FREDERICK, Md. – Every summer, as the NCAA live period is drawing to a close, one of the most unique events of the July Evaluation period is held in the mountains of Maryland outside of the nation’s capital. For the annual Best of Maryland event many players swap the colors of their club team for their high school practice jerseys as some of the top high school programs from all over the country take the floor one last time in front of family, fans, college coaches and Blue Star Media.
The whole vibe of the event is different and offers up a whole “summer league feel”. State title contenders are playing with their updated line ups replacing graduated players and giving us a glimpse of their bright up and comers. Other teams are trying to gain experience against elite programs who are where they ultimately want to be. Overall, it’s a great chance to compete, and even in the “scrimmage” atmosphere, the games genuinely seem to mean something.
For results pools and brackets from last week’s event, follow the link below.
Covering an event of this level necessitates at least mentioning some of the committed 2018 players who wrapped up their last “summer circuit” before college comes calling next June. Scoring point guard Rose Caverly is headed Vermont, but continued a strong final summer with her Red Bank Catholic squad. Pickerington Central once again featured Penn State commit Bexley Wallace on the inside. Mikayla Markham was fun to watch again for St. Rose and will head to Columbia to play in the Ivy League. Big time post Naz Hillmon (Gilmour Academy) was her usual imposing self while preparing for her future with the Maize and Blue of Michigan. Virginia Tech pledge Shaniya Jones had some big games for Wesleyan Christian showing off her high end combination of athleticism and shooting touch. Notre Dame Academy’s Ariel Cummings is staying close to home to suit up for Toledo and seemed to be on a mission heading into her last high school season. Rumson Fair Haven’s Tori Hyduke will continue to stand out in the D.C. as she did last week heading to George Washington a year from now.
In the end, it was Pickerington Central from the Buckeye State who brought home the bragging rights this year by way of a 50 – 38 win over Carmel out of Indiana. Here are some of the other stand outs who appear primed for a strong scholastic season next fall.
Lucy Adams – 2020 – 6-1 – Post –Bulldogs (Rumson Fair Haven) — Skill set and size…Can take 2-3 dribbles to score or to get out of trouble…Able to shoot the three…Good in the screen and roll play on offense…Will block a few shots…Has an understanding of what she needs to do in certain situations
Sofia Battista – 2020 – 6-1 – Post – Long Gold Line (Pascack Valley) — Mobile young size…Developing move set…Gets on the floor for loose balls…Strong lower half she uses to get position
Jamie Brann – 2018 – 5-10 – Forward – Central Dauphin — Tough, physical kid…Blue collar player…A little undersized in the paint…Can be a bruiser…Lefty…Able to bring it up on her own…High effort kid…Needs continued development with the ball skills
Noelle Cahill – 2018 – 6-4 – Forward/Post – Regis Jesuit — Versatile interior player…Can stretch it to 15feet…Goes up and gets lob on the screen and roll…Demonstrates the ability to pair another strong interior player…Works to get good position in the post
Kate Clarke – 2021 – 5-11 – Guard – Carmel — Bigger young wing…Shooting the three well…Connected on four treys in a row at one point…Can shoot on the move…Uses screens and knows how to get open…Well on her way
Annika Corcoran – 2019 – 5-6 – Guard – Gilmour Academy — Scoring combo guard…Strings made threes in consecutive possessions…Got to the foul line…Good instincts defensively
Alex Cowan –2019 – 5-6 – Guard – St. John’s College – Nice, quick, compact shot from three point range…Stockier build…Can handle the ball fine for an off guard…Smart and well coached
Fabienne Eggenschwiler –2020 – 6-0 – Guard/Forward – Caseys (Red Bank Catholic) – Versatile young wing…Can defend multiple positions…Able to score in different spots…Deceptive first step driving from the wing or the high post…Skilled…Well built
Uju Ezeudu – 2019 – 6-0 – Forward – Reynoldsburg — Great build…Physical and athletic…Finished inside…Showed off the ability to drive to the rim…Powerful in how she moves and how she handles
Madison Greene – 2019 – 5-7 – Point Guard – Pickerington Central — Can get to the rim but also has a mid range game…Will do the dirty work for her team…Gets on the floor and sets strong screens…Good job up top running the offense…Patient and poised
Kailah Harris – 2019 – 6-1 –Forward/Post – Ossining — Big post…Stretching her game to the perimeter…Played very aggressive on offense…Looking to put it on the floor and get to the basket…Can hit the three but still stretching the range…A bit unconventional but a nice prospect
Lillian Harris – 2020 – 6-1 – Forward – Saint John’s Catholic Prep — Face up four player…Hits the nice runner in the paint…15 foot jumper is useful…Stretching the range to the arc…Will post up inside at times…Rebounding well…Game is progressing
Kate Hill – 2021 – 5-11 – Guard – Lady Lancers (St. John Vianney) — Good size and length…Handles are fine for her position…Fundamentals are there…Plays like an older, more experienced player…Keep watching
Taziah Jenks – 2020 – 6-1 – Guard/Forward – Mercy Academy — Long limbs…Thin frame…Does her damage scoring on the drive…Has a nice mix of physical potential and skill…Runs well…Long stride…Nice little spin back move in the post…One to watch as she fills out
Jala Johnson – 2019 – 5-8 – Point Guard – Notre Dame Academy — Handled the traps and pressure well…Has poise and size…Handles are there…Hit some mid range shots…Passes have something on them
Jada Moore – 2020 – 5-10 – Point Guard – Regis Jesuit — Legit size and length for a PG…Strong, long handles…Quick on the drive…Makes some tough plays look easy…Next step is to develop her jumper and finish consistently
Brie Perpignan – 2018 –5-9 – Guard – Bishop O’Connell — Has that shake to her game…Scored in the mid range particularly well…Also a threat to drive or knock down the three…Had moments
Cierra Scott – 2018 – 5-10 – Guard/Forward – Sacred Heart Academy — Tweener but athletic…Has a bully mentality…Can be a problem…Lots of boards and points in the paint
Nicole Stephens – 2020 – 5-5 – Guard – Pickerington Central — Can fill it up…Hit the mid range and the three off the bounce or catch…Small but fearless on the drive…Size is the question…Plays a big game
Kelsey Swihart – 2021 – 6-0 – Forward – Berlin Hiland — Skilled and versatile scorer at the forward spot…Puts it in the basket in multiple ways for her position…Hits the three…Nice pro and go from the high post…Posts up to score in the paint…Plays hard…Runs the floor…Bright future
Morgan Yoder –2021 – 5-7 – Guard – Berlin Hiland — Advanced skills at the guard spot…Nice euro and reverse scoop finish…High IQ…Good handles around defenders in transition…Uses her body to get open