Monday, September 19, 2011

New England Classic 2011 - Event Recap


The 3rd annual New England Classic exposure event was held on Sunday at the University of Southern Maine. Some of the best high school and prep school girls basketball prospects from NH, ME, MA and VT were on display. They played in high level exposure games and got a chance to prove themselves against top competition and in front of the many college coaches in attendance.

The event was run by Dudley Davis and Kara Leary. Games were broadcasted on YNET-TV, and for the second straight year the New Hampshire Notebook was on hand to cover all of the action.

Each of the 4 participating states had 3 teams at the event. A Classic Team (seniors and juniors), a Futures Team (sophomores) and another Futures Team (freshmen). Each of the 12 teams played 2 games each, with both games coming against other state's teams from the same age group. Games consisted of four 8 minute quarters, stopped time.

The NH Classic team went 0-2 on the day, the NH Futures Sophomore team went 2-0 and the NH Futures Freshmen team went 1-1. Here's a breakdown of the granite state players who were in attendance...


Class of 2012

Megan Hardiman, 5'11", Brewster Academy
The 5'11" Hardiman showed her versatility by playing point guard, setting up the offense and finding the open man. It was a tough shooting day, but she played hard and distributed the ball well.


Class of 2013

Katharine Fogarty, 6'2", Governor's Academy
Fogarty was clearly the best NH player at the event. It's not often you see a 6'2" girl bringing the ball up the floor, but that's exactly what Fogarty did at times on Sunday. On one play she even grabbed a rebound, went coast-to-coast with the basketball, slicing through the defense and getting to the rim before drawing a foul. Fogarty showed a soft shooting touch inside, smooth moves in the low post, and the ability to put the ball on the floor from the perimeter and either take it right to the rim or pull-up in the mid-range area and knock down shots. She has definitely improved her handle, splitting 2 defenders while leading the break on one play, and utilizing a nifty hesitation dribble to go by a defender on another. Fogarty also played good defense in the post and blocked a number of shots inside.

Meghan Green, 6'1", Bishop Guertin HS
The thing that stands out about Green's performance at this event is how much she has improved her jump shot. Time after time she knocked down shots from 15-18 feet away, and even a couple of threes. She shot the ball in rhythm and with a smooth, compact stroke and a very quick release which allowed her to get shots off even with a defender closing out. She was hitting shots off the catch or the dribble, at one point pulling up from 15 feet and knocking it down. Green also finished well inside, and was active on the boards as well.

Madison Gibbs, 5'10", Bishop Guertin HS
Gibbs is another player who displayed an improved shot from the perimeter. She was especially effective at hitting shots off the catch and in the mid-range area, either from the baseline or the foul line. Gibbs also got after it on the offensive glass, gaining good position inside for boards and for drive-and-dish passes.

Kelsey Brown, 5'11", Oyster River HS
Brown hit some outside shots off the catch and off the dribble, as she continues to show good range and a fluid shooting motion for a player her size. Brown needs to get quicker and better defensively to take her game to the next level and also be able to go be her defender off the dribble.

Summer Choate, 5'5", Nashua High North
The NH Classic team had to play back-to-back games, so many of them were tired during the second game. However if there was one player who was still going full speed, hustling around and playing with a ton of energy out there it was Choate. She was hustling after loose balls, forcing turnovers on defense and making some strong, athletic drives to the rim. Few players in the state are quicker, and if Choate can improve her handle and shooting she could really be a fun player to watch.

Bernadette Connors, 5'9", Windham HS
Played tough defense and moved well without the basketball.

Nikki Hayner, 5'9", Bishop Guertin HS
Looked for her shot on offense and made a nice block from behind on defense.

Haley Wilder, 5'10", Monadnock HS
Played physical inside and battled for rebounds.


Class of 2014

Courtney Walsh, 5'7", Central Catholic HS (Windham, NH resident)
This was as well as I've seen Walsh play. She was very assertive out there, and really made some great plays. In one series of plays she hit a nice runner off the glass and in, then made an up-fake, one dribble and then drilled a pull-up jumper from 12 feet away, and then on the next time down the floor she came down on the break splitting 2 defenders and pushed it up the floor in a hurry forcing the tempo. Walsh continued to show the ability to slice through the defense and make athletic finishes in traffic, including a smooth finish in transition with her left with with a defender all over her. Walsh also played solid defense and even though she put up a good amount of points she didn't force anything.

Aliza Simpson, 5'8", Londonderry HS
Simpson also had some strong, athletic finishes near the basket, even finishing through contact on the break. She hit a nice pull-up jumper from the foul line, and executed a nice give-and-go play with Walsh. Simpson ran the point effectively, and also played tough defense, forcing a number of turnovers and turning them into points on the other end.

McKenzie Brown, 6'1", Bedford HS
Brown has become known for her deadly mid-range set shot, and she continued to knock the shot down with regularity at this event. She was tough on the boards, ran the floor well and finished on the break. Brown also showed improved post moves, as she was able to feel where the defender was and go the opposite way with her spin move, and then hit shots inside with a soft touch. Brown also showed good agility by closing out on three-point shooters and then getting right back into the paint to rebound.

Clairee Putnam, 5'5", Windham HS
Putnam is a quick point guard who can also play off the ball and once again showed good quickness, aggressiveness and smart play. She forced the tempo on offense while also being patient, and on defense she made some nice steals and would then immediately look up the floor for an open teammate. Putnam was also effective at not only moving the ball around the perimeter to make the defense work but also getting into the lane with the dribble and kicking it to the open man or taking it all the way to the rim with strong drives.

Rachel Collins, 5'8", Bedford HS
Collins did whatever it took to help the team, whether it was rebounding, defending or making the extra pass. If you're an opposing team and you turn the ball over you need to always make sure you know where Collins is on the court, because as soon as she sees her team has the ball she takes off down the floor and if you don't get back on defense she's going to score easily on the break because she does a nice job of getting down the floor on the break and her teammates are always able to get her the ball.

Morgan Church, 5'7", Kearsarge Regional HS
Church played tough, lock down defense, whether on the ball or off of it. She also showed a good handle and drove the ball hard to the rim.

Mary Mullen, 5'10", Merrimack Valley HS
Mullen rebounded well and made some strong takes to the basket with either hand. Once she grabbed offensive boards she used her strength to power it right back up for 2.

Allison Yeaw, 5'10", Keene HS
For the most part all of the girls on the NH Sophomores team have been playing AAU ball together for the last 2+ years on the Crusader Black team. Yeaw hasn't played with on that team, but at this event she fit right in with them. She was comfortable running sets with the team and was able to find shots in the flow of the offense and knock them down.


Class of 2015

Peace Kabari, 5'6", Manchester Memorial HS
It isn't often that you see a girl with this kind of sheer athleticism on the basketball court. Not only does she have one of the coolest names in the state, but she might just be NH's best freshman prospect. Kabari made a number of plays on Sunday which drew a reaction from the crowd, especially when she was able to catch the ball on the wing, split 2 and sometimes 3 defenders with shifty dribble-drive moves before getting into the paint and making some athletic finishes in traffic. She also wreaked havoc on defense - with her quick feet and even quicker hands she was able to knock the ball away from her opponent or jump into passing lanes and make steals (she had 6 steals in 1 game). Kabari plays the game at a faster pace than pretty much anyone else her age, and if she can improve her jumper watch out.

Taylor Choate, 5'7", Nashua High North
Choate (Summer's younger sister) was quiet in the first game, but really came on strong in the team's second game as she got used to playing with the team. On defense she had a number of steals, and like Kabari she also used her quickness and athleticism to run the floor and make athletic finishes. Choate could have had at least 20 points in the second game but she missed a number of shots in close. Still, you had to like the energy she was playing with, constantly making things happen on both ends of the floor.

Julia Daniell, 5'8", Hanover HS
One of those silky smooth wing players who does a little bit of everything. Daniell has a high basketball I.Q., is a good team player who plays hard and makes the right basketball play, plays unselfish, forces turnovers on defense. Daniell also has some impressive athleticism and a good handle, which she showed by slashing to the rim from the wing and making some tough finishes in traffic.

Casey Evans-Driscoll, 5'10", Londonderry HS
Evans-Driscoll continues to be one of the most physical inside players around. With her size, strength and aggressiveness she is an intimating presence in the paint, making it tough for opponents to get anything going offensively inside. Evans-Driscoll went hard after rebounds and loose balls, and made some nice catches in traffic and made athletic finishes through contact as well as hitting the mid-range pull-up. If she can continue to work on ball handling, shooting, refining post moves and finishing inside, she could really develop into a player nobody wants to play against.

Jen Schlim, 5'9", Coe Brown Northwood Academy
Schlim is a versatile player who has the size, quickness and skill to play inside or outside, the 3 or the 4. She scored and rebounded well inside, and also has the speed and handle to play on the perimeter making her a tough match up. Schlim played unselfish basketball, not forcing anything and is the kind of player who could fit in with just about any team and any style of play.

Erica Hadad, 6'1", Central Catholic HS (Salem, NH resident)
Hadad showed good quickness and agility for a player her size, running the floor well and even going in for a reverse layup in traffic. She even banked in a three-pointer. If Hadad can continue to work on ball handling, shooting and post moves she could really be a dominant inside player over the next few years.

Maddie Jeans, 5'7", Windham HS
Another very athletic freshman guard for team NH. Jeans hustled after loose balls, and finished well inside with good post moves for a guard.

Brittany Roche, 5'11", Londonderry HS
Tough, smart, hard nosed inside player who battled on the boards and showed good footwork on post moves in the paint.

Jenna Conroy, 5'4", Londonderry HS
Point guard who did a nice job of handling the basketball vs. defensive pressure, and always kept head up while dribbling in the half court or when leading the break.

Rebekah Carroll, 5'1", Londonderry HS
Carroll is a small but tough guard who played hard, hustling back on defense to break up a fast break opportunity.


Also playing on the NH Futures Freshmen team were Madison Springfield (Jaffrey) and Nikki Tucci (Bedford). Both girls are only in 8th grade, and I prefer to wait until players are in high school before evaluating them. But I will say this, if there is any better middle school players in the state on the girls side than these two I would like to see them!

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