West Virginia Thunder 2020 scores a quick knockout to win the 9th Grade Division
By Bob Corwin
In the third part of our Midwest Showdown coverage, the 30-team 9th Grade Division is reviewed. West Virginia Thunder 2020 Johnson had an easy time in winning 50-36 over FBC Mo NextUp.
Picking up the action in the 9th Grade Division Platinum Bracket final…
West Virginia Thunder 2020 Johnson 50-36 FBC Mo NextUp
If you were not there at the start of this contest, you missed the brief, meaningfully competitive portion of this game which had a score of 22-6 after one quarter and 33-8 at half. As it was, FBC in theory had the two best players (both on the All-Tournament team listed below). Yet it did not matter as Georgia-based FBC was essentially stuck in gear until the almost meaningless fourth quarter in which they outplayed the Thunder having trailed 41-19 through three stanzas. While dominating, the Thunder scored both on the fast break and out-executed a more talented FBC team that was mentally and physically absent. In the fourth quarter the Thunder relaxed mentally and stopped executing. Although never getting the lead into single figures, FBC at least made the final score respectable although no player reached double figures for the game.
For the game, West Virginia Thunder’s Eden Gainer led all scorers with 20 points repeatedly hitting from behind the arc. For this she was named Finals Game MVP. Bailee Adkins, a facilitating lead guard, was named 9th Grade Division MVP for her overall leadership at the event.
Players below are listed alphabetically with listed height, position, graduation year and club team with home town in parenthesis. The criteria for selection was performance at the event in conjunction with success of the team. Congratulations to all selected!
Special thanks to Harry Elifson, Tim Lownsdale, Matt Shewmake and Sean Williams who served with me on the All-Tournament Selections Committee.
2017 Midwest Showdown
9th Grade Division
Amirah Abdur-Rahim, 6-2, power forward, 2020, FBC Mo NextUp (Marietta, Georgia)
Bailee Adkins, 5-6, point guard, 2020, West Virginia Thunder 2020 Johnson (Lavalette, West Virginia) – 9th Grade Division MVP
Alaya Chapman, 6-1, power forward, 2020, Nike LadyGymRats Cardinal (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
Christine Corpuz, 5-5, guard, 2020, The Truth Black 2020 (Oswego, Illinois)
Kailee Davis, 5-4, point guard, 2021, Michigan Crossover 9th Grade (Oak Park, Michigan)
Kendall Folley, 5-6, point guard, 2021, Dayton Lady Hoopstars Black 2021 – Logan (Lebanon, Ohio)
Eden Gainer, 5-8, shooting guard, 2020, West Virginia Thunder 2020 Johnson (Saint Clairsville, Ohio) – Finals Game MVP
Madison Hayes, 6-0, shooting guard, 2020, FBC Mo NextUp (Ooltewah, Tennessee)
Loyal McQueen, 5-7, point guard, 2020, SC76ers Sizzle (Darlington, South Carolina)
Ariel Richardson, 5-7, point guard, 2020, Team Brandan Wright 2020 Gold (Nashville, Tennessee)
Olivia Westphal, 5-10, guard, 2021, WPA Bruins DeRubbo (Bethel Park, Pennsylvania)
Breanna Wilson, 5-10, small forward, 2020, West Virginia Thunder 2020 Johnson (Parkersburg, West Virginia)