DUNCANVILLE, TX – When you pull into the parking lot of Duncanville High School in the suburbs of Dallas, it’s hard to miss the school’s athletic facilities. Around these parts, the legacy of the legendary coach whose name resides over the school’s gymnasium lives on with every bounce of the ball.
That same name also prevails over one of the highly regarded holiday tournaments and when you look up at the huge banner, you’re reminded that the Sandra Meadows Classic has featured excellent girls basketball since 1951.
The 2017 rendition marks the event’s 67th year, and the tradition of great basketball continued as 32 teams from 6 states convened in central Texas after the holiday break. Plenty of talent was in the gym on the rosters of traditional Texas powers as well those making the trip from out of state.
Follow the link below to see bracket / award winners from the 2017 Sandra Meadows Classic.
There were several signed seniors who led the way with awesome performances.
Cypress Falls’ veteran point guard Joanne Allen-Taylor will keep her scoring prowess in state for the Texas Longhorns next year. The burst she has with the ball is elite, and she can nail the mid range jumpers and floaters often. That step back jumper in particular was a problem for defenses last week.
Another senior guard who is staying close to home next year (SMU) is DeSoto’s Kayla White. White is an athletic 5’10 wing player who is tough to stop once her momentum starts moving toward the basket. Her play has been a big lift for DeSoto, as they find themselves in the Top 25 nationally in multiple polls.
Jayla and Jayda Ruffus-Milner are fun to watch. The Harvard-Westlake senior wing playmakers can handle, rebound, and score, and will take their versatile, high energy style of play to Pepperdine next season. One of the more memorable games from this year’s Sandra Meadows Classic included the opportunity to watch them battle two highly touted twins in their own right, 2019 guards KaLynne and KaLeigh Troung of Jersey Village.
Jasmine Franklin was a difference maker in the paint for Arkansas power Fayetteville. The lefty post has a strong presence inside and mixes a tough style of play with a soft touch around the basket. She’s headed to Missouri State next fall.
Colleyville Heritage is led by super senior forward Bryn Gerlich. Already signed with Oklahoma State, Gerlich showed off her skill and craftiness from the mid range and in the lane this week.
Plano got strong play from their own dynamic senior duo. Lolo Davenport (6’0 Guard) has already made her college plans to head to Delaware and the combination of handles plus her understanding of how to use her size makes her tough to stop. Katie Ferrell is still contemplating her next move after high school, but the potential is there to be an impact player on both sides of the ball. Ferrell is skilled, hard working, and an imposing at six feet tall in the guard spot.
The host Duncanville Pantherettes remained undefeated and claimed another Sandra Meadows Classic Championship. Zarielle Green (MVP – Tennessee) set the tone as both a scorer and facilitator while Aniya Thomas (Kansas) also made her share of plays on both sides of the ball. Additionally, there were times where Howard-bound forward Krislyn Marsh was running a lay up drill in transition.
If there weren’t enough talented seniors to keep your attention, you could also find several additional standouts among the younger classes. Here are some more names to know.
Coriah Beck – 2020 – 5-8 – Point Guard/Guard – Fayetteville – Good size and strength for a young combo…Produced some nice stretches…Smart and under control…Got to the rack but also a threat from deep…Got to the line
Tavy Diggs – 2019 – 6-0 – Forward – Plano East – Mobile wing / forward…Lots of lower body explosion…Utilizes pivot foot to create scoring opportunities…Three point stroke is still a work in progress…However, knocks down the 15 footer with some regularity
Sasha Goforth – 2020 – 6-0 – Guard – Fayetteville – Blue Star 30…Does it all on the wing…Combines size, skill, and a good head for the game…Great court vision to find that dump off inside…Puts her head down and goes to get a bucket
Nyah Green – 2019 – 6-1 – Guard – Bishop Lynch –Louisville verbal…High profile big guard with great burst…Pull up game is impressive…Great feet and a strong base…Lots of boards
Hannah Gusters – 2020 – 6-4 – Post – Duncanville – Well known big post…Consistent big problem inside…In great shape and playing very well…Strong and relentless…Double-double in the first half set the tone in the semi-final round for them
Kiki Iriafen – 2021 – 6-1 – Forward – Harvard-Westlake – Long, athletic rim runner…Gets position inside and puts the ball in the basket often…Keeps the ball high…Lots of room and time to grow…Future is bright
AJ Marotte – 2021 – 6-0 – Guard/Forward – Vista Ridge – Pounds the ball hard…Some burst in her first step…Made mature decisions against full court press…Shoots the three…Matched up with the opposing team’s top threats
Jordyn Merritt – 2020 – 6-2 – Forward – Plano – Blue Star 30…Continues to be verything you want to see in a young player…Has the build and body to play at the highest level…Hit lots of pull up jumpers…Quick release…Gets to the basket in transition…Plays with energy
Jaden Owens – 2019 – 5-9 – Point Guard – Plano West – Well known point…Big time vision and passer, aided buy her size…Vocal, great talker for a lead guard…Streaky shooter and the J is compact so not surprised when she strings makes…Plays with some fire
Bria Patterson – 2019 – 6-1 – Guard/Forward – DeSoto – Size, length, and athleticism really shows out when she has the ball in her hands…Attacks the rack…Range is to the arc…Doesn’t mind the physicality inside…Efficient scorer in the paint…Monster rebounds
Endyia Rogers – 2019 – 5-6 – Point Guard – Bishop Lynch – Highly touted prospect…Has that extra gear and the more she uses it the better…Strong with the rock…Keeps her head up and makes the “wow” passes…Does things with a purpose
Fatou Samb – 2020 – 6-3 – Post – Westside – Still a raw project type…Has the size and mobility to warrant attention…Gets up to snatch the lob pass with long arms…Active hands and feet defensively…Continuing to develop her move set will raise stock
Kemia Ward – 2019 – 6-0 – Forward – McEachern – Caught some eyes with physical, scrappy play…Defends…Pulls a lot of boards…Post moves inside are effective, lots of step through stuff…Makes a difference on a talented team