Ypsilanti, MI: LBI April Showers was host to some of the Midwest great programs, teams, and players. Many coaches were using this early spring tournament to find and build chemistry while others just wanted their teams to be challenged. Some players were looking to prove they belong in the upper echelon of the elite players, while others were simply looking to get better. Directors were no doubt keeping a close eye on their program and measuring up against the competition. In all, there is no doubt after this weekend that The MItten and other top teams in the midwest are packing some heat and ready to go to war with the competition.
April Showers Team Highlight
MBA 2022 Brown 15U - LBI April Showers 15U Diamond Division Champs
MBA 2022 Brown impressed this weekend. Signature smart and attacking guard play has been a chief commodity of this MBA team over the last few years. I’ve always felt this particular MBA team was a few athletic bigs who can run and block shots away from taking the next step. Enter 6’2” Diamond Sawyer. Sawyer runs the floor very well and provides the inside presence on defense that helped MBA to secure the LBI April Showers 15U Diamond Championship. MBA boasts a trio of guards that stabilize their high-octane attack. Abbey Kimball continues to be the anchor of this team with her high motor, marksmen like shooting ability, and poise under pressure. You’d be hard pressed to find another player in the MBA program that exemplifies what Coach Noelle Brown wants to accomplish with her guards. The heart and sour if the team is PG Alli Carlson. I’m going to date myself a little here, but she is Mighty Mouse! I believe she would run through a brick wall to win a game if she was asked to. Carlson is lightning quick with a hesitation dribble that I’m sure will claim a couple of ankles this year. She’s a hard-nosed player that seems to get the key basket or key deflection on the defensive end. Also, finally, Theryn Hallock, another prototype MBA guard with great skill. Hallock slashes to the rim and plays well through contact. Newcomer Deyonce Thompson offers versatility on both ends of the court. At 5’10”, she was able to be effective playing 1 through 4 on both ends of the court and was instrumental in her team's success. From game one at LBI April Showers, MBA looked the part, and they proved they are ready to take the next step.
MI Crossover 16U Adams - LBI April Showers 17U Platinum Division Champs
Good ingredients make a good cake. Just the right amount of this and a little bit of that and walla…you have something suitable. This past weekend was a good showing for the MI Crossover 16U Adams team led by PG Kailee Davis whose poise and ability to create for herself and others make this team hard to beat. 2022 Young guns, Ruby Whitehorn and Mila Reynolds, bring to the team big time skill sets that complement one another is a very productive way. Whitehorn is phenomenal in the open court and explosive in the half court. At 6’0”, she has a relentlessly attacking style that was virtually impossible for other guards at her position to stop. She handles…she shoots…she scores…PERIOD. Mila Reynolds scored on all three levels, in a variety of ways with head and shoulder shimmies in the post, two dribble pull-up jumpers with a high release and good elevation, or the spot up three from a distance, Reynolds versatility was on display. PG Logan Lewis was impressive as well. She is very fast and can do many things with the ball in her hands. Lewis can pick her spots on both ends of the court. She was able to make key offensive and defensive plays that seemed to come at the opportune time for her team. Lewis handles the ball very well and makes the right decisions. All these things were vital to her team's success. PF Shannon Wheeler is the silent assassin. She’s extremely efficient in the high and mid post. Her length and sneaky athleticism adds another layer to the Michigan Crossover attack. Newcomer, Emily Dixon is an active post player who showed the ability score in the paint. She plays hard and does the dirty work. Dixon is a crucial piece to the puzzle if this team is going to be the best they can be. As you can see, all the ingredients are there for this team to have success on the national scene as they continue gell.
Tri-County Hoopers 15U
At the grassroots level, teams that have high profile players are very attractive. Moreover, the tendency is to follow the programs that have prestige. However, this recap is about a team of girls that have been together for a while and play good sound basketball. This recap is about celebrating development at the grassroots level. The Tri-County Hoopers 15U squad is a strong and talented group of girls. Although they finished the weekend 3-2, they were competitive in every game they stepped on the floor to play. PG Ashley Loon has discarded the signature goggles, but the efficient guard play remains the same. She seems to have improved her handle which she uses to find the balance of creating opportunities for her team or facilitating the Hoopers offense. Ella Burgher has sneaky athleticism and is very strong. She punishes reluctant defenders that try to defend her on the way to the basket. Burgher finishes surprisingly well at the rim considering her size as she is a very physical player and uses that to her advantage very well. Do everything stretch-4, Kendall Zeiter, is getting better and that's scary. She’s comfortable on the perimeter and in the post. She is no doubt the player that makes this team go with her ability to do so many things on both ends of the court.
Budding Bigs - These girls are by no means finished products, but are poised to make an impact in the paint this summer. They are showing that post players are still crucial in this modern game.
2022 6’2” Caprice Augustine 1 Nation 15U UAA McKinney
Great frame, good hands, sets great screens in pick and roll action, has improved immensely since I last saw her last.
2020 6’2” Morgan Thompson Factory Basketball
Infectious energy on the court and the bench, uses her body to create space for baskets and rebounds. (Verbally Committed To Wayne State)
2022 6’2” Diamond Sawyer MBA 2022 Brown - Athletic build, blocks and alters shots, perfect fit for her new team's system, just scratching the surface.
2022 6’2” Alecsis Smith Michigan Storm Elite 2022 UAA
Strong, sturdy, still developing skill wise but has the potential to be impact player defensively and on the boards.
2022 6’2” Madisen Wardell Michigan Crossover 15U
Runs the floor like no one else, next level frame, much-improved perimeter shot, potential to be elite on the defensive end because of versatility and athleticism
2020 6’2” Nicole Hernandez Wisconsin Lakers
Runs floor well, activity level is off the charts, crashes boards
Premium Point-Guard Play - These PG’s get the job done. Some of them need no introduction while others are anchoring their teams and being noticed.
2021 5’8” DeDe Hagemann Michigan Crossover 17U EYBL
I could argue top 3 PG in the country in her class, has all the leadership intangibles as well.
2020 5’4” Deja Tyson Michigan Storm Elite 17U UAA Simpkins
Tough with a capital T, elite change of speeds, outstanding basketball IQ.
2021 5’10” Abrie Cabana Michigan Premier Open Blue
Impressed with her poise in intense situations, jump shot is automatic, great length and size at her position, one of the smartest basketball players I saw this weekend. (Verbally Committed To Grand Valley State)
2023 5’6” Layne Sleight Mystics Black 2023 McAllister
Game continues to grow, relentless attacking basket finds a way to impact game other than scoring through a capable scorer.
2020 5’8” Khamya McNeal WI Playground Elite
Can score from anywhere, scored in spurts, a real enthusiasm for the game, clutch, unflappable against pressure, a shame she only has a hand full of D1 offers.
2022 5’2” Olivia Smith Always 100 Elite
Impossible to stay in front of and strong…a lethal combination, terrific defender, exudes confidence.
2022 5’7” Brooke Daniels Michigan Crossover 15U
Arguably the toughest girls basketball player in Michigan, nose for the ball, nightmare on-ball defender, an elite defender on and off the ball, improved mid-range jump shot.
LBI April Showers All-Tournament Team - Regardless of class and based on the performance of kids I saw play at Belleville, “The Dome”)
PG - Damiya Hagemann (MI Crossover), Deja Tyson (MI Storm), Abrie Cabana (MI Premier), Abbey Kimball (MBA), Kailee Davis (MI Crossover), Khamya McNeal (WI Playground Elite)
SG - Gabby Elliot (MI Storm), Ruby Whitehorn (MI Crossover), Alize Tripp (MI Premier), Shemera Williams (WI Playground Elite)
SF - Emma Stemmer (MI Premier), Mila Reynolds (MI Crossover)
PF - Shannon Wheeler (MI Crossover), Kendall Zeiter (Tri-County Hoopers), Mya Hiram (MI Premier), AJ Ediger (West Michigan Drive)
C - Brynn Shoup-Hill (Always 100), Morgan Thompson (Factory Basketball), Caprice Augustine (1 Nation 15U UAA McKinney)
LBI April Showers All-Defense Team - regardless of class and based on the performance of kids I saw play at Belleville or “The Dome”)
PG - Sanaya Gregory - Michigan Storm Elite UAA 17U
SG - Gabby Elliot - Michigan Storm Elite UAA 17U
PG - Brooke Daniels - MI Crossover
PG- Olivia Smith - Always 100
SG - Amiyah Reynolds - MI Crossover
PG - Cadence Dykstra - Grand Rapids Storm
Need a Shooter
- 2023 5’10” Maddie Petroelje (MBA) - Elite on catch & shoot, quick release, good size, has range, freezes defenders as she is also threat to drive as well…has all the attributes of a high-level shooter.
- (Almost anyone from) West Michigan Drive Copeland 2022 - Seriously, this group of girls can shoot it. Any college coaches that are looking for a shooter will want to keep a close eye on this team.
LBI Quick Hitters
- @JHillsman and @R_SimoneP did a great job on the broadcast. I would encourage you to watch the LBI April Showers games on www.theSUVTV.com.
- Michigan Storm Elite UAA 17U (Taylor) is scary good.
- 2020 Gabby Elliot (MSE UAA Taylor) made a strong case to be the early favorite for Michigan Ms. Basketball next year.
- URGENT: Guard Shemera Williams (WI Playground Elite) has de-committed from Marquette University and should be on the radar of P5 schools. She was spectacular this weekend.
- There is more parity than ever between clubs with shoe deals and the next tier of clubs. Hard to tell some of them apart talent wise.