Reynoldsburg, OH: Lady Baller Insider is excited about this spring and summer after the turmoil and inconsistency of the 2020 travel season. The Columbus Classic in Reynoldsburg, OH, was home this weekend to some top prospects and teams gearing up for the summer. Many were shaking off a little rust, while others seemed to be in mid-season form.
Here are a few thoughts from the weekend.
- The game of the weekend belonged to Ohio United Jeter 17U (55) vs. New York Hoopers Gold Melious (57). Ohio United was short-handed as Ayanna Patterson, and a few others did not play, but all players available gave great effort. United struggled early to contain Georgia Tech commit Nicole Melious off the pick and roll. Georgetown commit Morgan Lee was instrumental in controlling the paint as it seemed she grabbed or got a hand on every rebound. Ohio United’s Jordan Wright made critical plays down the stretch, including making a long triple to cut the lead to 2 before time ran out on the comeback attempt. Expect Ohio United to be very tough if/when all their pieces return. I’ll be looking forward to keeping an eye on NY Hoopers 2024 Simone Pelish. She is skilled and has some depth to her game.
- The Ohio Future 2022 - Shumate team will be a tough out in any tournament they play this year. These girls are tough and are already showing a sense of cohesiveness out on the court. 2022 PG Gwen Stare is the engine as she was the catalyst for the Future in their 14-point loss to an excellent Sports City U (SCU) team. Stare is a big-time competitor as she handled the vaunted SCU pressure just about as good as you could ask a player to do. In the same game, 2022, Faith Stinson was impressive as she scored 20 points which included four triples. Stinson stretched the floor with her shooting prowess and also showed great pace in the post. Coaches should watch out for 2022 Maddie Vejsicky, a wing with some serious skill and basketball IQ.
- Lastly, I came away very impressed with Sports City U-17U. These girls work hard and bring consistent defensive pressure for 32 minutes, and the game-changer is that they are deep, deep. Many in the crowd were already throwing around the sentiment that this team “has to be the best team in the country.” While it’s a bit premature to ride that wave in April, SCU does deserve our attention on a national level. I can say this, the vaunted, in-your-face style of defense Bryce McKey teams are known for isn’t quite there yet, but this team is one of the most versatile SCU teams I’ve seen offensively in the last 4-5 years. The combination of the two could be extra scary. Much more on Sport City U next week as they will be in the Hoosier State at LBI April Showers.