Monday, September 17, 2012

2012 Hoop Mountain Fall Showcase - Event Recap

The annual Hoop Mountain Fall Showcase took place on Sunday at the Wentworth Institute of Technology's Tansey Gymnasium. 135 of the top girls basketball prospects from all over New England showcased their talents in front of dozens of D-II and D-III college coaches.

Here is a breakdown of the top players from NH who were at the event. All 10 of these girls are definite college prospects.

Class of 2013

Nicole Hayner, 5'9", Bishop Guertin - Hayner had a very productive AAU season with the Rivals Basketball Club, and she continued that strong play at this event. Hayner (pictured above) is a wing player who showed a solid all around skill set, shooting the ball well and making some great dishes to cutters for layups. She made good decisions with the basketball and has a good feel for the game. The game comes easy to Hayner, who scored the basketball but did an even better job of setting teammates up for shots.

Ellie Flaum, 5'5", Hollis-Brookline - Flaum is a very good player, but she has definitely flown under the radar. So it was nice to see her at an event like this where she can get seen by so many college coaches. She definitely has the quickness and skills to play somewhere next year. Flaum can play the 1 or the 2. She has the size, speed and handle to play the point, but at the time she is a lights out shooter and a natural scorer who can run off screens to be freed up for shots so she can also play the 2.

Class of 2014

Haley Driscoll, 5'10", Bedford HS - Toughness is the best way to describe what I saw from Driscoll at this event. I haven't seen a kid take a beating like that in awhile. She was getting elbowed in the face, shoved to the ground and getting hit by moving picks. Through all of it she kept her cool and just kept on playing. Not only that, but Driscoll was a beast inside and on the boards and went up strong with shots inside.

Kelsey Brown, 5'11", Tilton School - Not many wing players in the area have the length and shooting ability that Brown has, and because of that she has tremendous upside, and reclassifying to 2014 with her transfer to Tilton will also help with her recruitment. Brown knocked down shots in the mid-range area and from the outside, and also moved well without the basketball in order to get open.

Gigi Piercy, 5'7", Bishop Guertin - She is still a work in progress on offense, but out of the 135 players in the gym she was without a doubt one of the top defenders there. She also played as hard as anyone there. She went hard after offensive rebounds and loose balls, diving on the floor and out of bounds. She pressured the basketball on defense, often defending her man the length of the floor. Piercy just plays with a toughness and aggressiveness you like to see. She also made a nifty baseline drive, finishing with a reverse layup in traffic.

Brandi Bonneau, 5'7", Pinkerton - Another skilled guard from the Rivals, Bonneau played good, fundamentally sound basketball on both ends of the floor. She can play the 1 or the 2. Bonneau's best play of the day was when she got an outlet pass, went coast-to-coast, pushed it hard up the floor, blowing past the entire defense on her way to the rim, and went strong with it at the rim before drawing a foul. Bonneau is a good passer and defender, she hustled all over the court, rebounded the basketball and showed a good handle vs. pressure 'D'.

Emily Hickey, 5'9", Salem HS - Athletic wing player who excels in an up tempo style of play and when slashing to the basket from the wing. In transition she did a nice job of keeping her head up and advancing the basketball with the pass, and she also finished on the break by getting out ahead of the defense and finishing. She's quick off the dribble, is in good shape and when driving to the rim she could finish or also dish it off to an open teammate for a better look.

Class of 2015

Hannah Neild, 5'8", Campbell HS - most of the players at this event were juniors and seniors, but it was a sophomore who had the most impressive offensive flurry of the day. That player was Hannah Neild, who was simply on fire during one of the scrimmages. Neild (who can play the 1 but is best suited for the 2) hit four outside shots in less than 2 minutes. She was hitting jumpers from beyond the arc and just inside the line, hitting off the catch or the dribble. Later on Neild came down on the break, getting by the defender with a nifty euro-step move and finishing inside.

Courtney Henrich, 5'5", Phillips Exeter - Effort, desire and instincts are things you simply can't teach. These are Henrich's best assets. She flat out plays her tail off, it's fun to watch. This was evident on one play in particular where a teammate missed an outside shot, there were a pair of opposing players who had inside position (both were also much bigger than Henrich). Henrich came out of nowhere, sprinted into the paint, cutting right in front of both of the opposing players going for the rebound and dove onto the floor head first towards to grab the loose ball, and all in one motion she tipped the ball over to a teammate. One of the best hustle plays 've seen in a long time. Henrich is a pure point guard who knows how to run an offense, direct traffic and can also hit shots.

Jenna Conroy, 5'3", Londonderry HS - Conroy is also a pure point guard. She is a lefty, and you have to be aware of that when defending her, because if you don't force her right she is going to burn you every time driving left. She did this on one play on Sunday, blowing past her defender with a nifty hesitation dribble drive move and finishing in traffic. Conroy has a good feel for the game, can create offense off the dribble but also didn't force anything.

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