CANTON, OH – On Sunday, September 10th some of the best female ballers in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia descended upon the history Canton Memorial Fieldhouse to be a part of the annual NEO Showcase which is presented by Hall of Fame Huddle founder Rich Harland.
Designed to help girls basketball players in the 2018 through the 2021 classes showcase their talents to a bevy of college scouts in attendance the Showcase not only pitted the players against one another in a series of games, but also gave them an opportunity to get valuable coaching and skills help from the likes of Tyler Bates (Former Smithville All-Ohioan, Loudonville Head Coach) and (David ‘Cousy’ Border (Current Hiland Hawk assistant, multiple time state champion).
For their team games each of the color specific named teams were given a coach who has excelled on the court and is currently or on her way to college to continue playing such as Jackson star and future Maryland Terrapin Taylor Mikesell to gain a bit of guidance as they progress their game on the day.
When asked to sum up the event, Harland replied “It just brings so much joy to my heart to see all of these kids enjoying themselves while getting better and playing in front of so many coaches. It’s the biggest day of the year for me and it makes me feel so great to have so much support from the players, coaches, families and everyone involved. It’s truly so gratifying.”
For more information on the Showcase and future events be sure to check out the website at HOF Huddle or follow Rich on twitter @HOFHuddle_Rich
BERLIN, OH – For the second time in three games the Ottawa Glandorf Lady Titans shut out their opponent on the first quarter scoreboard and found themselves rolling to a dominating defensive effort and victory.
In their first ever visit to the annual girls basketball showcase known as Classic In The Country the Titans moved their season record to 14-0 with a 60-26 victory over Massillon Tuslaw (10-3).
Layups and fast break points were the way for OG in the first period as they jumped out to a 16-0 lead. Kadie Hempfling led the Lady Titan scorers with seven points and was joined closely by Lexi Schroeder who gave the visitors their first marker of the game with a corner three pointer minutes into the game.
Tuslaw finally was able to dent the scoreboard on the home side and stop a 22-0 OG run in the second quarter when 5’2 Senior Ashley Kohler’s jumper fell through the net with 5:42 to go in the second quarter. Katie McMerrell hit the only other shot from the field for the Mustangs and 6’1 Walsh bound Mayci Sales two free throws served as all six points for Josh Hose’s gang in the first half.
OG found themselves with five players reaching the scorebook in the second stanza led by Erin Kaufman who tossed in four of her six quarter markers via fast break layups. Kylie White connected on a three pointer as well for the Lady Titans as they amassed a 32-6 advantage at the halftime break.
Hempfling, a Junior coming off a 9 assist/18 rebound performance in her teams previous game against Lima Senior connected on three shots and a free throw for seven points in the penultimate period and set up a fast break opportunity that Kylie White used for her ninth point of the game and to help put the Titans ahead 47-15 after 3.
A three pointer from Kohler and eight points from the duo of Mayci and Majestic Sales provided the highest scoring period for Tuslaw to end the game but the Mustangs who were missing Freshman guard Taylor Leedy to injury finished the contest 7/34 from the field.
Erin Kaufman who came into the Monday morning affair scoring 10.2 points a game for her team hit a pair of three pointers and finished the final quarter with 14 in her scoring column while the Titans got five in the stanza from Hempfling who finished with a season high 20 in the 60-26 victory.
Ottawa Glandorf will travel to Lima on Thursday night where they will put their 4-0 Western Buckeye League mark on the line against the Shawnee Indians at 7:30pm.
Ashley Schroeder 4
Carri Johnson 2
Paige Sutter 2
Erin Kaufman 14
Lexi Schroeder 7
Kylie White 11
Kadie Hempfling 20
3PT: 5/15 (Kaufman 2, White, Hempfling, L. Schroeder)
REB: 25 (White 8)
The 2015 Hall of Fame Huddle NEO Showcase took place this past weekend at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. Event organizer Rich Harland (@HOFHuddle_Rich) welcomed over 100 basketball players ranging from 8th grade to 12th grade from all over the state of Ohio to participate and be seen by college coaches.
With over 20 colleges and universities represented, the second annual event was easily deemed a success. In addition to playing games with new teammates and having to acclimate themselves to a new style of play, the young ladies were also put through a battery of drills and tests for the coaches in attendance to get a look at them and determine if they should be given the opportunity to compete for their respective teams in the future.
Some of the players that stood out to me during the day long event are listed below (note: I did not get a chance to see everyone nearly as much as I would have liked to with over 100 players and 3 games taking place at one time):
Taylor Mikesell (Sophomore, Jackson) – This young lady is not only a fantastic dribbler, but her decision making, court awareness and basketball IQ will put her easily near the top of her recruiting class for most D1 colleges and their wish lists very soon.
Caitlin Tytler (Senior, Jackson) – For the second Showcase in a row the sparkplug from Jackson impressed the coaches and scouts in attendance by doing all of the little things well. A hard nosed defender with a high motor, Tytler is also a very aggressive rebounder and played well for the Lilac team alongside high school teammate Mikesell. Talking with some college coaches during the event, they really liked what they say in Caitlin.
Naudier Becton (Sophomore, Jackson) – If Jackson does not have a banner year with the trio of Mikesell, Tytler and Becton I will be shocked. A lightning quick guard and unselfish passer, Becton makes good decisions on the court to always put her team in prime position to score at will.
Savannah Maynard (Sophomore, Green) – A nice rebounder with a solid nose for the ball, she will be a defensive presence for years to come as she doesn’t graduate until 2018.
Ahmarianna West (Freshman, Toledo Notre Dame) – One of the quickest first steps I have seen out of a young lady in quite some time, Ahmarianna can flat out fly with the basketball in her hands.
Brandie Snow (Senior, Lake) – A standout last season in both the combine and her high school year as a Junior at Lake, Snow has the capability to play a lot of places on the floor and play them well. High basketball IQ and good leadership along with a toughness to do the dirty work make her one of my favorite players to watch play on the court. While she might be a late signer, wherever she ends up will be getting a quality player.
Mikayla Poole (Sophomore, Carrollton) – Not only can she fly with the ball in her hands up and down the floor, but she is also a solid finisher at the rim who is not afraid to take contact and get to the line.
Jenna Strayer (Junior, Bellevue) – One of the best players all day that I saw play in terms of getting herself to the free throw line. During her teams games every time I looked up during the day she was at the free throw line. Gritty player with a toughness about her.
Lexee Miller (Junior, New Philadelphia) – Probably one of the most solid across the board players I watched play all day long, there is not a lot that she did not do well.
Kennedy Schlabach (Sophomore, Hiland) – One of six Hiland Hawks that made their way to the combine this season, it shouldn’t shock you to know she has a great understanding and awareness while on the court as her father, the legendary coach legendary Dave Schlabach. Being a coaches kid I would imagine has its pitfalls, but also its advantages and she has clearly taken his advice to heart as she is a quick and scrappy player.
Jayla Hall (Junior, Amherst) – If you need a forward to do your dirty work and keep the opposing team off of the glass, Jayla is that player. A good defender with room to grow, Jayla pulled down a ton of rebounds for her Cardinal squad while I was watching them and then quickly threw up the floor to start the offensive attack.
Natalie Wilson (Sophomore, Perry) – A smart passer that always has her head up and is looking up court to find an open teammate.
Taylor Geib (Senior, Ravenna) – A young lady with nice length on the front line and who gets a lot of rebounds.
Peyton Banks (Sophomore, Wadsworth) – Tough with a nice drop step, this young lady runs the floor very well and can hit the open jumper with range.
One of the teams that stood out the most for me as a whole was the Red squad coached by Lipscomb University guard Lexi Manos. Manos’ team featured a handful of young ladies that impressed in their abilities individually and in their effort to gel quickly as a team:
Ang Troyer (Junior, Hiland) – Another one of the Hiland players who had a terrific afternoon in North Canton. A solid all-around player who doesn’t seem to overly excel in any one thing on the floor, but does everything well will no doubt help lead the Hawks to another long run in March in the tournament.
Morgan McMillen (Sophomore, Hiland) – A Sophomore point guard transfer, she possesses a high basketball IQ and court awareness that could pretty much describe any of the point guards for Hiland, but none moreso than of McMillen. A nice passer and a solid leader, she raised more than a few eyebrows with the college coaches in attendance and likely will for years to come.
Emma Rankin (Junior, West Branch) – A nice shooter with touch on the wings, there didn’t seem to be very many places Rankin couldn’t knock down a shot from on the afternoon.
Kaylee Pierce (Sophomore, Massillon) – Yet another fantastic Sophomore, Pierce has a quick first step and can terrorize opponents as they attempt to guard her off the dribble. A smart defender as well, she rarely will put herself in a bad position where she will need to call for help.
There were MANY MANY more great ballers that I wish I could have gotten to see more, but trust me there are a ton you will soon be hearing about allover the state of Ohio once the season begins. Please feel free to take a to take a listen to myself and Rich Harland (HOF Huddle Website) discuss the event in the video below: