Tuesday, March 10, 2015

End of Season Quick Hitters

Congrats to Kyra Lambert on making the McDonald's All American Game. The brilliant Lambert was also named to the inaugural Jordan Brand Classic game for girls basketball players. Having wrote about Lambert since the heady PG was 9-10 years old, watching her play her last game was bittersweet. San Antonio has lost a class act, a kid that is quick with encouragement for the youngsters in the city and lacks all of the arrogance that accompanies some young "superstars".  Duke and the entire Duke's women's basketball community is going to love Kyra Lambert!

Wagner played a half to remember against the eventual state champs, Cy-Woods. The T-Birds have to be the early favorite to make a third consecutive trip to State next season. They return every contributing player except Dessiere Johnson. Johnson will surely be missed but the wealth of the Wagner feeder schools will be on display with incoming freshman, Corrina Carter set to make an immediate impact. Look for 2018's Da'Naisha Hood, Tamayra Avery and Toni Cuellar to grow into their bones as well.

Wagner's great 1st half was led by 7 three point makes by Amber Ramirez (7 for 9 in the first half). The Oklahoma State bound guard finished with 8 three point makes to set the state tournament record. She made the all tournament team and her 31 points allowed her to finish the season with 999 points! 999 points in one season!!!

Many quality players in the 2015 class are still unsigned. Moriah Creswell(Madison), Johnson(Wagner), Brittany "Moose" Leonard( Jay) Kate McCuller(Jay), Arysia Porter(Roosevelt), Aaliyah Christmas(Roosevelt), Angel Charles(Judson). One 2015 that sat out this year due to transferring from Roosevelt to MacArthur is Endia Peterson. The 5'9 power guard is a D1 caliber prospect.

The list of underrated players in the city must start with Arysia Porter. This is a kid that I admittedly slept on. Porter has that salt to her game, an ability to create shots using the bounce. She can make shots consecutively from deep when she has it going but lived the paint this season. Her and Moriah Creswell were two of the toughest kids to stay in front of this year.

Look for some freshmen to make noise early and often next season. The 2019 class is not as deep as the loaded 2018 class but a few gems are to be found. Besides the previously mentioned Corina Carter, Destinee Jenkins, Kyra "Slo Motion" White and Ta'Niya Jackson will have college coaches continuing to sit on the Alamo City. All of these young guards are Top 100-150 caliber national prospects. Look for Jessica Paz Y Puente, Ashley Adaszczyk, Sarah Gwin  and Keanalei Akuso to make varsity teams and made their presence felt as soon as they step on campus.

Who will be next year's O'Connor? Outside of the O'Conner basketball team, no one expected them to hold down the top spot in the city for the meat and potatoes portion of the season before coming up one game short from a State Tournament trip. My early guess is Steele High School. A dedicated and capable coach enabled with players blessed with size and athleticism spells success.

This season saw the emergence of the new "lead guards". The nationally ranked and highly recruited Kiana Williams(Wagner) and Gabby Connally(Brandies) continued their impressive progression. Alexis Torres(IW), Megan Valdez(Brennan), Aaliyah Holmes( Southwest), Mailee Jones(Reagan) all stepped up and names are ringing out among college coaches. The season also saw the rise of Ria Gulley! The Clark PG showed an athleticism and headiness that may catapult her to BCS offers.

College coaches have some quality Bigs to visit next season. With probable Super Teamer Monique Terry off of the board to San Diego State, coaches are still hoping for a shot at 2016's Sara Lewis (Reagan) and Alexis Bryant(Steele). The 6'3 post players can play on the perimeter, knocking down jump shots and making plays as face-up Bigs. I would be very surprised if Bryant and Lewis start their senior seasons as uncommitted players. Deservedly so, both are getting crazy attention from college programs.