Sunday, April 22, 2012

Girls Basketball 2015 Rankings Announced

Tonight the NH Notebook releases our initial girls basketball prospect rankings for the Class of 2015. I planned on posting these rankings sooner, but I have been reviewing game film and fine tuning the rankings over the last few weeks. Now they're ready.

Once again, these are rankings for girls basketball players from New Hampshire who are college prospects. Any player from NH is eligible, even if they attend a prep school or out of state private school. And as always, the players are ranked based on how they project at the next level. The rankings are here to be a resource for college coaches when recruiting and for the kids to get an idea of where they stack up against the state's other top players.

Ironically, the player who all winter long I had planned on ranking in the #1 spot (Peace Kabari) is not on this list. That is because Kabari is transferring from Manchester Memorial to Phillips Exeter Academy, where she will repeat her freshman year and join the Class of 2016. Even with her absence, this is still a very deep class. There are 20 girls on this list and all of them are legit prospects who are players to keep an eye on over the next three years.

Megan Kerutis, from the Division I champion Bishop Guertin girls team is in the #1 spot. Kerutis plays the 2 for BG (Jamie Sherurne plays the point), but at the next level she'll be a point guard and that is a position she is more than capable of playing. Kerutis (pictured above) is lightning quick, has a great handle, is fearless when going to the rim, can hit shots from all over the floor and is already one of the top defensive players in the state. She also has an incredible amount of toughness, coming back from a concussion to play in the D-I title game where she played big minutes and hit a HUGE jumper late in the 3rd quarter.

The future continues to look bright for Londonderry girls basketball, as they have four different players on this list. The first one is 5'10" forward Casey Evans-Driscoll, who is a solid pick for the #2 spot. Evans-Driscoll is the most physically dominating player in this class. She is already one of the strongest, toughest, most physical inside players in the state and she's only a freshman. Evans-Driscoll is rapidly improving her post-moves, finishing ability and face-up game. You won't find many players around who go as hard after rebounds.

Checking in at #3 is Dover High's Katie Boyatsis, who really came on strong as the winter progressed. She played for Dover alongside seniors Allie Mahan, Julia Wise and Christine Zubkus. By the end of the season they looked like 4 seniors, not 3 seniors and 1 freshman. Often times Boyatsis was even the team's leading scorer. That is a testament to how hard she worked on her game to get better, and also how playing on a veteran team can speed up a player's development. Boyatsis now has a very well-rounded game - she can she, drive, rebound and defend.

Courtney Henrich is a name that maybe not a ton of people know yet (heck I didn't even know about her until a couple weeks ago), but it's definitely a name you will be hearing a lot about over the next few years. She goes to a prep school and maybe that's part of the reason for her flying under the radar. But I got a chance to watch four Phillips Exeter games on film last week and this girl can play, no question about it. She is not the tallest, fastest or most athletic player out there. But Henrich is extremely tough, she battles, fights and claws every minute she's out there. She knows the game, she plays hard, and plays with heart. She's the kind of kid you want on your team. Henrich is a deadly outside shooter and can play either guard position.

A pair of wing players who are also AAU teammates come in at the #5 and #6 spots. Nashua North's Taylor Choate and Hanover's JJ Daniell are both very athletic and make plays on both ends of the floor. Choate excels in an up-tempo game with her ability to make plays for herself and teammates in transition. Daniell can shoot the ball, put it on the floor, defend and also has a very good understanding of the game. They both play for the NE Crusader's Red team (along with Kabari and Evans-Driscoll).

Val Martin from Pinkerton is next on the list. She has a very good face-up game, can play inside or outside and rebounds well. Martin has a high upside with her size, athleticism, skill and versatility. Next up is another prep school player, Tayler White from Northfield Mount Hermon. White (Chersterfield, NH) is a 5'9" wing player with a strong all-around game. I saw NMH take on Tilton and White was matched up with Savanna Butterfield and Alex Cohen and more than held her own. White would probably be even higher on this list but unfortunately she tore her ACL late in the season. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Hannah Neild from Campbell High is more than deserving of a top 10 spot after a great freshman season, leading the Cougars to the D-III finals. She can play either guard position, can score in a variety of ways and definitely benefited from playing alongside Rebecca Arnone and Liz Pettis this year at Campbell. Erica Hadad (Salem, NH) rounds out the top 10. You can't teach size, and Hadad is the only six-footer in this class. She has good moves around the basket as well as solid athleticism for a player her size. She has a very high upside and as her frame fills out and her skills continue to develop she could definitely move up this list. Next up is another inside player, although Brittany Roche is definitely more of a face-up forward. For a girl who's 5'11" she is very good at stepping out and hitting the 15-18 foot jumper and also handle the basketball and pass well out of the high post.

Next up is two more players from the Crusader Red team, as Windham's Madalina Jeans and Jen Schlim from Coe-Brown occupy the #12 and #13 spots on the list. Jeans is a two-guard who is quick off the dribble and plays tough defense. Schlim is a combo-forward with a strong face-up game. We stay on the seacoast for the next spot, with Dover's Abby Tilton. Tilton is can shoot the basketball off the catch or the dribble and got consistent minutes off the bench for a very good Green Wave team.

Morgan Ferland from Fall Mountain is a player who brings an inside presence. In many games this winter she dominated the paint with her size and ability to rebound and block shots. She is the younger sister of Jordan Ferland, who plays for Endicott. She is followed up by two more Londonderry players - Jenna Conroy and Rebekah Carroll, who were part of an undefeated Lancers JV team. Next up is a duo from Bedford (another town that is stockpiled with young talent). Point guard Sarah Zadei and forward Gabrielle Hunter were part of a Bedford JV team that went 16-4. Rounding out the top 20 is Nashua South's Abby Hearn-Gordy, who is a scrappy combo-guard who really makes things happen out there.

Like I said, this is a deep, talented class of players. They have all worked very hard and deserve to be recognized. It will be fun to watch their development over the next three years.

To view the rankings in their entirety, click here.