PG Catherine Rock (2020) Mayfield – Catherine is a crafty lefty, decent size but very good length. She’s a tremendous athlete and can get into the paint almost at will. Her interior passing is very good and she makes great decisions on when to dish and when to score. Decent from beyond the arc. Her length and athleticism allows her to be a really solid defender.
CG Katie Clark (2020) Walsh Jesuit – Katie is a huge talent. She can score well at all three levels. She has the talent to take over games when its needed, but what makes her so good is she doesn’t force it. She is very team conscience and enjoys making plays for her teammates as much as she does for herself. Incredible athlete that can guard just about any guard whether they’re bigger or quick and shifty.
G/F Taylor Thierry (2021) Laurel – Taylor is a very good sized guard. She’s very quick and strong. She is tough to stop when she gets a crease to the rim. She can get off the floor and finish or put two hands on the ball and power through contact and bigs. She gets her hands on a lot of passes in the backcourt and as a result she gets lots of easy run outs.
G/F Grace Mangapora (2020) Canfield – Grace is as good at scoring the ball as any of the more highly recruited kids at the summer league. She has a legitimate inside outside game. She shoots the three very well, she gets into the paint and shoots the midrange as good as anyone. One of things that allow her to be so affective is her ability to make quick decisions on the perimeter and beat defenses while they’re out of position.
P Kira Philpot (2020) Stow – Kira is probably the best pour rebounder at this summer league. She boxes out well, she can get off the floor and rebounds strong with one or two hands. She is deceptively athletic and that allows her to get to some balls that others wont. She runs the floor well, she wont hold any high paced offense back. Her post moves are improving every time I see her.
PG Maddie Pietrowski (2021) Walsh Jesuit – Maddie is a great PG, who handles the ball well, she gets the team up and down the floor in transition. I think she has a high IQ and awareness, along with a great feel for the game. She does a good job getting into the paint to disrupt defenses.
G Lilee Carlson (2021) Stow – Lilee has really grown her game, she’s becoming harder and harder to guard in the half court because she’s constantly making tough shots. She’s a decent shooter but her true strength is getting into the lane, using pivots, head fakes, ball fakes and whatever she can to get the defense off balance. She sees the backside really well on top of that, so the great assist is always a possibility.
G Mari Bickley (2023) Laurel – Obviously Mari has superstar written all over her, with offers from schools like South Carolina before she even plays a HS game tells you all you need to know. She’s very strong to the rim for her age, she has good size and she shoots it well. She seems a few steps further ahead than most players and always plays hard.
F Hannah Peterson (2022) Mayfield – Very long and athletic. Also very raw but she’s young and has plenty of time to grow. Through the month I seen her go from being passive and somewhat timid to being physical and very much involved. She is starting to play with a little nasty.
P Olivia Lemmon (2020) Cuyahoga Falls – Really like her energy and effort. She works nonstop and is very welcoming of contact. Very dominant left had but she’s strong enough to get her shots around the rim. She excels in the pick & roll. She has a passers mentality in the post, when she gets it, she wont force up bad shots so guards like playing with her.
Freshmen to keep an eye on:
Kylie Bettinger (CVCA), Kendall Braaten (Laurel), Gia Casalinova (CVCA), Emily Noerr (Chardon), Nina Shaffer (CVCA)
Bella Adams (Stow) 2021 – Bella is really starting to come into her own, She doesn’t really have post girth but she works hard. She was pounding the boards, getting putbacks, finishing in traffic and working hard.
Jo Janda (Chardon) 2021 – Nice hustle player, has a nice looking shot, they were falling tonight. Kid gets after it and will make some plays.
Grace Mangapora (Canfield) 2020 – Grace continues to play well, she’s getting really good at hitting another gear to the basket, getting some extension on her finishes and scoring through contact if need be. She finishes really well inside 6 feet, whether its at the rim or a little pull up outside the paint.
Ellie McCoy (Stow) 2021 – Ellie had a fantastic night. She is a small but very feisty guard, she can really be an annoyance on defense. Offensively she does a great job finding open teammates whether its on an entry pass or a drive and dump. She had several great assists tonight.
Sydnie Pearce (CVCA) 2021 – Syd did a very nice job of getting into the paint today and creating for others. She does a very good job of seeing the back side and making the pass, a good combination of basketball IQ and unselfishness.
Taylor Thierry (Laurel) 2021 – Taylor gets bigger and stronger every time I see her, and her athleticism is very good. She can score in several different ways, making her tough to guard. I think she plays as hard on the defensive end as she does the offensive end.
On a night where lots of teams top players were sidelined, some youngsters and some new faces emerged. Chardon has Halle Landies who is close to returning from an ACL, Gilmour’s Maddie Puletti was out, Cuyahoga Falls senior and Ursuline commit Chelsea Huffman was out, Laurel’s Giuliana Marinozzi was sidelined.
Katie Clark (2020) continues to stand out every time I see Walsh Jesuit play. She has an unbelievable court sense and is always so composed. She is a lacrosse player that just so happens to play basketball, but she is very talented, if she ever wanted to continue playing basketball at the next level she’d have no problem.
Canfield’s Grace Mangapora (2020) is ready to be the best player in the Youngstown area. She combines a nice extended jump shot with intelligent fundamental drives to the basket. Her explosion to the basket wont blow anyone away but she uses shot fakes, head fakes and pivots as good as anyone around.
Kira Philpot (2020) of Stow catches the attention of many as her 6 foot frame gets up and down the floor quickly and she rebounds anything in sight. The offensive game is coming along and she shows signs of the potential there with some nice up & unders and a powerful drop step here and there.
Olivia Lemmon (2020) is another post player that demands attention. She a lefty that knows how to core around the rim. She’s very good in the pick & roll, seals well and can catch entry passes one handed. Speed and quickness aren’t her strong areas but her strength, relentless effort on the boards and her ability to finish are.
Maddie Pietrowski (2021) is a PG for Walsh Jesuit who I think has a lot of talent. She has a high IQ, she gets the ball up the floor well and she can knock down shots. She is pretty smooth on the court and plays the game right, making plays for others as well as herself.
A couple freshmen I liked and look forward to seeing play more are Emily Noerr of Chardon & Mari Bickley from Laurel. I’m sure Mari needs no introduction as she’s widely considered one of the best 2023’s in all of Ohio. She has real nice size and a great shot for her age, but I want to continue watching her some more before I go off praising her. Emily is a nice guard who handles the ball well and gets in the paint. She had some nice mid range stuff but you can tell she’s a younger kid trying to feel her way through things with older kids.
Team wise Stow looked very good, they lost a very successful class from last year but they have some nice guards, mostly underclassman that have been working hard to bridge the gap from last year. They will be more than fine as these kids get more experience under their belt. CVCA had an influx of talent come over from Green after their coaching change. Coach O’Keefe will have more quality players than he had so far up there, and undoubtedly will increase the expectations.