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
FT RECOVERY, OH – The 2016 season kicked off Thursday night for the ladies of Fort Recovery as they defeated the visiting Knights from Crestview 57-37 at Fort Site Fieldhouse.
Fort Recovery jumped out to an early lead with St. Francis commit Whitney Will tossing in a basket and a pair of free throws and continued their hot shooting as Jocelyn Kaiser and Grace Thien connected on a pair of field goals each. Crestview Junior Paige Motycka was the lone scorer for her team in the opening period and was held to just one make from the field to go along with her 6/6 performance from the line.
Starting the second quarter trailing 21-8 the Knights did themselves no favors offensively as they were harassed into four turnovers by the Indians defense. Late in the half Crestview guard Lexi Gregory connected from the right wing on a three point goal to cut the lead down but was unable to help keep the score low on the home side as Will put up nine of her 13 first half markers and helped her team run to a 34-15 halftime break lead.
Just as she had done in the first quarter, Motycka scored all of her teams points in the third stanza as she connected on a three pointer, two from inside and a pair from the line for a total of 11 in the period. Despite getting to the line twice in the third, Motycka would see her streak of 14 consecutive made free throws come to and end as she missed on one moments before the quarter buzzer.
Grace Thien’s five points in the third quarter led the Indians but a three pointer from Kiah Wendel midway through the quarter helped put a stop to a trio of trips down the floor with a turnover by her team and push their lead to 46-24 at the buzzer.
Alyssa Gent popped in the third Crestview make from beyond the arc in the game early on in the fourth but the Knights again were unable to capitalize on their good fortune as two players in Lyvia Black and Gregory combined to shoot 3/4 from the charity stripe. Motycka finished off her performance of a game high 28 points with seven points but it wasn’t enough as the Knights dropped their second game in a row, 57-37.
Aided by seven points of her own in the final quarter before fouling out, Will finished with a team high 20 markers and 13 rebounds for Fort Recovery on 7/9 shooting from the floor and 2/4 from the free throw line.
Crestview (0-2) will find themselves off until Thursday, December 8th when they begin Northwest Conference play by traveling to Bluffton to take on the Pirates. Fort Recovery (1-0) will have just one day off before they welcome the Wapak Redskins to town for a Saturday afternoon non-conference battle.
CANTON, OH – With a plethora of college scouts in attendance, young basketball players from all around came to showcase their skills on Sunday at the NEO Showcase event put on by Rich Harland and HOFHuddle.com.
A full recap of how the young ladies performed in the individual events as well as the full list of who participated can be found at this link: NEO Showcase performances
Photos from the event that took place at the historic Canton Memorial Fieldhouse: NEO Showcase Photos
A look at the event itself with organizer Rich Harland:
COLUMBUS, OH – Ottawa Glandorf climbed within four points of Kettering Alter in the waning moments of the third quarter Saturday afternoon but were unable to complete the comeback after losing one of their leaders in Kadie Hempfling to injury and falling to the Knights 74-48 in the Division 2 State Championship game.
As she has done all season long the WBL Player of the Year dove to the floor to procure a loose ball for the Titans, but Hempfling landed awkwardly on her right hand and suffered what was later revealed to be a dislocated finger that would keep her out of the remaining ten minutes of the contest.
With the Sophomore relegated to the bench and cheering on her team as she had been forced to do in the middle of the season for five games, Ottawa Glandorf was outscored 34-12 the rest of the game by Alter.
Braxtin Miller, a Junior who is being heavily recruited by most major Division 1 colleges poured in 33 points in the game and helped her team score a State Championship game record 26 points in the final stanza to secure their second straight championship.
Freshman guard Erin Kaufman led the Titans in points for the game as she finished with 12 markers. Over a span of two minutes in the the game the youngest Titan starter accounted for ten of her scores on the afternoon and helped to push her teams momentum into an Alter timeout that had the huge OG following on their feet.
Playing in her 108th game, Senior Dani Ellerbrock who will play her college basketball at Mount Vernon Nazarene University next season handed out five assists and helped OG run the fast break to perfection at times but fouled out early in the fourth quarter to end her prep career. In her four years at Ottawa Glandorf Ellerbrock started every game of her career amassed a 90-18 record.
Kara Stephenson and Duquesne bound Libby Bazelak each scored 10 points for Alter (28-2) while Northern Kentucky bound Haley Combs added 9 for the Knights who shot 22/38 from the field, 9/15 from beyond the arc and 21/28 from the free throw line in the win.
Ottawa Glandorf’s season ends with a 26-3 record for the second straight season and ties the highest amount of wins in a single campaign in school history.
Kara Stephenson 10
Olivia Gillis 1
Libby Bazelak 10
Braxtin Miller 33
Hayley Combs 9
Lauren Lush 3
Ty Markoff 5
Allie Godfrey 1
Riley Priest 2
Dani Ellerbrock 6
Erin Kaufman 12
Kylie White 11
Lexi Schroeder 6
Kadie Hempfling 10
Devon Warnecke 3
ELIDA, OH – Ottawa Glandorf got up early on their opponent in the first quarter for the second game in a row and forced a myriad of turnovers en route to a 59-32 win over Elida Thursday night. With the win the Titans clinched their 5th outright Western Buckeye League championship in school history and first since 2006.
OG jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes behind a trio of buckets from Kadie Hempfling and forced Elida into a timeout midway through the first period. Elida’s first basket of the contest came with :52 remaining in the opening quarter from Cienna Kuhn that put a stop to a 12-0 Titan run. Shyah Wheeler, the Bulldogs leading scorer on the season at 12.2 points per game connected on a runner at the horn that sent the game to a stoppage at 14-4 with the visitors in the lead.
Senior point guard Dani Ellerbrock scored six of her eight points in the game in the first half, including 4-4 from the free throw line as she helped push the Titan lead to 23-8. With 3:07 remaining in the second quarter the Bulldogs got themselves in double figures as Junior Lauren Alexander notched her only points of the game on a three pointer from the wing.
Kylie White, Kadie Hempfling, and Lexi Schroeder, the three top scorers in the game for OG accounted for 25 of their teams 31 points in the opening pair of quarters and 44 of the 59 overall.
The Titans outscored Elida 28-18 in the second half en route to the win led by seven different players etching their names in the scoring.
Ottawa Glandorf was led in scoring for the 9th time this season by Hempfling who finished with 20 points to go with 7 rebounds and 5 steals. White finished with another double double as she accounted for 15 markers, 12 rebounds and 5 thefts of her own.
With the win the Titans finish the regular season at 20-2 for the second consecutive regular season. The #1 seed in the Division 2 Paulding District, the Titans will open their tournament run on February 20th at 6:15pm in Leipsic against either Bryan or the same Elida Bulldogs in a game that will be broadcast live on WZOQ Radio.
Elida finishes their regular season at 5-17, and were led in scoring by Bailee Kuhn who accounted for 11 points.
Dani Ellerbrock 8
Mackenzie Meyer 2
Nina Brown 2
Kylie White 15
Lexi Schroeder 9
Kadie Hempfling 20
Courtney Bockrath 3
3PT: 2 (Schroeder 2)
Lauren Alexander 3
Cienna Kuhn 6
Shyah Wheeler 9
Mallory Etzler 1
Bailee Kuhn 11
Abby Smith 2
3PT: 2 (Alexander, Wheeler)
JV: OG 41-33 (Titans finish 9-13 in JV action this season)
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: