29 of College Parks 48 points in their victory.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The ladies from Keller are all smiles after opening day games in the Mansfield Rotary Tournament. I saw what I needed, exciting games and talented players and more will be coming on the event. Here are the Elite 8, well sort of as I know who 7 of the teams are
Keller vs Canyon
Timberview vs Bowie
Cedar Hill vs Pflugerville
Amarillo vs the Summit/Cabot winner
Also several of the younger players to watch were in attendance including those who are freshman
In middle school
Or even younger
Shannon Evans (Faulkner) and Kendall Shaw (Vanderbilt) started playing basketball together with the little dribblers while they were still in the fourth grade. They started playing on the Barbers Hill varsity while they were still freshmen and today they play in what they hope won't be their last tournament together as they are one of the 4A schools from Region 3 that have a chance to make it Austin for the state tournament. The Gulf Coast Classic features Dobie, Brenham, Clear Lake, Vista Ridge and Friendswood
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I saw TABC #12 Mansfield Timberview play in the Katy Tournament earlier this month and this young team. only three seniors, is loaded with talented players including JaLea Bennet. Baseline to baseline action to say the least and I expect the same from #3 Pfluggerville who is always exciting to watch. Other Top 25 teams from 4A and 5A include Amarillo, Cedar Hill, Summit, Seguin and of course Canyon who more times than not has a say in who goes to Austin. Maybe a hologram will work!
Friday, December 23, 2011
McNeese State has profited in so many ways this year other than Jasmine Prophet. This includes winning both the regular season and post season tournament in the Southland Conference which led to a trip in the NCAA Tournament and for those outstanding efforts, Coach Brooks Donald-Williams was not only named Southland Confernce Coach of the year but she also received the same award for the state of Louisiana. If that wasn't enough, they landed some sensational players in this years early signing period who happen to be playing in this tournament. Hightower's Prophet went completely off last season in helping the Hurricanes win the Sandra Meadows Classic. For her efforts she was named to the All Tournament team
Both players were highly ranked out of high school, Veal #59 and Wilridge #110 and I'm talking about nation, not just Louisiana
How good are they? Good enough to lead St. Thomas More to the Louisiana State Championship and unlike most states, private and public schools compete for that coveted state title. I saw these young ladies in action last season in this very tournament and was impressed to say the least
The top 3 private schools in Texas according to TABC are playing in the Sandra Meadows Classic and there is a possibility that #1 Westbury Christian and #2 John Paul II could meet in the second round while #3 Bishop Lynch could face one of the top private schools from Louisiana, St. Thomas More. Westbury Christian has lost to only one private school in the area, Kincaid and they are coming off a 40 blowout victory against a team I thought might have a chance to be the top private school in the city, St. Pius.
If these games come to pass, it will be interesting to see how WC matches up against the other top private schools in post Amber Orrange and Brianna Turner years. WC's offense revolves around their 2 D1 guards, Tiffany Davis (South Carolins) and Sylvana Okde (Louisiana Lafayette). Davis has been on tears all season, many games she has scored over half of the teams point in fact she accounted for 36 of their 51 in the Aldine Tournament. She, along with the flashy Okde have carried the load however sophomore Hannah Cambell had a breakout game as she dropped 4 threes in that blowout against St. Pius.
After an opening day double-digit loss to North Shore, Dekaney has been on a tear defeating everyone who stepped on the court including 4 teams that were ranked in the preseason Top 10. Alexis Durley has been playing some of the best basketball of her career and her consistent play at the one will be the key on how far this team goes. There is no reason they shouldn't play Klein Forest, who I predicted would make a run for the district title and beyond after some of their key players fabulous freshmen season. I don't believe in sayings like "sophomore jinx" anymore than Jinx from Star Wars so this semi-final game should answer some questions
On the other side of the bracket, Katy Taylor has a good chance to make it at least to the semi-finals. This isn't the same Taylor team from last season and the departure of Amanda Jungwirth has left the team with some questions about themselves. Can they answer them? Well they almost made it to the R3 Final 4 so to count them out wouldn't be smart, they have enough weapons to go to battle. In that semi-final match-up, provided they make it, it's probably a toss-up on who they play between Klein Oak and, uh oh CONCORDIA? Yes Concordia, who pulled off a major upset by defeating Cy Woods a couple of weeks ago. In that game UNSIGNED 6'2 post Cydney Hicks went off for 18 points, Hicks ironically transferred from Klein Oaks and if that game came to pass, it is certainly one I would love to be in town to see however the Metroplex is calling.
Once again, if I have tournament brackets, they will be listed under EVENTS at girlzprepreport.com
Thursday, December 22, 2011
This was simply turning out to be a breakout senior year for North Shore's Monique Bedford who came into her own this season. Playing in one of the hardest gyms for opposing teams to win a game, she scored 30 points in a two point loss to Bellaire on the Cardinals home court. What was significant about the game was All American Courtney Williams was injured early in the second period and Bedford placed the team on her back for a fight to the very end. After earning MVP honors in the Peggy Whitley Classic and helping lead North Shore to the championship, it was learned Bedford had a torn ACL and this puts a damper on any state hopes the Mustangs had
Klein Collins received a boost when Jasmine Nash was cleared to play after transferring from Westfield and that boost was turbo-charged when Lexus Ward was cleared less than two weeks ago. These additions gave Collins depth to go along with Veja Hamilton and Dominique Dillingham along with being a legitimate candidate for a Region 2 championship however Ward tore her ACL two minutes into her first game.
In order to compete for a state championship several things have to fall into place and injuries to key players such as Hightower's Taylor Gilbert and Atascocita's Curtyce Knox, who has returned, have certainly changed the scope on who could have done what. As sad as it is for these young ladies, along with several others across the city, state and country, the USC saga is one of the worst cases of bad breaks I've ever heard of
Former Cinco Ranch star Stephanie Gilbreath was one of the top players in the Claas of 2007. She first tore her ACL in middle school and after signing with USC has torn it an additional three times. This hurt what was set to be a brilliant career for the Trojans however the former MDAA, she tore it a second time at this event, showed so much fight and courage by continuing to come back in spite of these obstacles
Like Gilbreath, Jackie Gemelos had a star studded high school career and was also one of the top players from her class which was 2006. Initially deciding on UCONN, Gemelos had a change of heart and picked USC. Last Sunday, the young lady tore her ACL for the FIFTH time
I've seen first hand on what this does to a player and depending on how quickly you come back, the rehabilitation process process can be grueling along with the mental aspect of worrying about being hurt once you actually do return to the court. Again it's sad for all of the players that have to endure this, especially those with nothing on the table after playing for years, but you can't give up hope and like Knox, you have to keep looking up.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Caroline Spagnola caught me eye many years ago when I watched her drain 11 three pointers in a game, some close to the time line. Not knowing who she was or where she was from had me inquiring in the stands on what high school this young lady played for. Ironically I was next to her mom who stated "she's only in the 7th grade". I was floored to say the least however a friendship with the Spagnola family developed and I have watched Caroline become the most prolific three point shooter in Galveston Ball history as she is now a senior that happens to be, and here's another gift in time for the holidays, an unsigned senior.
On yesterday the magic continued as her buzzer beating three pointer sent Ball's game against Wheatley into overtime however they eventually lost 74-70. For the game, Caroline had 34 points which included 7 three pointers and big numbers which include three point shooting exhibitions is something opposing teams have had to deal with for years.
If you're wondering why you haven't seen her on the club circuit it's because she hasn't played over the past couple of years but this young lady is one of the states top long ball shooters and will have no problem doing the same thing at the next level. For her performance, she receives GPR's first ever Monday Magician Award!
|JORDAN JONES & BRYCE OWENS|
Jordan Jones and Bryce Owens will lead Desoto to battle in the Sandra Meadows Classic next week while Ashley Eli does the same for Mansfield Summit in the Mansfield Rotary Tournament
|COURTNEY WILLIAMS & ASHLEY ELI|
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
This is what I anticipated the moment I heard Sydney Coleman had transferred over to Cy Ranch last season. She would be teaming up with fellow 2014 player Cienna Rodriguez-Rivera, both are two of the top players in their class, that was evident the first time I saw them play in middle school and it didn't take a "GURU" to see that coming
The main problem was Coleman had to sit out, well play JV last season, while CRR blossomed from the varsity experience. Coleman's game seems to be on point after a slow start that saw Cy Ranch playing on both ends of the spectrum in the early season, sometimes looking really good and sometimes not however much of that had to do with Cienna not playing because of nagging injuries and "one mo time", the game starts at the ONE!
This game started off slow and sort of sloppy as Ranch had leads of 15-12 and 23-21 after the first two periods but the third period saw Ranch outscore JV by 14 and that was basically all she wrote. Coleman showed flashes of what she can become on a national level and the good news for Ranch is that she and Rodriguez-Rivera will have two years left together as the district will be up for grabs after this season. This season it belongs to Cy Falls who along with Cy Woods are loaded with seniors doing most of the damage. The interesting thing is Ranch and Woods will probably battle it out next season, ironically Coleman and CRR will be going against Olivia and Ericaa Ogwumike after playing together on the same club team in the past
I have to commend Jersey Village on sticking so close even though their top two scorers Bianca Serna and Brynae Thompson both were plagued by early foul trouble, neither played what was equivalent to a full quarter, and for JV to stay with Cy Ranch without their leading scorers is commendable.
After going scoreless in the first two periods, Thompson caught fire in the second half and scored all 18 of her points and had some fans amazed by the fact that she is only a freshman. I've said it before and I'll say it a gain, once she figures it out she will be hard to handle on the court, that is coming from a "GURU" !
Coleman finished with 20 points for Cy Ranch and Kristen Kech added 10, while CRR had to have close to 10 assists in a game that had her doing what she does very well and that's setting her teammates up for several easy baskets. In addition to Thompson's 18 points, Stephanie Estrada added 10 for Jersey Village who continue to improve since my first peek at the Conroe Tournament. Now a much deserved break for the kids and I'll be coming in live and in living color next week from Mansfield and Duncanville on GPRTV, not really live and in color.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Houston area colleges are going to be very competitive in the future, I can feel the energy every time I attend one of their games. The problem is that future won't be this season as TSU, Houston and HBU have two wins between them, in fact Houston beat HBU last week. All three are very young and Houston and HBU have had more injuries between them this season than some conferences have
HBU is winless and after a total team makeover which has the team with 8 freshmen players, starter Jocelyn Pugh became the fourth Husky to be out with an injury
The Huskies put forth a gallant first half after falling behind by double digits early in the ball game to cut the lead down to seven 31-24 at the half however the second half was another story as former Colleyville Heritage star Porsche Torrance went to work, scoring 8 second half points and finishing with 12 for the game
Austin Westlakes Caroline Durbin led all scorers with 17 points on an 8-12 shooting day
Lauren Taylor added 15 for the Lobos which included three 3 pointers
Freshman Shanice Steenholdt, who ironically is from New Mexico, led the Huskies with 11 points
Taylor and Torrence are seniors while Durbin is a junior and their combined 44 points outscored the Huskies who started 5 freshmen. Again, the comeback HBU made in the first half showed the growth of this team since the first time I saw them play and they will be a force to be reckoned with
Speaking of forces to be reckoned with, a couple were in the house as well. Geronica Jackson was a big time star at Elkins who played her college ball at New Mexico
And once again, since I'm a guard guy and what's my favorite saying, oh yeah, the game starts at the ONE! Well this one here is Erin Grant who once again has four 5A State Championships, starred at Texas Tech and played in the WNBA for the Seattle Storm and our own Houston Comets
Tuesday HBU hosts Lamar at 6pm. The Cardinals feature several former Texas high school stars including Jasmine Henderson (Dulles), Monique Whitaker (Livingston), Gia Ayers (Bryan) and Ang Green (Silsbee) to name a few