LOUISVILLE, Kent. -- The Kentucky Exposition Center hosted one of the country's biggest girls AAU events this past weekend. With a handful of local teams and players competing in the event. let's take a look at some of the top performers that we watched.
Cate Schieber (5’8 G / Granville / 2022): Schieber is a defensive game wrecker that impacts the game at a very high level. Forming a stifling duo with Covington, Schieber gave relentless effort on the defensive end of the floor that helped Huddle PHX flow on the offensive end. The rising senior is a deadly shooter with near perfect shooting form, as she can punish a defense when given the smallest amount of space. Schieber’s motor, toughness, quickness and two-way production make her one of the best all around guards in the area. With Schieber coming back for her senior year, look for Granville to rely on her leadership and toughness to contend for a second-straight district title.
Ally Fitzgerald (6’3 C / Marquette (MO) / 2022): The only out of town player in this article, Fitzgerald deserves a special mention for the masterful showing that she put on against Ohio Future. The 6-foot-3 center, who we found out after the fact has roots in Central Ohio with her dad being a Pickerington grad, was as dominant an interior player as any we saw all weekend. With intriguing length and overall size at 6-foot-3, Fitzgerald is a defensive nightmare that defended the rim at an extremely high level. Fitzgerald moves very well for her size, has good hands and finishing coordination and a smooth shooting stroke. The rising senior uses her length on the interior to stifle opposing players, as there was not a better rim deterring big in the event. Despite being one of the biggest post players in Louisville, Fitzgerald showed off amazing durability and endurance, as she ran the floor hard all game long against Ohio Future, while owning the defensive glass and eliminating all second chance opportunities. Fitzgerald has offers from Loyola Chicago and Utah State, and showed this past weekend that she’s deserving of many more.
Taylor Covington (5’7 PG / Dublin Coffman / 2022): Absolute grinder. That’s Covington. You won’t out-tough a backcourt that has Covington and AAU teammate Cate Schieber in it, as the dynamite one-two punch were a huge reason why Huddle PHX won the whole thing. Covington is a one-woman press break, as she has an extremely tight handle, great quickness, wiggle and straight line speed. Covington is a TERRIFIC passer off the dribble, as there was not another guard who made better weakside corner reads than her. Despite not putting up major scoring numbers, Covington contributed to winning as well as anyone in the event with her leadership, facilitation and defense.
Maddie Vejsicky (6’0 WG / Newark / 2022): Newark would not have made it to the state tournament without the play of Vejsicky. The 6-foot guard is one of the elite scorers anywhere in the state and stepped up in a major way all season long to help the Wildcats make history. On Sunday in Louisville, Vejsicky looked to be in mid-season form when she powered Ohio Future to a huge semifinal win. Vejsicky has the prettiest jumper in the area, as she gets it off as quickly as some of the elite shooters in basketball at any level. More than her shooting, Vejsicky has developed into more of an all-around scorer, as she put the ball on the deck and scored it off the drive more than any time we’ve seen her in the past. Look for her stock to really rise when Division I coaches are allowed to evaluate in person in July.
Cassidy Lafler (5’10 G / Dublin Coffman / 2022): The only area player on an out of state team, we got the chance to check out Lafler for Kentucky Premier on Saturday. It was apparent very early on that Lafler was the same girl who took home MVP honors at Battle for the City in March, as her relentless effort, energy and hard work helped her be one of the most productive players that we saw all weekend. Lafler has intriguing athletic tools for her height, which makes her a tough matchup, as she is too big for guards and too quick for bigs. When she wasn’t blowing by defenders to the rim, Lafler stretched the floor with her perimeter jumper that she hit consistently. A versatile player that can fill any role she’s needed in, Lafler is another high impact player that we love following, as her effort and intensity will always be there.
Faith Stinson (6’1 C / Sheridan / 2022): In modern basketball, there is such a thing as a ‘stretch center.’ Think Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Brook Lopez. Stinson fits that mold, as the physical 6-foot-1 post was one of the most consistent three point shooters we saw all weekend. The Sheridan star is also one of the most dominant low post defenders in the area, forming a brick wall on the interior that most high school prospects cannot finish through. We love the intensity and toughness that Stinson brings to the floor, as Ohio Future has an advantage any time she is on the court. She stepped up in the biggest way in a major semifinal win on Sunday, hitting the game-winning three to defeat TN Trotters.
Lauren Wood (5’8 G / New Albany / 2022): Sniper. That’s Lauren Wood. The New Albany guard is one of the deadliest outside shooters in the class, as she was dialed in all weekend long in helping Team Huddle PHX roll to the platinum title. The 5-foot-8 guard is a huge threat on the perimeter as a floor stretcher, but showed us the ability to handle pressure off the dribble. Look for Wood to have a chance to be among the leading scorers in the OCC next winter, as she can get hot in a hurry and put up major numbers with the threat of her three-point shot.
Jordan Rich (6’0 PF / Olentangy Liberty / 2022): A player that we weren’t super familiar with coming into the event, Rich made sure that we wouldn’t forget her ever again with her showing on Sunday. The 6-foot forward is a very intriguing prospect that offers a mix of inside-outside ability. The rising senior can score through contact on the interior, but also has the ability to stretch the floor to the mid-range and beyond. Rich is a player who looks like her best basketball is still ahead of her, as she seemed to get more productive the more comfortable she was this past weekend.
Hannah Logan (5’9 G / River Valley / 2022): We got to see Logan for the first time at Battle for the City in March and we appreciated the follow up viewing on Saturday. The 5-foot-9 Logan is a talented guard who can really score it off the bounce, as she impressed as a finisher and distributor. Logan can stretch the floor with her jumper but looks most comfortable attacking off the bounce where she’s a tough cover with her size and quickness.
Lauren Scott (5’6 G / Worthington Kilbourne / 2022): You may know Scott for her high level scoring production at Worthington Kilbourne over the last three years (she’s already a 1,000 point scorer), however, we were most impressed with her defense, communication and leadership. While she scored it when she was able to, Scott has clearly bought into her role on Ohio Future, as she did a great job anchoring the team’s full court defense. A high level competitor, Scott is one of the best vocal leaders that we’ve seen all year, communicating loudly and clearly, things that helped her team win a Gold championship on Sunday.
Ella Wigal (5’11 G / Granville / 2023): The reigning Division II district player of the year, Wigal certainly looked like it in a big time win over Brad Beal Elite on Sunday. Dialed in offensively, Wigal showed her impressive shot making ability at 5-foot-11, as she was extremely difficult to defend. Wigal is a stellar athlete that moves as well as any guard in her class, as she has the speed to beat defenses down the floor, the quickness to get open in space and the size to compete on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor. Playing up a division for the champion Huddle PHX squad, Wigal did not look like one of the younger players on the floor, as she was the definite matchup nightmare that gave her team an advantage. Wigal is a flat out winner that led Lakewood to a district title as a freshman before leading Granville to the same feat this past winter, while also starring as a state champion golfer. There’s not much this girl can’t do.
Jenna Kopyar (5’8 PG / Dublin Coffman / 2023): There isn’t a player in America who gets their hands on more loose balls than Kopyar, as she corralled nearly every single 50/50 ball that came near her this weekend. Kopyar is a highly intelligent player who competes at an extremely high level on each end of the floor. The Dublin Coffman sophomore is a ball hawk that had 10 (yes, 10!!!) offensive rebounds in our Sunday viewing of her, despite only standing at 5-foot-8. Kopyar can score it as well as any guard in her class, however, she makes an overall impact on the game, as she is a quality passer that has great vision and anticipation skills. After nearly knocking Newark off in the regional finals with a masterful 28-point showing, Kopyar has taken the momentum of that season ending game and applied it in an AAU season where she is one of the best players on the circuit.
Brooklyn Mosher (5’10 PF / River Valley / 2023): Logan’s teammate at River Valley, Mosher formed the second part of a one-two punch for Team Huddle Pink. The 5-foot-10 forward is a polished offensive threat who is a true multi-level scorer. Mosher has a thick frame that helps her finish through contact on the interior where she showed off good footwork and touch. The River Valley sophomore is also able to stretch the floor where she was successful as a mid-range shooter. Look for Logan and Mosher to help River Valley compete among the top teams in the MOAC next winter.
Sophia Kline (6’1 PF / Berne Union / 2023): If you need a bucket on the block, you better call Sophia. The 6-foot-1 Berne Union sophomore was as impressive a post player as any player we covered all weekend. The footwork, IQ, patience and understanding she displays on the block is a thing of beauty, as she has a deep bag of post moves to beat a defense. Kline has good hands, great feet and excellent length that make her a force to deal with. Look for Kline to help Berne Union compete for a third-straight Division IV district title next winter.
Keiryn McGuff (5’10 WF / Bishop Watterson / 2023): McGuff’s motor never stops running. We wouldn’t be surprised if she is still at the Kentucky Exposition Center right this second getting offensive rebounds, blocks and steals nearly 24 hours after the tournament ended. She brings that type of energy to the floor. The Bishop Watterson sophomore had an outstanding showing in our viewing of Ohio Future 2023, competing on the glass, scoring it around the rim and showing the ability to stretch the floor with the three ball. With her older sister Kilyn off to Belmont, more will be expected out of Keiryn next season, however, we feel she is more than ready to carry the load.
Meghan Mayotte (5’9 G / Worthington Christian / 2023): On a Worthington Christian team with plenty of notable names, Mayotte may go under the radar, however, she proved she belongs among the top players in the area coming off the bench for Huddle PHX this past weekend. In a tough battle against Brad Beal Elite, Mayotte stifled any hope of a comeback effort for the opposition, going on a self-driven 7-0 run with two tough driving scores and a catch and shoot three to blow the game open. Mayotte is a skilled wing that can create her own shot, as she has great footwork and finishing ability. With Division III district player of the year Kat Weakley off to play at Lipscomb, Mayotte and fellow AAU and high school teammate Megan Weakley will be expected to carry the load for Worthington Christian alongside senior Blessing King. Look for Mayotte to have a chance to really break out as a junior, as she showed her high level ability in a few important spurts in helping lead Huddle PHX to the event title.
Olivia Thorne (5’9 F / New Albany / 2023): Getting our first look at Thorne on Saturday, we were intrigued with the New Albany sophomore. Thorne has good size on the wing, showed the ability to stretch the floor with her perimeter jumper and brings physicality and intensity on both ends. On a New Albany team with plenty of firepower, Thorne may go under the radar, however, we believe she has what it takes to play at the next level.
Harper Annarino (5’10 F / Granville / 2024): Annarino had a major stock rising showing in the opening night of the tournament, hitting a career-high five threes and dropping 27 points. The Granville freshman could not be stopped in the first half, as she hit all four of her three-point attempts, scoring 18 points in the period. She did more than just score, however, as she was the game’s top rebounder, was a defensive force on the interior and came up with a handful of steals and blocks. Annarino is a strong inside finisher who can score through contact but showed the most promise with her ability to stretch the floor with her three-point shot. After serving a major role on a Granville team that rolled through Division II to a district title, look for Annarino to be an All-LCL and all-district type player next season for a loaded Aces squad.
Emily Bratton (5’8 PG / Bloom-Carroll / 2024): Bratton is a high IQ lead guard who is one of the best passers that we’ve seen at her age. She was in her comfort zone on Friday, delivering a handful of high level passes both in the half court and in the open floor. Bratton has a tight and dynamic handle, as she wastes little movement, always knows where to attack the defense and is a quality jump shooter that can stop on a dime and bury jumpers off the bounce. The freshman is a dead-eye threat from three and has a killer’s instinct that you just can’t coach. The all-state selection Bratton has a chance to put together a legendary career for the next three seasons at Bloom-Carroll.
Abigail Adkins (5’9 PG / Johnstown / 2024): We got the chance to see Adkins in person for the first time at the 270 Girls Hoops Battle for the City in late March and we came away impressed once again on Friday. The 5-foot-9 freshman is an athletic force who plays with an insanely high motor. Despite playing the point guard spot, Adkins led the game in offensive rebounds, snatching down a handful of contested boards to create second chance opportunities for her teammates. Adkins is a master of a transition passer, as she can throw full court dimes with her vision and touch. While her jump shooting hasn’t been fully dialed up in our viewings of her, she shows everything else in her game to be a high level impact player on both ends of the floor.