Atlanta, GA: It all comes down to this! Who would be ready to unleash chaos at the GUAA Finals? Who would seize the last day of the evaluation period and make a mark? Who would come home with the trophy and be able to say, “we are the champions?” I got a chance to watch the 15U and 17U finals and here are a few performances that stood out.
All Alabama RoadRunners 35 vs. FBC The Family 51
2022 Madilyn Krieger 5’6” CG - All Alabama RoadRunners
In All Alabama’s dribble-drive offense, Madilyn Krieger is the engine that makes it go. She has a phenomenal motor. She understands what she wants to accomplish, and she gets it down. FBC features an in your face style of play on the defensive end, so everything Krieger got, she earned. Krieger netted three triples on the afternoon and attacked the basket and kicked to create opportunities for her teammates. Krieger is a competitor as she made a living and garnered a few rug burns on the court going for loose balls. Quite merely, Madilyn is a winner, and she gave 100% at all times even though the RoadRunners came up short. She would go on to finish the game with a team-high 11 points.
2022 Molly Heard 5’11” SG - All Alabama RoadRunners
I’m sure Molly would tell you she didn’t have the game that she envisioned having as he struggled a bit to get going. But ladies and gentleman, Molly Heard is one to watch. She has great size at the shooting guard position, and she used that size to get to the bucket at will. Again, Molly didn’t finish like she wanted to, but the skill and feel for the game are there. She has a great looking shot and handles the ball at a high level. Molly Heard will have better days. She’s too talented not to.
2023 Essence Cody 6’4” C - FBC The Family
I’m just going to say it. Essence Cody is the best prospect in her class. She’s flat out dominant in the paint. I mean a PROBLEM!!! All Alabama had no answers for her. At times, she has girls jumping on her back in hopes of stopping her. She handles all the excessive contact with grace. She also handles it by continuing to be dominant in the paint and even by stepping out and effortlessly netting a deep three from the baseline. She has savvy and smoothness to her game beyond her years. With all her talent and skill and her ability to effectively pick and roll or pop...at 6’4”, Cody has to be at the top of every high major coaches list. Well, at least she’s at the top of mine.
2024 Ava Watson 5’6” SG - MVP - FBC The Family
Ava Watson garnered MVP honors in the 15U GUAA championship game. She impacted the game in so many ways. She scored in transition and the half-court setting. She had great energy on defense, which led to her team having extra opportunities to score. Watson has a smooth as butter stroke from beyond the arc where she can get her feet set quickly. And once it’s off her fingertips, you know she has a knack for shooting the ball. Watson finished the game with 9 points and made her mark when it most counted.
GUAA 17U Championship
FBC United Hunt vs. Example Sports Wolfpack
2020 Kamilla Cordosa 6’7” C - MVP - FBC United Hunt
Kamilla Cordosa has everything going to be ok demeanor about her. And at 6’7”, the GUAA Finals MVP makes everything ok by altering and blocking shots and limiting the opponents to just one shot by grabbing rebounds no one else can get. She is very mobile for her size. She has excellent hands and wingspan as she catches everything thrown her way and can finish at a high level. Cordosa also facilitated from the elbow and got the ball to were it needed to go to set up opportunities for her team to score. Cordosa finished with 7 points, but her impact on the outcome of the championship game was priceless.
2020 Treasure Hunt 6’2” SG - FBC United Hunt
When you have an opportunity like the one that presented itself in the GUAA Finals championship game, you have to have players that take the bull by the horns. Treasure Hunt not only took the bull by the horns, but she hunted her down and drove a stake through her heart. Hunt erupted for ten first-quarter points that included two bombs from deep beyond the arc. FBC opened the game on a 21-3 run, and Hunt was the catalyst. She ended up with a game-high 15 points and led her team to the 1st GUAA Finals Championship.
2021 Raven Johnson 5’9” PG - FBC United Hunt
Steady Eddy. That’s Raven Johnson. She’s been so consistent over the last three days it’s scary. The GUAA Finals championship game was no different. Johnson was disruptive on defense, especially at the top of FBCs 1-3-1. She was getting steals and deflections that led to easy baskets and made the Wolfpack PGs think twice about making passes. Her athleticism and explosiveness postponed her to get in passing lanes and ignite the break which usually resulted in others scoring. But that’s what the great ones do, they make their team better, and no one did that at a height level than Raven Johnson.
2021 Annaliese Griffin 6’1” PF - Example Sports Wolfpack
In the 17U GUAA final, Annaliese Griffin became the poster child for a program that had shown so much grit and resiliency over the last few days. Griffin and the Wolfpack battled vs. a very very good FBC team that could be the best travel team in the country this year. She earned every one of her 9 points and scratched and clawed for every rebound she gathered. Griffin showed she could bang with some of the best bigs in the country and was able to stretch the floor and knock down a baseline 3. I’m sure coaches took note of her ability to be effective in the paint and on the perimeter.