She Got Game 2016: Paul VI top team; Megan Walker top player
By Bob Corwin
The 8th Annual She Got Game Classic, held in the District of Columbia and the Maryland suburbs of DC on December 9-11, 2016, saw 117 teams do battle playing over seven venues. Teams played from one to three games as they signed up for in advance. About 130 colleges (mostly Division I schools from east of the Mississippi) evaluated the event which included a separate international section of Canadian teams playing US high schools that were allowed (some governing bodies would not give permission) to play them. About thirty media reps attended the event (including this one). Games at the main gym at Wise High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, were streamed online by Monument Sports Network.
Top teams seen at the event
With so much to see, only games at Wise High School were included in this list except for the Monacan – National Christian game on Friday night at St. John’s College High School in DC proper.
1. Paul VI Catholic High School of Fairfax, Virginia
2. Monacan High School of Chesterfield, Virginia
3. National Christian Academy of Fort Washington, Maryland
4. St. Frances Academy of Baltimore, Maryland
5. Forest Trail Academy of Kernersville, North Carolina
6. South Shore High School of Brooklyn, New York
Paul VI won two games at the event defeating South Shore 57-52 and 86-58 over Mary Louis Academy of New York.
Monacan won two games with the win over nationally ranked National Christian (NCA) being the most exciting (and first) one viewed with NCA storming back from a 29-10 deficit, cutting the lead to three in the closing minutes before falling short. Monacan on its second game 74-67 versus Cathedral of Boston, Massachusetts while NCA easily beat Mastery Charter of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in its other game.
St. Frances won games over state finalists from last year (Northwest Guilford of North Carolina and Boca Raton of Florida – both quality teams again this year).
Forest Trail Academy won three games at the event with its biggest win that over previously undefeated Rock Creek Christian of Maryland.
South Shore High School played only one game at the event but took national #1 Paul VI to the limit only losing the lead in the last few minutes of the game.
Looking at some of the top players actually seen at the event. Players discussed in recent articles are omitted.
Players below are listed alphabetically with height, position, graduation class and high school. Home town is in parenthesis.
Leah Church, 5-8, shooting guard, 2017, Forest Trail Academy (Kernersville, North Carolina)
Church, committed to North Carolina, is a deadly off the catch three-point shooter who can bust a zone. She posted six threes in scoring 20 points in her team’s win over Rock Creek Christian.
Mykea Gray, 5-6, point guard, 2017, National Christian Academy (Fort Washington, Maryland)
Gray is not a player you have to tell to attack and if anything could slow down a bit at times! After a slow start (four points in the first half), the Miami of Florida signee posted 19 more in helping her team close to within three points (from a 29-10 deficit in half one) before losing to Monacan.
Lauren Hackett, 5-5, point guard, 2018, Saint Anthony’s High School (South Huntington, New York)
Hackett is a bit thin in build but makes up for it by staying active (and out of harm’s way) on the court. She is a vocal leader who can score via drive or hit the three. This lefty posted 17 points in her team’s win over Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Ashley Jones, 5-7, point guard, 2017, Neumann-Goretti High School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Jones is a good athlete with an even-keeled on-court demeanor. The West Virginia signee can successfully hit the three and drive the lane to score. She posted 20 points in a win versus McEachern of Georgia and again in a loss versus of Good Counsel of Maryland.
Cayla King , 5-10, point guard, 2019, Northwest Guilford High School (Greensboro, North
King carries a heavy load for her team. She protects the basketball, initiates the offense and is expected to scores a large portion of her team’s points. In her team’s loss to St. Frances of Maryland, she posted 20 points primarily looking to attack the basket. She also was her team’s assist leader. She is getting looks at the Division I Power 5 level and down.
Elizabeth Kitley, 6-4, center, 2019, Northwest Guilford High School (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Kitley is a traditional low post player with fairly strong build, decent hands and feet. Her scoring zone is close to the rim going to her right. With a young team around her, getting the ball to her in scoring position was one of her team’s issues in its loss to St. Frances. Power 5 schools should be monitoring her progress.
Rachel Levy, 6-3, power forward, 2017, Boca Raton High School (Boca Raton, Florida)
Levy showed a good work rate in her team’s win over Long Island Lutheran of New York. She hit several threes but also showed a willingness to attack the basket on occasion posting 23 points. Harvard bound, she would best be described as a stretch four.
Elizabeth Martino, 5-10, shooting guard, 2020, National Christian Academy (Fort Washington, Maryland)
Martino is a talented but young player on a very good team. She has advanced understanding for her age showing an ability to drive or hit the three. With maturation, she should have a Power 5 future some years down the road.
Chyna Nixon, 5-10, shooting guard, 2017, Neumann-Goretti High School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Nixon is a high quality athlete who can create her own shot. She can hit the three but appears to be more of a driver and mid-range jump shooter. The Mississippi signee posted 17 points in her team’s win versus McEachern (GA) and 15 points in its loss to Good Counsel (MD).
Rochelle Norris, 6-3, center, 2018, Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, Maryland)
Post players like Norris are always in short supply. She has good hands and feet finishing close to the basket. A major Division 1 prospect, she posted 16 points in her team’s double overtime win over McEachern (GA).
Selena Philoxy, 6-1, power forward, 2017, South Shore High School (Brooklyn, New York)
Philoxy, a Seton Hall signee, was a big reason her team put a scare into national #1 (multiple polls) Paul VI High School of Virginia. Playing with a good motor and not intimidated by the opposition’s superior size, she posted 17 points scoring in the low post and hit the boards hard.
Lindsey Pulliam, 5-10, guard, 2017, Good Counsel High School (Olney, Maryland)
Pulliam is a natural shooting guard who has had to play some point as injuries in that position struck her team this fall. Things came together for the Northwestern signee as she posted 21 points (mixture of threes and mid-range jumpers) in her team’s 57-54 victory over a quality Neumann-Goretti (PA).
Anissa Rivera, 6-1, forward, 2019, Rock Creek Christian Academy (Clinton, Maryland)
Rivera is one of the better athletic forwards in the 2019 class getting shot opportunities as she pleases. She can be very effective in the key but prefers to spend more time shooting threes on the perimeter. Rivera posted 12 and 13 points as her team split two games at the event.
Sydnee Roby, 6-4, center, 2019, Rufus King High School (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Roby impressed scouts with good hands and footwork in the lower key. With her strong build, it is hard for opponents to stop her from getting position in the lower paint and then finishing in traffic. Posting 27 points in a win over Ursuline Academy of Delaware, she is one of the better center prospects in the 2019 class.
Celeste Taylor, 5-10, small forward, 2019, Long Island Lutheran (Glen Head, New York)
A good athlete, Taylor has all the skills (hit the 3. drive, mid-range shot) needed to be a future Power 5 player. She just needs time to mature to put it all together. In her team’s loss versus Boca Raton, she posted 15 points.
Megan Walker, 6-1, small forward, 2017, Monacan High School (Chesterfield, Virginia)
In a poll of scouts present, Walker was considered the best player in the event. The Connecticut signee could best be described as very efficient in all phases of her game. Walker, the leading candidate for National Player of the Year, wastes little in the way of movement be it shooting, passing, jump or just running the court. In her team’s win over National Christian Academy (MD), she posted 36 points carrying her team to victory.