Monday, September 26, 2011

Hoop Mounain Girls Fall Showcase - Event Recap

September is the start of the high school football season, but it has been a busy month on the basketball courts. 2 weekends ago you had the Elite 75 and NE Classic, the Rivier Fall League is up and running, as well as the Integrity Hoops Flight School. The BST Exposure Showcase is also coming up in a week and a half.

But this past weekend the big event that many granite staters participated in was the Hoop Mountain Girls Fall Showcase, which took place on Sunday at Boston University's Case Gymnasium. The event is a great exposure opportunity for local prep school and high school basketball girls looking to play at the next level - 83 Division II and III college coaches were in attendance at this event.

Of the 135 players in the house, 17 of them were from NH. The New Hampshire Notebook was there all day to cover the action and evaluate the talent.

The event consisted of 3-on-3 drills followed by a series of 5-on-5 full court scrimmaging. Players were also taken into the classroom for a college recruiting seminar. Here's a look at how the state's prospects looked at the event.

Class of 2012

Kaley Marston, 5'6", Tilton School - The point guard position is a dying breed, which makes the players who excel in the role coveted by college coaches. Marston is one player who is a 'true point guard' and the position comes naturally to her. She handles the ball very well vs. defensive pressure, knows how to run an offense, has good instincts and get her teammates in the right places, makes crisp passes and makes plays off the dribble by kicking it to the open man or even creating offense for herself. Marston also played tough, hard nosed defense, pressuring the basketball and making her man work for everything she got. She

Lia Nawn, 5'9", Trinity HS - Nawn continues to show why she's one of the state's best long range shooters. At this event, not only did she knock down shots but she also moved well without the basketball and used good footwork in order to set herself up for good looks. Nawn also created scoring opportunities for her teammates by taking her man off the dribble and dishing it out once a help defender came over. She is a smart player with good instincts, and helped her team in a variety of ways.

Cailey White, 5'11", Keene HS - Athletic forward with strong frame, runs the floor well, played with poise and knocked down the mid-range jumper. White played hard, rebounded well and showed a very effective face-up game where she was able to hit shots from the outside and also put the ball on the floor and drive to the rim. White converted put-backs inside and also finished on the break.

Tori Forrest, 6'0", Souhegan HS - Not only is point guard a dying breed, but the position of 'true center', or 'back to the basket forward' is also a dying breed. Forrest is one that's still around for the Class of 2012. She used her size and physical style of play to carve out space in the paint, and as a result she gained good position to post-up and also to grab rebounds. She has good footwork inside went up strong, finishing through contact.

Brittney Page, 5'8", Kearsarge HS - Page is a solid wing player who does a little of everything, is in good shape and plays hard. She was able to make plays off the dribble and also hit the outside shot. Page had a strong take in transition, coming down with her right hand, switching to her left while slicing through the defense before finishing with the left hand. She is athletic and competed hard on both ends of the floor, looking for her shot but also not forcing anything.

Class of 2013

Madison Gibbs, 5'10", Bishop Guertin HS - Gibbs continues to show a reliable jump shot, that she has been routinely hitting from 15-18 feet off the catch. She is a smooth player who doesn't force anything, lets the game come to her and plays smart, mistake-free basketball. Gibbs also picked it up a notch on defense, frustrating her man with tough, in-your-face defense.

Allie Hartford, 5'3", Manchester Memorial HS - Speaking of true point guards, Marston is one for the Class of 2012 and Hartford definitely fits that description for a 2013. Hartford might only be 5'3", but she plays bigger than that as she is not afraid to drive the ball inside and also made a blocked shot from behind and also has good toughness. Hartford pushed the ball up the floor in a hurry, keeping the pressure on the defense, and excelled at finding the open man with pinpoint passes, either by leading the break or by driving-and-dishing in the half court.

Kelsey Brown, 5'11", Oyster River HS - Long, athletic wing player with a smooth stroke from behind the arc. Brown has long strides when she puts the ball on the floor, and if she keeps working she could really be a tough player to stop off the dribble.

Yvonne Dean-Bailey, 5'8", Coe Brown Northwood Academy - Dean-Bailey is a gym rat, and although there were 135 girls at this showcase you would be hard pressed to name anyone who played harder than her. With some kids, you can just tell by watching them that they just love playing the game, which is refreshing to see - Dean-Bailey is one of those players. She's a blue collar wing player who might not stand out by dropping 20 points or jumping through the gym, but she does the little things well and never takes a play off.

Kayla Denison, 5'5", Trinity HS - Denison played both guard spots, handled the ball well and hit a nice floater after after getting into the lane off the dribble.

Katie Nadeau, 5'10", Bishop Brady HS - Hit the outside shot and also played strong post defense.

Class of 2014

Courtney Walsh, 5'7", Central Catholic HS (Windham, NH) - Walsh is a silky smooth 2 guard who is the ultimate team player. One of those 'throw-back' type players, who simply does whatever it takes to help the team win. Walsh never forces anything, all of her shots come in the flow of the offense and she is very unselfish. Not only does she make the extra pass, but she has tremendous court vision so she is able to routinely make passes that lead directly to baskets for her teammates. She is also good for at last one play per game where she shows off her superb athleticism and makes, leaving her defender in the dust and the crowd buzzing. Walsh always plays hard and gets after it on defense, but is in great shape so she never seems to sweat.

Alex Nagri, 5'2", Central Catholic HS (Salem, NH) - Another one of the many Central Catholic players at the event, Nagri is a small guard but is very quick and scrappy. Nagri played both guard positions, she pushed the ball up the floor hard on the break and made a nifty dribble-drive move to get to the rim in the half court.

Andrea Albrecht, 5'6", Pinkerton Academy - Two guard who hustled after loose balls and played hard on both ends of the floor.

Class of 2015

Val Martin, 5'10", Pinkerton Academy - Martin was clearly one of the top freshmen players at the event. Physically she doesn't look like a freshman, and skill-wise she doesn't play like one either. Martin is 5'10" with a strong frame and in great shape. She was playing with and against upperclassmen all day long, holding her own and making plays during both 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 play. Martin ran the floor well, put the ball on the floor and made some strong drives to the rim, played tough defense and crashed the boards. She's not afraid to get physical inside, box people out and go up strong under the basket.

Brittany Roche, 5'11", Londonderry HS - Roche was another one of the top freshmen players in attendance. At this event Roche showed that she is a smart, fundamentally sound player. What is most impressive about her game is that despite being a 5'11" freshman she is just as comfortable facing up from 18 feet away hitting shots, making passes into the post as she is battling in the paint. Roche might not be the fastest or most athletic player, but she more than makes up for it with fundamentals, effort and basketball I.Q.

Jenna Clarke, 5'10", Pembroke Academy - For a 5'10" freshman, Clarke has good range on her jump shot and also showed the versatility to go inside and make strong finishes.

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