USJN Premier Invitational Day III (Westfield, IN)
2023 Amari Whiting 5’6” PG Nwba Adidas Gauntlet 16U All Stars
Amari was able to control the pace of the game with her calming presence against the full court pressure put on them, but also push the tempo in transition as well when given the opportunity. She got her team into their offense well, fed the post players when they got deep position and hit open cutters to the basket with ease. This floor leader also showed off her range from three when her team struggled to get going. Whiting managed to find the energy to pick up full court on the primary ball handler just about every possession possible.
2022 Madison Wardell 6’2” SF Michigan Crossover 14U Nike
From the start of the game, Madison was the immediate underdog as her opponent at the tip stood a massive 6’6”. It obviously didn’t seem to phase her much, nor was she intimidated. She went right at her throughout the game. Wardell showed off great versatility and superior athleticism at times, flying by bigger defenders and muscling her way through smaller ones. Wardell kept her energy at such a high level that she was very difficult to keep off the boards and off the free throw line as well.
2020 Hannah Labonte 5’9” SG PA Erie Irish 17U Chuzie Gold
Wow, what a way to say “hello” to your opponents; by opening the game with back to back smooth looking threes. She took a possession or two off and then hit another one-all net! When Labonte was burning the nets down with her long ball, she was driving to get easy finishes or setting up great cuts for buckets. Her conditioning looked top notch as she ran the socks off anyone who had the misfortune of guarding her. Her movement without the ball was great and her ability to get her feet set before the ball found her made all the difference.
2020 Bayleigh Runner 5’8” PG Indiana Flight 17U Duke
Runner is your classic floor general point guard. She breaks full-court pressure every possession, gets open for sideline out of bounds plays, and pushes the tempo in transition when the opportunity presents itself. She was feisty and scrappy throughout the whole game. Bayleigh was absolutely unafraid to take, and make, the deep three-ball for her team as well. Pressuring this quick guard was out of the question since she drove so hard to the basket and finished several tough shots especially down the stretch.
2023 Zehra King 5’7” W Renaissance
King’s team came into their matchup against Michigan Crossover’s undefeated squad as the only other undefeated team in their division. Having said that, the intensity was high. The stakes were high. Both of these teams have loads of talent that flood their bench, and Zehra from New York’s Renaissance, was one of them. She showed off her elite athleticism when exploding to the basket off the drive. King had several flashy buckets she finished at the rim after racing past her defender. To say she was a handful to try to contain in transition would be a vast understatement. She was definitely a pleasure to watch.
2022 Gabriella Lutchka 5’11” SF MI Premier 15U Blue
Gabriella was involved in just about every play possible for her team! She seems to have a nose for the ball, whether it was snagging all the boards, pushing in transition or finishing tough buckets-Lutchka was there. When Gabriella found herself in the high post area, she was a standout there too because she sees the entire floor so well. Lutchka threw in deep threes in transition as well just for the fun of it I think. Her energy level stays at such a high place that as the game goes on she seems to elevate her play.
2023 Amiyah Reynolds 6’0” CG Michigan Crossover
On the heels of Amiyah’s Crossover team coming off a close and tough loss against a stacked Renaissance team the day before, they came out very sluggish. With the game seemingly out of reach for Michigan, Reynolds’ quickness at the point was way too much for just about any of the perimeter players thrown at her today. She repeatedly flew past her man and inevitably drawing a foul from the help or tallying two more for the books. As the help came sooner and sooner, Amiyah was able to thread the needle and hit her bigs on the opposite block waiting for an easy two. She continued to take advantage of the mismatches thrown her way throughout the game.