The first Girls Middle School Showcase(GMSS) of the season was hosted by Institute of Notre Dame and their new head coach Doug Able. The event consisted of a 7th grade game, an 8th grade game and a pre-game workout by Gannon Baker certified trainer and coach Steve Franklin. Baltimore Starz 17u coach Randy Dukes was the DJ for the evening and he kept the atmosphere lively by playing the right songs while Coach Al from served as the MC for the event. After coach Franklin's intense and informative workout, the players in the 7th grade game were introduced individually. Michael Bender coached the Black team while Walter Roman handled the White squad.  The 7th graders got off to a slow start as they seemed to be a little nervous. The Black team got untracked first thanks to Janiah Henson and Jayla Galbreath. Henson showed that she has a full offensive arsenal by making three pointers and driving to the basket. Jayla Galbreath is only 4'6",  but she sparked her team by stealing the ball in traffic and getting layups in transition. Morgan Pennick also made some things happen for her team by setting her teammates up and getting to the line herself. The White team kept the game in reach thanks to some interior work being done by post player Destiny Hawkins who rebounded and scored inside. Tian Addison played tough, ball hawking defense but could not get her shots to fall for the White team. Alexxis Sewell had a pair of three pointers and finished closed to double figures but it was not enough to keep the Black team from pulling away for a 42-27 win. There were some outstanding performers on  both teams.

Morgan Pennick: A true point guard with a nice feel for the game. Very savvy floor general who can score when needed.

Jayla Galbreath: She is small but has no fear and uses her size to her advantage. When you have game your size does not matter.

Janiah Henson: Arguably the most fundamentally sound player in the class of 2019. If she gets bigger and stronger, defenders will need a lot of help with her. She has a very good basketball IQ.

Trinity Horton: She has good size and shows a toughness I like in players. Athletic and physical and her 3 point shooting was impressive. She could be a sleeper of this class. Looking forward to seeing her again.

Destiny Hawkins: She is about 5'10 or so right now and is very active. Post players take a while to develop but I liked what I saw in her.

Shaylan Ahearn: Another savvy guard with a good basketball IQ. I want to see her play with her Sure Shots team.

Alexxis Sewell: Yes, two X's in the name. Those two 3 pointers she nailed caught my eye. She also got to the line a couple of times. Looking forward to seeing her with her Shooting Stars team for more evaluation.

Tian Addison: Another point guard I like. She had a rough shooting night which made her force things offensively, but I like how she dug in on defense and challenged the best scorer on the other team.

Maura Devine: She wowed the crowd at IND with her ball handling. I would like to see her again for  more evaluation.

Morgan Gause: She is active and seems to be everywhere. She has a nose for the ball and showed a wilingness to mix it up defensively.

Ramazjah Ramsey: I want to see more of her but I like the way she attacked the basket and used her body in the lane.

Tian Addison challenges Janiah Henson in a 7th grade matchup.

 The 8th graders (pictured above) were introduced and took the floor next. We had a mix of players who played in the GMSS as 7th graders and some who were first timers. The game went down to the wire because both teams were loaded with talented and hungry players who were eager to shine in front of family, friends and the high school coaches in attendance. Makayla Pippin of the Black team was the high scorer in the game with 24 points. She showed why she has the potential to be one of the top bigs to come out of this area in a while. Her job was easy because she had guards like  Tylea Galloway, Hannah Franklin and Nia Clouden setting her up for easy baskets. She seemed to have a special chemistry with Franklin who finished the game with double digit assists. Jasmine Walton and Mackenzie Dewees were determined to make a game of it and they did. Walton is an athletic slasher who can also hit the step back 3 pointer. Dewees is a highly skilled offensive player who inpacted the game on both ends of the court. She scored and came up with a number of steals and rebounds as well.

The Black team was able to pull out a 49 to 46 win when Myah Savage's 3 pointer fell short at the buzzer. The game was exciting and showed us that we have a lot to look forward to from the class of 2018. Here are some of the players who stood out:

Jasmine Walton: A serious slasher with a full offensive array of weapons. Her first step is exceptional and her vertical leap makes her hard for average players to defend. She looks comfortable behind the 3 point line as well.

Makayla Pippin: At just over six feet tall she is a developing post player who loves contact. She has improved tremendously over the past year but is just scratching the surface.

Nia Clouden: The "Lady Mamba" is one smooth player. She can shoot from deep and off the dribble. Most impressive is her passing and ability to create easy shots for teammates.

Tylea Galloway: She is a big and solidly built guard. This was the first time I saw this lefty look just as comfortable setting up teammates as she was in getting her own shot.

Mackenzie Dewees: Great shooting guard who can score in different ways. She has a very strong understanding of the game. She is very skilled and makes plays on both ends of the court. She is a deadly shooter from behind the arc and she made a move and finish in the lane that raised some eyebrows.

Kiana Williams: Another tough point guard who likes to mix it up. She is a solid play maker and can knock down threes. She is not the flashiest player but she usually makes the right play at the right time.

Hannah Franklin: Another gem in a deep class of guards for 2018. She understands how to run an offense and as one scout noted "she gets a lot of hockey assists by making the pass that leads to the assist." She has made steady improvement throughout this past year.

Myah Savage: She returned to the GMSS this year with a chip on her shoulder. She was out to prove that she can hang with the best players and she did. She has a quiet swagger to her game and some skills to go with it. Looking forward to watching her develop in high school.

Aniyah Carpenter: She has the size, the skill set and the potential to be a major player in high school. She showed glimpses of her ability during the game. Now I'm looking to see that signature game where she puts it all together.

Kiara Young: She is a long and athletic wing that plays physical in the paint. There is a lot of potential here. She could flourish in the right high school program.


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