695HOOPS WHERE IT'S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS
Over 100 girls teams gathered at the Philly Face Off Tournament hosted by the Philly Freedom Stars on Mother's Day weekend. Nobody seemed to mind the fact that we were actually in a South Jersey suburb called Marlton. Program director Ryan Garner is one of the nicer guys you will meet on the girls circuit so it is easy to see how he was able to attract so many quality teams. If you want to host a successful event it is not a bad idea to get connected in the DMV area. Several programs from the area brought multiple teams, including the PSPA Rams with ten.
The event was a Saturday and Sunday event with teams as young as 4th grade. When I arrived at 9am Saturday morning Brett Mccormick from All Star Girls Report, and Joe Fenelon from NY Girls Report, were already at work. Not to be outdone, I stayed until 10pm to watch as much of the action as I could. Overall this was a very good event. The game schedule was running 90 minutes behind by the end of the night on Saturday, but other than that there were no major issues. I got the impression that everyone was happy with the competition level and matchups for the most part.
Cherokee High School is a great place to evaluate talent. They have 3 full sized gyms so the set up was perfect. There was some stellar guard play throughout the day, but they were not the only players that shined. Here is my look back in no particular order at a good weekend of basketball.
Carrie Gross, 5'9" 2017 guard, Havoc City.
Carrie was the difference in the game I watched. Her team was much better when she was on the court. She has a smooth lefty jumper and if you leave her alone you will pay. She sparked her team with aggressive moves to the rim, either finishing or getting to the line.
Lindsey Pulliam, 5'9 guard, 2017, Team Takeover.
Lindsey is a big time player with a deadly jumper. She is starting to make nice finishes at the rim now as well.
Raven Farley-Clark, 6'2" center, 2017, New Jersey Sparks.
Raven is a big time rebounder and shot blocker. You can see she has legit size and has enough offensive skill to help some college programs right now. Hoping to see her high school team in one of the DMV winter events.
Dyona Davis, guard, 2018, NY Lady Gauchos.
Dyona was fun to watch. She is super competitive and she has a sick handle. She is a tough slasher and can create for her teammates. Defensively she has mastered the reach around steal where she pokes the ball away from unsuspecting dribblers. Exceptional athlete with a lot of potential.
Tian Addison (2019) and Delicia Pinnick (2020) of Ballers Nation. This was one of the toughest backcourts in the middle school part of the event. Addison showed she can run a team and played tough defense throughout. Pinnick scored efficiently by making mid range pull ups and slashing moves to the basket. They impressed me in their win over the 9th grade Lady Gauchos team.
Brittany Garner, 6'3" center, 2018 Philly Freedom Stars
Serious post prospect that cannot be moved off the block. She was active in the paint going for rebounds and has a soft touch. Her footwork is good but when she perfects that aspect of her game she will command a double team on every touch.
Jaterrikah Settle, 5'9" 2017 guard, MD Lady Shooting Stars
She has good size for a guard and is starting to really slash to the basket with authority. She is an exceptional finisher in transition and gets to the foul line a lot. She is progressing nicely.
Camryn Johnson, 5'6" point guard, 2017, PSPA.
Camryn is a savvy guard that finishes well in traffic. She converted a couple of "and 1" situations in the game I saw. She is a solid ball handler and I like how she was able to stay in front of her girl on defense.
Anissa Rivera, 6'1", 2019 forward, Havoc City. Ms. Rivera is a match up problem. She can jump, has decent speed and is capable of dominating games in spurts. She was active on the offensive boards in the game I watched.
Ashley Owusu, 5'10" guard, 2019 PSPA. Another big time talent from the 2019 class. She has deep range on the jumper and uses her size to muscle inside for buckets. Deceptively quick.
Kyara Frames, 2017 point guard, Fairfax Stars. She played really well on Saturday. Very crafty guard that gets where she wants to go.
Jeydah Johnson, 5'9" guard, 2017 MD Team Adidas. We already knew the jumper was wet. It was falling Saturday, but she has added some moves to the rim and is not afraid to mix it up for rebounds.
CeCe Mayo, 5'9" guard, 2017, Albany Lady Stars. Gifted offensive player that made some long threes and some athletic driving reverses. Has potential to become a legit lock down defender if she chooses. Already has some D1 offers.
Makayla Pippin, 6'1 center, 2018, Ballers Nation. Strong physically and always looking for a brawl in the paint. Handling the ball more on the perimeter.
Courtney Shaw, 6'0" forward, 2018, Baltimore Starz. Raw athletic player with a nice vertical. She got to the foul line by attacking the offensive glass. Nice form on her shot.
Maya Calder, 5'11" forward, 2017, Team Sol. Ms. Calder has a nice touch on her short range shots. She is able to rise up and shoot over smaller players. She has good size and is does not take off many possesions.
Zoe Brooks, 2023, New Jersey Sparks. One of my favorite players in the event. Very agile and aggressive player that looks to score. She has some grown up power moves. I nicknamed her "the Bully" and I mean that in a good way. Strong 4th grader.
Leah Harmon, 2024, New Jersey Sparks. Slick 3rd grade point guard with a serious cross over move.
Tatum Greene, 2024, Baltimore Starz. 3rd grader played well in her first major tournament. Good athlete, can score and is a tough competitor.
Adrian Hagood, 5'10", 2017, PSPA. Strong, physical player who is adding more offensive moves to her game. Always ready to mix it up, never takes a step back.
Nicole Velez, point guard, Mid Atlantic Heat, 2016. This is a speedy and solid guard with a nice handle. She gets into the lane frequently, can finish and knocks down open shots.
Asianae Johnson, guard, 2018, Lady Gauchos. Another slick guard from the Gauchos program. Nice handle, penetrates and finishes or drops off accurate pass in traffic.
Angel Reese, 5'11" wing, 2020 MD Lady Shooting Stars. Ms. Reese is showing steady improvement. She is very long and has improved her ball handling. She is playing with more confidence now so the sky is the limit.
Diamond Shavers, 5'9" wing, 2018 Lady Gauchos. Athletic player with major potential. Good size, handled the ball well and let the game come to her.
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