The Coaches Choice USA Showcase at Holmdel High School this past Sunday was full of high level coaches, high level players, high level teams, and high level scouts looking for some fresh talent. Without a doubt the teams showed up, showed out, and definitely came with their A game. Today we will go into all the details of the 5 showcase game, really dig down into some positives and negatives, and then of course AWARDS!!! So The first game of the Showcase was between NYC’s #5 ranked Staten Island Academy, vs NJ’s #17 ranked RBC Caseys.
Staten Island Academy vs RBC: This was definitely a tough game coming in for RBC. RBC is not the toughest defensive team, and their youth just adds to the problems they face already. On the other hand Staten Island Academy came in with some senior leadership from Corinn Baggs, one of the toughest guards in NY in my opinion, and some young but dominate freshman and sophomores, as well as some key seasoned juniors. One key catalyst that went into Staten Island Academy’s dominate offensive presence was simply their execution. They really settled a lot into a 1-4 high motion which opened up a lot of easy baskets and open jump shots, and they sure were knocking them down. Another key catalyst into SIA’s win was their intensity. From the star guard to the 12th man, every girl was in the game, focused, and helping their team get whatever boost they could to help lean them more towards the win. Now RBC didn’t have their worst game, but they had the most sporadic game I have seen out of them all year. They would be going really hard, and really executing flawlessly for 2 or 3 minutes, and then the next 2 or 3 minutes they would be slacking off and playing flat! Coach Montano for the Caseys told Maureen Coakley during a timeout ” You have to be aggressive, you can’t just be playing hard for 2 minutes.” This message did not only pertain to Coakley though, because if the Caseys would’ve played a little harder, and ticked away that passivity then they would have won that game.
(NJ) Manasquan #5 vs (NY) Long Island Lutheran #1 The epitome of size, athleticism, and high caliber IQ’s is all that Long Island Lutheran was in this match up. They outsmarted Manasquan, they prepared better than Manasquan, and they executed better than Manasquan both defensively and offensively. LIL’s key motive in this game was to get the ball in the post, especially with their huge size advantage it needed to be the one thing they needed to execute correctly. Then on the defensive side the motive was to play a long zone, make them shoot deep threes, and hope for a bad shooting night. Only difference is they didn’t hope for a bad shooting night, they forced a bad shooting night. Do I think Manasquan played one of their worst games of the season, probably the worst game of the season? Yes! But do I think LIL had no enforcement in that? No! They forced turnovers, created for each other, and that’s what got Long Island Lutheran the win.
(NJ) Notre Dame #15 vs (NJ) RFH #8 Two different strategies were put into play during this game. For Rumson in the first half it was Run and Gun, they were pushing the tempo, running the floor, and looking for the open girl on the perimeter. For Notre Dame the strategy was to Transition and feed the post, they were looking for some primary and secondary offense to get the ball quickly up the floor, and then looking for their dominant bigs on the run. It worked good for both teams in the first half hence why it was close going into the 3rd. But an odd change happened in the second half, a strategic role reversal. RFH was looking for the transition and Hannah Scanlon diving to the basket on the run, and Notre Dame was looking for the run and gun 3 ball more often than not. It worked better for RFH though because of their versatility, and they can rely much more heavily than Notre Dame can when it comes to different strategies. Yes Nneka Ezeigbo and Samantha Widmann are dominant in the post, but Notre Dame can’t rely too much on them every game. For the lack of versatility and depth, Notre Dame is looking to be locked in that 20-15 spot in the State standings for a while.
(NJ) St. John Vianney #1 vs (NJ) Gill St. Bernard #3 A few girls sitting out for GSB, but even with that I don’t think they are at the caliber of high leveled, big depth, and all around positional dominance SJV. SJV was just flat out smart! They went man because they knew their pressure would crack the young guards of GSB. And they did what they do best, LET KELLY CAMPBELL CREATE AND GIVE KIMI EVANS THE BALL! Doing these two things for the Lancers opened up a lot for the rest of the team, from open jump shots, to deep three balls, to wide open layups, SJV IS JUST TOO MUCH TO HANDLE RIGHT NOW!
(NJ) Holmdel vs (NY) Archbishop Molloy #10 Holmdel is young, and very inexperienced, with a lack of depth and players who can really just turn the game by themselves for their team. On the other hand Archbishop Molloy is the exemplar of great teamwork, great ball movement, execution, and those few players that really change the game for them. Not the greatest battle, but definitely saw some young talent, and a good glimpse of the future ahead for both teams.
CCUSA Hustle Player of The Showcase: Megan Volker (RFH): She was all over the place, from diving 5 feet away to grab a loose ball, to crashing in and following her own shot, she was just everywhere!
CCUSA Defensive Player of the Showcase: Vanessa Pinho (SJV): OMG CAN YOU SAY SCRAPPY? She is one of those girls that you wish wasn’t guarding you, because you literally can not breath with her glued to you, and she proved that once again.
CCUSA Offensive Player of the Showcase: Sarah Mortensen (LIL): A very versatile scorer, and can get in the post, hit the three, or pull up mid-range, which made her very hard to guard this past Sunday!
CCUSA Catalyst Player of the Showcase: Tori Hyduke (RFH): A calm point guard, with D1 caliber only as a sophomore, and really changes the game every night for her team.
CCUSA Showed up, So Shut up Player of the Showcase: Hannah Scanlon (RFH): She has shut up a lot of people with her recent play, she’s no longer an average center anymore, but she is a NJ force to be reckoned with!
CCUSA SHE’s A FRESHMAN? Player of the Showcase: Celeste Taylor (LIL): I thought she was senior based on the way she played this Sunday, a bright future ahead for this cat for sure!
CCUSA Coach of the Tournament: Rose Bruno (SIA): She was enthusiastic, she was smart, and out coached simply one of the best strategic teams in the tri state area!
(BTW for the next awards for first and second team we will be doing it by position this time, so it will be my opinion on the best two girls in each position dividing the first and second team.)
CCUSA Second Team:
PG Celeste Taylor
SG Kelly Campbell
SF Corinn Baggs
PF Aislynn Flinn
C Faith Masonious
CCUSA First Team:
PG Tori Hyduke
SG Grace Stone
SF Josie Larkins
PF Sarah Mortensen
C Hannah Scanlon
CCUSA MVP: Kimi Evans