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LBI Event Recap: Battle of the Best Day 1 (Ames, IA)

By Marcy Reynolds @LBIMarcy, 07/23/19, 11:30PM EDT


Ames, IA: The travel basketball season has almost come to an end, and the athletes get one last hurrah of hardwood and whistles before the summer ends and Ames, Iowa was host to some of the nations most exceptional talent, here are some players that took a back seat to no one in The Battle of the Best.

Battle Of The Best Day 1 Top Performers

2023 Aliyah Humphrey 5’4” PG Team Factory Select 2023
This little package came with a nice punch. Aliyah Humphrey had such a quiet-but solid all-around game. Very much your classic two-way player. She handled the full-court pressure with ease, darting and diving around defenders. Humphrey facilitated very
good as well, driving and drawing help defenders for easy kick-outs. She also managed to get herself around players and hit her polished floater a few times as well. Humphrey excelled in the defensive end, however, containing anyone with the ball exceptionally well; as well as reading the ball nicely when in help. Her tenacity when bothering and pressuring the ball handlers disrupted the flow of things for her opponents today.

2021 Aanaya Harris 6’0” SG Team Factory Select 2020
On paper, no doubt Harris’s Team Factory Select group, looked outmatched today, but when tip-off whistles blew, the high-level players came out to work. Aanaya Harris was one of those players for sure. Her ability to attack from the high post area was deadly when she used her skill to create for herself as well as her teammates. Harris managed to get out in transition well and finish several tough looks at the rim, including a couple and ones. Harris showed off her nice passing skills with some deceptive no-look interior dishes for easy buckets as well. Aanaya was super effective when she was able to gain momentum towards the rim and get to her spin move that seemed virtually impossible to stop.

2022 Niamya Holloway 6’0” PF DTA Academy 2022 Blue 9th
Basketball is a sport that’s played on both ends of the court, Niamya Holloway made a significant impact for the team playing just that way on both ends. She used her length and athleticism on the offensive end to catch out of position passes and finish over the top with relative ease. Her high post catches usually meant one thing-a hard drive ending with two points. She was a nightmare to try and keep off the boards as well, crashing at every opportunity she was given. Her most impressive quality was her ability to block and alter countless shots at the rim. Whether she was underestimated, or she got the best of shooters, Holloway sent many shots flying in other directions.

2023 Amiyah Reynolds 6’0” PG Michigan Crossover 15U
Sometimes the style of a team or the tempo of a specific game will often dictate the storyline or even the outcome of a game. Crossover vs. DTA Academy was a game of intense physical play with uptempo, full court-in your face pressure from start to finish. If you’ve ever seen Amiyah play you know that doesn’t phase her at all. DTA kept the heat on her all night long, and Amiyah responded with an attack the attacker mentality. She broke traps, split doubles, beat lengthier defenders with massive speed bursts and used her size to get by smaller ones as well. Amiyah was able to get to the rim so many times that she could’ve almost built a little house and called it home. When the players decided to sag a bit to help with the repetitive dribble penetration, Reynolds popped a couple of threes to keep them honest.

2022 Meredith Rieker 5’10” SG All Iowa Attack 9th Nike Black
I’m pretty sure that there’s something in the water here in Iowa. If you are a female basketball player, and it says All Iowa Attack on the front of your jersey then you know how to shoot the ball! Meredith Rieker is no exception. She managed to drop in three quick triples before the other team knew what hit them. She did it off screens, from drive and kicks and even in transition. Everyone knows what happens after a player knocks down several long bombs—hard, long closeouts. Rieker did a fantastic job of reading the defense well and adjusting accordingly. She swept threw hard and took her man to the bucket without hesitation until more opens looks came her way.


Battle Of The Best Top Team Day 1

Martin Brothers 2021
The Martin Brothers 2021 squad came out with an amazing amount of energy for today’s game. From top to bottom, these girls are in tip-top shape. Point guard Sasha Koenig pushes the tempo at an unbelievable rate. She was lightning quick with the ball in her hands, putting tremendous pressure on the defense to sprint back. The balance and pieces this team has are exceptional. With Koenig it is nearly impossible to stay in front of because of her speed, sharpshooters like 6’1” Ella Van Weelden and 2021 Zoey Long in the corners, an inside presence from Abbie Draper, doing some much needed dirty work in the paint with put backs and hard rolls and last but not least, they have high-level slashers and scoring guards in 2021 Anaya Barney and stud guard Audrey Koch who was outstanding all day long with transition buckets and hard drives to the rim that usually ended with her at the charity stripe. Although these girls fell a bit short today, they are one of the hardest bunch of players I’ve seen in a while.