COLUMBUS, Ohio– The first spring evaluation period kicked off last week in Columbus and the Buckeye capital city played host to two talent loaded back-to-back events showcasing players from Ohio. The 4th Annual USJN Capital City Challenge featured 70 teams with 64 college coaches courtside on the campus of Pickerington Central High School. The two-day event allowed the teams to play three pool play games on Friday night and Saturday. It was followed on Sunday by the 2nd Annual OGBR Spring Special which is an individual event that featured 258 players with 68 college coaches in attendance just up the road at Reynoldsburg High School. Players from the 2018 and 2019 classes played games in the morning session while players from the 2020 through 2022 classes followed in front of a packed gym full of spectators and college coaches.
The Buckeye State is hitting a major talent cycle right now and the next five recruiting classes are going to produce some of Ohio’s top players including some who could compete with a few of the best Ohio has ever seen. The future is bright and there will be plenty of talent to go around for college programs of all levels.
For a list of all the college programs in attendance, pool All-Stars, a list of participating teams and more, follow the link below to the USJN post event page.
For more information on the Ohio Girls Basketball Report (OGBR), follow the link below to their website.
It’s impossible to list everyone, so here are some that caught our eye, but below are just a few quick hitters of the players that stood out in each event. As always, they’re listed alphabetically.
CAPITAL CITY CHALLENGE QUICKHITTERS
KK Bransford – 2022 – 5-7 – Point Guard – OH Cincy Finest 14 – Athletic point guard who plays years beyond her age…Sweet handles, body control and court vision in transition…Can create her own shots and breakdown her defender to get to the rim whenever she wants in the half court…Already highly regarded…Projected to go big time
Rachel Cooke – 2019 – 6-0 – Guard – OH Lady Hoops 17 Puryear – Long guard who plays hard on both ends of the floor…Shoots the three ball…Always seems to be around the ball and makes hustle plays
Morgan Darnell – 2020 – 5-7 – Point Guard – OH Lady Hoopsters 15 Elite – Quick and explosive first step with the ball…Able to penetrate even the smallest of gaps…Dishes or finishes at the rim
Lilly Edwards – 2018 – 5-11 – Forward – OH Capital City Comets 17 – Physical forward who is always fighting for position on the block…Finishes strong by the rim and hits from 15 feet…Rebounds and active on defense
Naz Hillmon – 2018 – 6-2 – Center – OH Sports City U 17 7.0 – Continues to impress the college coaches with each outing…Size, strength, skills and great hands…Posts hard in the half court and runs the floor well in transition…Scores with a variety of moves and crashes the boards…Highly regardediImpact BCS player
Gabby Hutcherson – 2020 – 6-0 – Guard/Forward – OH Lady Hoopsters 15 Elite – Built long and lean and major hops…Smooth with the ball in the transition…Three point shooter…Has mid-range jump shot but can finish by the glass as well…BCS athleticism to go with a high IQ
Sarah Jones – 2018 – 5-6 – Point Guard – OH Cincinnati Heat Premier 17 Thomas – Strong and physical point guard…Three point shooter…Rebounder and aggressive on defense…Does a good job of getting her squad into the offense
Gabbie Marshall – 2018 – 5-9 – Combo – OH Sports City U 17 7.0 – Pure three point shooter with a quick release…Has improved her mid-range game tremendously…Can now create her own shot…Uses her long arms to anticipate on defense…Causes havoc…High basketball IQ and always talking to her team
Mali Morgan-Elliot – 2019 – 6-0 – Forward – OH Team Championship Behavior 17 Navy – Study post player that has guard skills on the perimeter…Consistent three point shooter…Size and strength allows her match up with the bigs…Skills enable her to be a swing player on offense
Laila Phelia – 2021 – 5-10 – Guard – OH Cincy Finest 14 – Unbelievable body frame for her age with broad shoulders, long arms…Quick on her feet…Ultra athletic guard that can drive to the rim with ease…Can pull up quick in transition…Pulls down some big rebounds…Impressive upside
Courtney Prenger – 2019 – 6-1 – Forward – OH Dayton Lady Hoopstars 17 Premier – Fundamental post player…Sets and uses screens well…Has good footwork in the low post…Can face-up and shoot from the elbow…Looked comfortable and was effective in an offensive system
Sammie Puisis – 2019 – 6-2 – Guard – OH Sports City U 17 7.0 – Deep three point shooting range…Among the elite shooters in the class…Long body frame and arms allow her to be versatile in match-ups and play multiple positions…High IQ player that moves well without the ball and finds the gap vs. man to man and zone…Can put the ball on the floor…Coveted at the highest level
Annie Rauch – 2019 – 6-2 – Forward – OH Capital City Comets 17 – Interior threat that plays big…Chins the ball with elbows out…Posts hard on the block and has a variety of moves with back to basket…Hits the elbow shot consistently…Can put the ball on the floor…System player that is very vocal on the court
Kayla Whitehead – 2018 – 6-2 – Forward – OH Cincinnati Heat Premier 17 Thomas – Long and lanky forward…Likes to put the ball on the floor…Smooth when she has the ball…Likes to face the basket…Crashes the boards…Grabs the ball with lengthy wingspan
OGBR SPRING SPECIAL QUICKHITTERS
Destiny Bohanon – 2019 – 5-7 – Point Guard – OH Huber Heights High School – Long up-tempo point guard…Attacks into the gut of the defense…Improved ability to score from last summer and gets to the rim…Creates some outside shots…Defensive specialist who can alter the other team’s offense
Connie Chaplin – 2018 – 5-7 – Guard – OH Euclid High School – Aggressive player that loves a good matchup…Athletic guard who prefers to dip her shoulder and get into the paint…Crashes the boards hard
Zia Cooke – 2019 – 5-9 – Guard – OH Toledo Rogers High School – Established smooth, athletic guard…Can grab a board/steal and go coast to coast…Plays with swagger on both ends of the floor…Can go off on a scoring frenzy with a blink of the eye…Three point shooter…Penetrator…Is at the top of her game in transition
Annika Corcoran – 2019 – 5-7 – Combo – OH Gilmour Academy High School – True combo guard…Makes the right play at the right time…Three point shooting range…Showing progress off the dribble…IQ player
Nevaeh Dean – 2020 – 6-2 – Forward – OH Lakota West High School – Has the size to play down low as well as the skills to face-up…Shoots the three ball well…Rebounds…Good post defense…Improved confidence with the ball
Madison Greene – 2019 – 5-7 – Point Guard – OH Pickerington Central High School –Up-tempo point guard…Gets to the rim to finish in transition…Three point shooter… Athletic with quick first step…Plays lock down defense on the ball
Bree Hall – 2021 – 5-10 – Guard – OH Huber Heights Wayne High School – Long guard with legit handles…Smooth with the ball in her hand and sees every opening on the court…Three point shooter…Driver and playmaker…Makes an elite move look so easy…Sky is the limit
Jamir Huston – 2018 – 6-0 – Forward – OH John Hay High School – Unbelievable athlete with BCS body…Uses long arms to create tips, blocks and steals…Can play with back to the basket or face-up from the perimeter…Great rebounding instincts…First one down the floor in transition
Haley Hutchins – 2018 – 6-3 – Center – OH Beavercreek High School – Nice size with sturdy frame…Posts hard on block…Active feet and hands on defense…Blocks shots and forces the other team to alter shots…Working on her moves with back to the basket…Does make the put back consistently
Juliana Kemper – 2020 – 5-10 – Guard – IN Lawrenceburg High School – Physical and athletic guard…Can get to the rim off the bounce…Has a variety of moves with a good skill set…Aggressive on defense…Crashes the boards hard
Kaitlyn Kopyar – 2019 – 5-8 – Guard – OH Dublin Coffman High School – Scrappy and smart guard who finds a way to win each play…Three point shooter…Gets a lot of breakaway layups…Has great court awareness and vision…Lanky body build…Slashes well to the basket
Alexia Mobley – 2022 – 6-0 – Forward – OH Reynoldsburg High School – Long and lanky player…Showed the ability to put the ball on the floor in the open court…Runs the floor well in transition…Finishes…Shot blocker
Teegan Pifher – 2020– 6-0 – Forward – OH Olentangy Liberty High School – Fundamental post player that has improved her perimeter game…Can hit the three ball or put it on the floor from the wing…Works hard on both ends of the court…Showed improved confidence and abilities
Morgan Sharps – 2019 – 5-10 – Guard – OH Newark High School – Sharp shooter…Handles the ball well…Shoots the three ball so effectively most would put her on the wing…Smart player…Reads screens well in the half court…Spots her feet quickly in transition
Emily Simon – 2018 – 5-10 – Guard – OH Hilliard Davidson High School – Long, thin frame…High basketball IQ…Three point shooter…Good court vision…Average footspeed but makes up for it by using fundamental moves/ footwork to create her own shot…Effective at drawing the foul
Skye Williams – 2021 – 5-10 – Guard – OH Teays Valley High School – Explosive player with smooth handles…Shoots the three…Drives to the rim and has a pull up jumper…Confidence has greatly improved since the fall…Broke down players off the dribble…Elevated her recruiting status
Jada Wolfork – 2020 – 6-0 – Guard – OH Centerville High School – Smooth guard…Knows how to get to the rim…Long body and natural scorer…Plays good defense…Pulls down more than her share of boards