Friday, December 6, 2019

Drake Leads Deposit/Hancock To Tournament Championship; Downsville Downs Worcester In Consolation

*** As always, check EST social media accounts for even more coverage. In-game updates are on Twitter (@NYSTakeover), more pictures & some video is up on Instagram (empirestatetakeover), and all of the pictures are up on Facebook (Empire State Takeover)! ***

December 5, 2019

Deposit/Hancock 49, Walton 32

In a rare championship-first setup at the Walton tournament - Deposit/Hancock had to take the early time slot due to a winter concert - it didn't take long for the visitors to make their presence felt. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead, pushed it 20 before halftime, and were able to maintain a double-digit lead to the finish en route to a 3rd straight Walton tournament championship.

From the start, Laycee Drake (Deposit/Hancock 2021) was in attack mode. The standout guard had 7 early points & dished out a couple assists in the opening minutes, helping them jump to a 15-6 lead after 1, with all of Walton's points coming from a pair of Makara MacGibbon (Walton 2023) treys. Once Ariel Kellam (Deposit/Hancock 2020) scored to start the 2nd quarter, the margin remained in double digits for the rest of the game. A McKenzie Mead basket pushed their lead to twenty at 28-8, and they held a 30-11 lead going into the locker room.

Laycee Drake made it happen for Deposit/Hancock - the standout 2021 went for 19 pts, 15 rebs, 6 asts, & 3 stls in a victory.
Walton, who looked a bit shell-shocked after D/H went on their early run, responded with a stronger showing out of the locker room, although it took some time to show on the scoreboard. Two straight difficult Drake buckets put D/H up 36-15, which proved to match their largest lead of the night. The host Warriors went on a 10-2 run from there, spanning into the 4th quarter when a McKenzie Clough (Walton 2020) jumper cut their deficit to 38-25 early in the 4th. They would get no closer though, as Drake responded with another basket to spurt a put-away run. They were able to hold Walton without a field goal for the next 6 minutes, pushing their lead back up to 21 on two more occasions before Walton scored twice in the waning moments.

Laycee Drake finished with a game high 19 points, and she added 15 rebounds, 6 assists, & 3 steals in a strong all-around showing. Ariel Kellam added 11 in the Eagles' victory. For Walton, Makara MacGibbon led the way with 16 points.

Makara MacGibbon (Walton 2023) had a nice showing in defeat, leading the way with 16 points.

Downsville 44, Worcester 37

Those who stuck around for the consolation game, which was pushed to the nightcap, were treated to a pretty entertaining game. A back-and-forth start went Downsville's way out of the locker room after a strong 3rd quarter, and they were able to make enough plays late to hold off a Worcester charge to walk away with a win.

The Brunner & Young show started from the jump for Downsville. Kailee Young (Downsville 2020) and Olivia Brunner (Downsville 2021) were a dynamic one-two punch throughout the game, and it started as they combined for a 9-0 run in the opening minutes. Worcester responded with a 10-2 run of their own, as Delimar Vega-Haley (Worcester 2021) & Miriam Odell (Worcester 2021) joined forces themselves to score all ten in the spurt. Brunner & Young went back at it from there, with Brunner scoring twice & Young adding a bucket in a 6-0 spurt to give Downsville the lead again early in the 2nd quarter. It remained close through the 1st half, with a pair of Sophia Adams (Worcester 2023) layups cutting Worcester's deficit to 21-20 at the break.

Kailee Young had a strong start for Downsville and finished with 13 points in their consolation game victory.
Vega-Haley scored to start the 2nd half, briefly giving Worcester the lead, but Brunner answered with a bucket that gave Downsville the lead for good. She went on a personal 6-0 spurt, and the run extended to 14-2 - Brunner with 9, Young with 5 - with a Brunner three-point play giving Downsville a double-digit lead at 35-24. The margin hit double digits twice more shortly after - Brunner & Vega-Haley traded baskets for a stretch into the 4th quarter - but another Delimar bucket early in the 4th quarter set up Worcester's last push. She connected twice in a row, cutting their deficit to 39-32, and the run extended to 7-0 after Iriyah Haley hit a three - her only field goal on the night - getting Worcester as close as 4. With Brunner & Young scoring 37 of Downsville's 39 points to that point, it was someone else who provided the big bucket to stop the bleeding, as Mckenzy Brown connected on a corner three to stretch their lead to 42-35. Vega-Haley scored again not long after, but Worcester wasn't able to make any more headway in the waning moments.

Olivia Brunner had a big game for Downsville, going off for a game high 24 points, with 11 coming in a 3rd quarter that Downsville won 16-8 to create separation. Kailee Young added 13 in the win while dealing with foul trouble much of the way. For Worcester, Delimar Vega-Haley had a strong showing, especially in the 2nd half, where she scored 12 of her team high 18 points.

Delimar Vega-Haley helped lead the Worcester 4th quarter push, scoring 12 of the team's 17 pts after halftime. She had a team high 18.


- Put a potential D1 kid in a small-school game, and you get what Laycee Drake did not just on Thursday, but in many of D/H's games. It's not often that you see a 5'6" guard making the sort of all-around impact that she makes. From scoring from the perimeter to finishing over the top in the post, then using 'true PG' abilities to handle against pressure and create for others while also being the most dominant force on the glass. The athletic feats speak for themselves - she's already well-known as a walking highlight reel with nearly unmatched bounce in the region - but I'm impressed with her mindset at this stage. You never know how it'll go when someone becomes a standout at their school and in their league & area at a young age. The first time I saw Laycee - against Walton in 8th grade, to be exact - they went box & 1 on her after she had a big 1st quarter. The word was already out by then. Sometimes, those kids turn into 35 shot per game kids that look to score & let other factors of their game lag. This hasn't been the case for Laycee, who really looks to get her teammates involved at all times. If anything, her unselfishness may make you wish she looked to create for herself a little more at times. Not a bad problem to have if you're a D/H coach or supporter. I was able to hear a Walton fan (parent, grandparent, relative, something) yell 'shut her down' early in the game. To that, I say this: easier said than done.

Jacqlyn Gransbury, another 2023 in Walton's backcourt, will be a key piece for them over the next few years.
- I credit Walton - a team that has a couple freshman that play in prominent roles - for battling in the 2nd half. For lack of a better term, they got punched in the mouth in the first 16 minutes. You never know how any high school team responds to that, let alone a young squad. They dug in & got after it, which is something to build on. It showed on the scoreboard a little bit, cutting the deficit to 13 early in the 4th, and it would've shown more had they not struggled mightily at the charity stripe over that time (5/16 FT in the 2nd half). Going off my first viewing, Makara MacGibbon - one of those Walton freshmen - could be a player to watch with continued work & development. She showed the ability to shoot it, the willingness to attack the rim and the athleticism & ability to finish in traffic. The other freshman, Jacqlyn Gransbury, was held to two points in this one - but she had a big game in their opening round, and you could tell she had a pretty good feel for the game on Thursday despite not being able to get off like earlier in the week. Again, the 2nd half definitely showed something to build on as they go deeper into their seasons.

- I've been familiar with Kailee Young for a while now, but not as much with Olivia Brunner besides what I've been told (thanks, Nate!). As usual, I can say that he wasn't wrong. I left pretty impressed with what I saw from Brunner in this game, as she showed some things that translate well to higher levels of play. She probably is best at the 4 if playing at a higher level, but at 5'10", she certainly showed more than enough guard skill to make an impact however she wanted in this setting. She looked most comfortable in the post or attacking the rim from the perimeter, and she had the strength & athleticism to finish through people and enough quickness & handle to get to her spots. However, she also showed the ability to hit the midrange J off the dribble, which she did on a couple occasions including one off a ball screen. Olivia also played with a noticeable tenacity & toughness, and she made an impact at both ends on the glass and also on the defensive end. Definitely one of those small school under-the-radar kids that could potentially find a home and make an impact at the D3 level in a couple years.

Olivia Brunner (2021) had a big game for Downsville, scoring 24 points, and showed translatable skills that make her someone to watch going forward.
- Worcester also had their chances in this one. They're a young team, cycling in two freshmen and an 8th grader with their core of juniors, and the youth showed at times. It was more so with composure and 'little' things, such as a missed defensive rotation or lack of communication, than anything else. Early in the season - that'll happen and is always to be expected. In my eyes, they played a solid 26 minutes, but unfortunately, the majority of the 3rd quarter - a period where they were a bit out of sorts, seemed to lack focus, maybe let some issues with officiating get to them a bit - was enough to do them in. Again, early season stuff that you anticipate works itself out over time. Delimar Vega-Haley really picked it up in the final 10 minutes - she's changed her game a bit since the last time I've seen her, more willing to put it on the deck and initiate contact at the rim - and after the rough 3rd quarter, they were able to come back & give themselves a reasonable shot. As is often the case in games like this, they'll learn & grow from it.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

South Glens Falls Hangs On For W Over Broadalbin-Perth

December 4, 2019

South Glens Falls 38, Broadalbin-Perth 33

It was a rare Foothills Wednesday for these two teams, as their season opener was pushed back from Monday due to weather. South Glens Falls led for nearly all of the 2nd half, but it took a couple timely buckets and a strong defensive effort in the closing moments to be able to hold off host Broadalbin-Perth in their season opener.

The start was slow on both ends, but especially so for SGF, who fell behind 7-1 early after being held without a field goal for the first 4 minutes. B-P was able to dominate the glass early, thanks in large part to Makenzie Smith (Broadalbin-Perth 2022), who had a pair of buckets in the first few minutes. SGF finally got on the board with a Hannah Breen (South Glens Falls 2021) basket, then Sydney Hart (SGF 2023) delivered with a three to cut their deficit to 8-6 after one quarter. A 9-0 run in the 2nd quarter, five coming from Breen, gave them a 15-10 lead, but B-P responded with a 6-0 spurt to briefly regain the lead. A pair of Hart buckets in the final minute of the half sent the Bulldogs into the locker room up 20-16 - a lead that B-P wouldn't get back.

Sydney Hart helped SGF grab the lead in the 1st half, scoring 9 of her 13 points before intermission.
The 2nd half started with a deep right wing trey from Caroline Iannotti (B-P 2021), but SGF went on a run to open it up a bit as B-P's offense went a bit stagnant. A 7-1 spurt capped with a Courtney Robarge bucket gave SGF their largest lead at 31-22 late in the 3rd. After Smith scored to cut B-P's deficit to 7 going into the final stanza, Robarge opened the 4th with another basket, but the Patriots would make their final push from there. A 9-0 run, 5 points coming from Iannotti, brought B-P all the way back as another Caroline trey tied the game at 33 with 3:21 left. The SGF drought finally ended on the ensuing possession with a Zoe Lanfear layup, then a big Breen trey off an extra pass from Hart gave them a 38-33 edge with 2:01 left. B-P had chances to cut into the deficit, but a few possessions came up empty and they were unable to foul enough to put SGF on the free throw line in the waning moments.

Hannah Breen led all scorers with 14 points, including three of SGF's four threes on the night. Sydney Hart added 13 in the win. For Broadalbin-Perth, Caroline Iannotti paced them with 10 points with 8 coming in the 2nd half, and Makenzie Smith added 8.

Caroline Iannotti started & ended the B-P 2nd half scoring with threes, and she contributed 8 of her team high 10 points after halftime.


- I choose my words on Twitter, but I'm also not one to mince words. Early season basketball at its finest Wednesday. Gritty, not the most aesthetically pleasing, not the smoothest flow to a game that I've ever seen. In games like this - and they're always bound to happen - it's all about digging in, battling, playing hard, and getting enough shots to fall to pull one out. This one will most definitely be a bit more fluid later in the year, but it was the season opener for both teams - just have to grind one out sometimes. With that being said...

- Credit to SGF for doing just that - finding a way to manufacture a win on the road when they weren't at their best. B-P did a good job defensively on SGF ball screens, keeping a tough PG in Syd Hart from getting paint touches most of the night, and they made SGF work deep into the shot clock consistently. That being said, Syd found other ways to produce, Hannah Breen hit shots when she was given space, and they did a better job on the glass as the night went on. Sometimes, you'll take wins however you can get them. The Foothills is a bit up in the air behind Queensbury & Amsterdam, with SGF, B-P, and Johnstown all battling in that pile. I'll never read deeply into early season results, but a solid road W to start the season for SGF nonetheless.

Hannah Breen played a large role in SGF's victory Wednesday, providing a needed scoring punch & ability to stretch the defense with her game high 14 points & 3 threes.
- B-P certainly had their chances. On a night where it certainly wasn't fluid for them either, they had it all square with 3 minutes left at their place. They had difficulty getting Makenzie Smith, one of Section 2's better post players, post touches at times. SGF's pressure bothered them throughout the night, and they got smacked with a couple 5 second & 10 second violation calls in some important moments late. Again, chalk some of that up to season opener problems. With a post/perimeter duo like Smith/Caroline Iannotti, this is probably the best Broadalbin-Perth team in the six years I've been doing this (I know, it hasn't been that long, but still). Tough one for them tonight as they have to go back-to-back with a game at Amsterdam, but they should be in the thick of it in the Foothills as the season wears on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Olsen Hangs 41, Nisky Holds Off Guilderland

December 3, 2019

Niskayuna 78, Guilderland 66

After a couple forced days off with a couple feet of snow getting dropped across the Capital District, it was back to business on Tuesday night, as the Suburban Council schedule began with a light slate of games. Those that walked into the Guilderland gym saw a game that would've made a D'Antoni smile. In an uptempo, shot clock optional battle that saw ten lead changes, a pair of 2nd half runs gave Niskayuna the lead and then put it away for good as they ran to a victory to go 2-0 on the young season.

The game featured a player on each side with Division I offers in hand, and they didn't disappoint. It started with a short ceremony for Valencia Fontenelle-Posson (Guilderland 2021) in recognition for her scoring her 1,000th point in their final game last winter, and she started the game on a tear, scoring 12 points in the opening quarter. It was matched by Niskayuna standout 2021 Olivia Olsen, who had 10 in the first 8 minutes, helping them get out to a 20-17 lead. Guilderland took the lead back in the 2nd quarter, going on a 16-3 run dating back to the end of the 1st - 12 coming from Graycen Dubin (Guilderland 2020) - to grab their largest lead of the night at 30-23. An 8-0 run in response from Nisky capped with a pair of Ryleigh Endres (Niskayuna 2022) free throws gave them the lead again briefly, but another 7-1 Guilderland spurt - ending with a Fontenelle-Posson trey, her 19th point of the half - gave them a 37-34 lead going into intermission.

Olivia Olsen went off for 41 points in Niskayuna's victory Tuesday.
The 3rd quarter continued with the same back & forth action as the 1st half displayed, but the visitors quickly made their mark. After a Dubin bucket gave Guilderland a 41-38 lead, Nisky went on an 11-0 run over 2 minutes of action, with an Olsen three-point play capping it to give them a 49-41 lead. Compounding Guilderland's problems, Dubin picked up her 4th & 5th fouls in the later stages of the 3rd quarter, fouling out with 1:43 left in the stanza. Nisky stretched their 9 point lead after 3 quarters up to 14 twice early in the 4th, on a Natalie Prian (Niskayuna 2020) three and then again after another Olsen bucket, but Guilderland had one more push. A 10-2 push in the middle of the 4th, 5 coming from Fontenelle-Posson, cut their deficit to 68-63, but they would get no closer. A 10-0 Nisky run - the first 9 coming once again from Olsen - gave the visitors a 15 point lead in the final minute, putting it away for good.

Olivia Olsen had a monster night, going off for a game high 41 points in the victory for Niskayuna. Natalie Prian joined her in double digits, finishing with 14. On Guilderland's end, Valencia Fontenelle-Posson went off for 33 points, 19 in the 1st half & another 12 that came in the 4th quarter. Graycen Dubin added 14 points, including 12 in the 1st half run that gave her squad their largest lead.

Valencia Fontenelle-Posson dropped 33, 19 coming in an electric 1st half, on Tuesday.


- It's always nice to see a Division I prospect on each side of the court. On this occasion, they both put forth a great effort leading to an entertaining battle. Olivia Olsen was athletically dominant & controlled the game from 15 feet & in. Valencia Fontenelle-Posson was electric in the 1st half, showing the ability to score at all three levels, and brought her trademark high motor. 41 for Liv, 33 for VFP. They helped make this one worth the price of admission, and at the end of the day, their performances are what I'll remember about this game.

- Speaking of Liv Olsen, it's amazing to see her development over the last couple years. She's went from an athletic youngster with upside to one of the most (if not the most) dominant player in Section 2. Not only is she physically and athletically dominant at 6'2" with length & unmatched bounce in this area, her overall skill level has drastically improved and there's a particular smoothness to her game. On several occasions, she made tough catches look easy and showed good body control finishing through contact & around defenders. Along with scoring around the rim, she hit a runner off glass in transition and shot well from the free throw line (11/14). Defensively, Liv deterred her opponents from trying to score around the rim with her ability to block shots - at one point, emphatically smacking one off the glass in a way that you don't even see much in boys' games. From youngster with upside to several Division I offers on the table with the list only growing... when watching her, it doesn't take long to see why.

- The change of momentum that gave Nisky the edge they needed came when they went box & 1 on VFP to start the 2nd half. It certainly isn't that Guilderland was stymied offensively in the last 16 minutes - they still scored 29 after halftime - but the few minutes that it took for them to adjust, a period where they went stagnant on offense, was enough time for Nisky to take advantage and force their opponents to play from behind for the rest of the night. Couple that with them doing a better job handling Guilderland's pressure after halftime - partially because foul trouble kept the Dutch from being as aggressive defensively - and it was too much for the hosts to overcome.

Natalie Prian provided a solid perimeter scoring punch for Niskayuna, finishing with 14 points in the win.
- Speaking of foul trouble... if we're playing 'by the numbers', then 15 is the +/- total for Niskayuna at the free throw line. They went 22/37 from the charity stripe, Guilderland went 7/9. The discrepancy will happen with their difference of styles, but the difference at the line certainly was a factor in the result.

- They may have been on the losing end, but the game was played to Guilderland's pace throughout. If you want to watch uptempo, fast-paced hoops, check them out this winter. The shot clock operator is expendable goods when they're in town!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Corinne Feller Memorial Tournament Semifinals: Burke Knocks Off Marlboro, Hosts Run To W

November 23, 2019

It may have been the Saturday night of what I've called 'scrimmage week', but at Valley Central, they were playing games that counted on the record. The 20th Annual Corinne Feller Memorial Tip-Off Tournament effectively tipped off the regular season in Section 9, with Class B foes Marlboro & Burke Catholic starting it up and AA counterparts Middletown & host Valley Central finishing it off.

Burke Catholic 52, Marlboro 40

A competitive battle for 24 minutes went in Burke Catholic's favor in the final 8, as they matched their scoring output through 3 quarters with a 26 point outburst to break away with a season opening victory.

A back-and-forth start saw the lead change hands five times alone with three ties in the 1st half, and it showcased contrasting styles with Marlboro trying to get paint touches & attack the rim while Burke Catholic focused on getting perimeter looks against Marlboro's zone defense. An Erin Lofaro (Marlboro 2020; UMass Lowell signee) bucket gave the Dukes a 14-12 lead after 1 quarter. After younger sister Lizzy Lofaro (Marlboro 2021) scored to start the 2nd, Marlboro went over 7 minutes without scoring again. Although shots weren't falling for Burke in the quarter either - there was a scoreless stretch of 5:09 for both teams - they grabbed a 3 point lead late in the half before Briana Bernicker (Marlboro 2021) canned a top of the key three to beat the 2nd quarter buzzer, tying the game at 19.

Lizzy Lofaro led Marlboro with 15 points in their opener.
The tug-of-war continued in the 3rd quarter. Marlboro scored the first 4 of the quarter on Erin Lofaro baskets as the Dukes came out of the locker room attempting to get it into the post. Burke scored the next 5, briefly regaining the lead on a Brenna Costello (Burke Catholic 2020) bucket, but Liz Lofaro & Bernicker answered to give Marlboro a 4 point lead once more late in the quarter. The tide would quickly turn though, as the Eagles were able to make a big push from there. A 6-0 run split between the 3rd & 4th quarters gave them the lead, with Costello scoring to put them up 30-28, and Marlboro's problems only intensified as Erin Lofaro saw an end to her night due to fouls shortly thereafter. They briefly tied it on a Hannah Polumbo (Marlboro 2024) layup, but a Caileigh Costello (Burke Catholic 2020) three at the 6:40 mark gave Burke the lead for good. Another 7-0 spurt, 5 coming from Brenna Costello, extended their run to 18-5 and lead to 42-33. Marlboro attempted to make one last push, with a three from Liz Lofaro - who took on a much larger role offensively with Erin on the bench - cutting their deficit to 42-37, but 6 straight Burke Catholic points capped with another Caileigh Costello trey at the 1:01 mark put it out of reach, as they picked up a quality early season victory.

Brenna Costello dropped a game high 20 in the win for Burke Catholic.
Two last names accounted for over 2/3 of the game's scoring - Costello & Lofaro. Brenna Costello dropped a game high 20 points for Burke Catholic, 9 coming in the 4th quarter. Caileigh Costello joined her in double digits, scoring 8 each in the 1st & 4th quarters to account for her 16. On Marlboro's end, Lizzy Lofaro led the way with 15 points, and Erin (along with Briana Bernicker) added 8.

Valley Central 52, Middletown 24

The nightcap lacked any sort of the dramatic flare that the night's opener provided, as host Valley Central had just about put this game away by intermission en route to a notch in the W column in their opener.

It was a pretty sloppy start on both ends, but before the 1st quarter was over, Valley Central started to work the nerves out, executing in the half-court and turning defense into transition offense. A 6-5 game quickly became 16-5 by the end of the 1st, as VC ran off 10 straight points in the final 2:05 of the stanza. The 2nd quarter held the same storyline as the 1st - after a pair of Kiki Kennedy (Middletown 2020) threes held their deficit at 11, they were held scoreless for the last nearly 5 minutes of the half, with Valley Central scoring the last 8 of the half to extend their lead to 30-11.

Erin-Rose Cooney led a balanced VC group with 11 points in their victory.
Any hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed, as Middletown didn't get closer than 17 in the 2nd half. A 7-0 run in response - and as the rest of this game went, coming from 3 different VC scorers - ran the margin to 37-13 in the 3rd, and Valley Central eventually led by as much as 32 in the final minutes.

A very balanced Valley Central scoring effort saw all 9 active players score at least 4 points. Erin-Rose Cooney (VC 2020) led them with 11 points, and Shaina Cooney (VC 2021) followed her with 8. For the Middies, Alyze Skyers (Middletown 2022) led the way with 7 points.

Kiarra Kennedy had 6 points on a pair of threes for Middletown.

Now, as was the case for all of these posts, you know what time it is...


- November basketball is what it is. Can't put too much stock into results two weeks into a four-month basketball season. I'm certainly not. That being said, that doesn't diminish that Burke Catholic picked up a quality win to start their season, knocking off defending S9 Class B champion Marlboro with a dominant 4th quarter. They did a good job playing to their strengths against the Marlboro zone, moving the ball and getting good looks for their guards & giving Brenna/Caileigh Costello room to work. When an opportunity to seize control came about due to Lofaro's foul trouble, they jumped on it, outscoring Marlboro 22-12 with Erin on the bench. Quality win for Burke Catholic, and I imagine a confidence booster as they jump head first into their season.

- I've mentioned Brenna & Caileigh Costello quite a bit in this post - here's one more. I don't get deep into Section 9 (read Orange County) as much as I'd like to or probably should, so this was my first time seeing Burke and I believe my first time seeing them. I left pretty impressed with them, from skill level to court presence. They have clear differences in their game - Caileigh has a stronger build, Brenna looks a little more long & lanky, Caileigh looked more comfortable using the midrange & in-between game going off the dribble and Brenna looked more to attack the rim & use her bounce to go over the top - but both can shoot it, both can handle it, and both play with a little flare & confidence. Not sure where their recruitment is at, but they each could help some programs out looking for depth at the guard spots in the 2020 class.

Caileigh Costello went to work for Burke, contributing 16 points including 8 in the 4th quarter.
- A loss for Marlboro, but they didn't come away empty-handed from it and I sure didn't when it comes to them, either. Knowing about the Lofaros going in and having seen them play quite a bit over the last couple years, my biggest takeaway was the aforementioned Hannah Polumbo. Just an 8th grader, she came in off the bench and gave them quality minutes - perhaps even more than they anticipated giving her going into the game. She didn't blow away the scorebooks (4 points), but a simple eye test shows there's a lot of upside here. Hannah appears to be around 6' and already has a pretty strong, athletic body and is coordinated for her size & age with the ability to run the floor. She did a good job creating space in the post and sealing defenders off, and she was a presence on the glass at both ends. Definitely someone for me to keep tabs on not just during the winter, but over the years to come.

- Valley Central had an impressive start and showed that they have several on their roster that can make things happen. The Cooneys, Erin-Rose (2020) & Shaina (2021), have been at it for a while and are probably more familiar names to coaches with their presence on the AAU circuit as well. Katie Crofoot (2020) is also a familiar name, having been a key contributor at VC for a number of years. They pack a powerful punch coming off the bench with Nickole Schmidt (2021), a long, skilled guard that I previously saw & liked in the fall. Hoping to make another trip to the area to catch them as their schedule revs up.

Nickole Schmidt is one of several that can be called upon to produce for Valley Central this winter.
- I'd rather be in the gym than anything else, but sitting in front of my computer typing away for a blog post means one thing... it's basketball season. Nothing better!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Early Signing Period: 23 ESTers Committed To D1/D2 Programs, On Track To Sign In Next Week

The early stages of November signifies many different things in the basketball world. At the collegiate level, several weeks of practices turn into games that count in the standings. At the high school level, an offseason of work and talk about 'next year' wraps up as practices get underway. And for some select seniors, it also signifies bridging the gap as the early signing period for Division I & Division II bound athletes takes place.

Many athletes across the country have committed to Division I & II institutions and have the opportunity to sit at the table during the early signing period and put pen to paper on letters of intent. This includes 23 athletes that participated in EST events - 12 Division I, 11 Division II - and 15 that saw time in the EST summer league. All of these numbers blast their categories' previous high numbers for Division I & II bound players that hit the court for EST events. These athletes represent five sections of the NYSPHSAA (2, 3, 4, 6, & 9), along with two more representing Massachusetts in the MIAA or NEPSAC.

A list of those girls committed to Division I or II schools are below - some have already signed, and the majority are scheduled to sign by the end of the period next Wednesday. A major congratulations goes out to all that are seeing goals turn into reality over the next few days!

Division I

Dolly Cairns
High School: Saratoga Springs (NY, Section II Class AA)
AAU: City Rocks
College Commitment: Rhode Island (Atlantic 10)
- EST Summer League 2015-2019

Erin Fox
High School: Millbrook (NY, Section IX Class C)
AAU: NJ Freedom
College Commitment: Marist (MAAC)
- EST Summer League 2017-2018 (missed 2019 due to injury)
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017

Belle Kranbuhl
High School: Adirondack (NY, Section III Class B)
AAU: NY Havoc
College Commitment: Monmouth (MAAC)
- EST Summer League 2016-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2017-2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017-2018

Lindsey Lawson
High School: Cazenovia (NY, Section III Class B)
AAU: I-90 Elite
College Commitment: Harvard (Ivy League)
- EST Summer League 2018-2019
- EST Summer Kickoff 2018

Bella Stuart
High School: Shenendehowa (NY, Section II Class AA)
AAU: NY Havoc
College Commitment: New Hampshire (America East)
- EST Summer League 2017-2019 (subbed in 2016)
- EST Fall Showcase 2016-2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017-2018

Logan Thayne
High School: Hoosick Falls (NY, Section II Class B)
AAU: NY Havoc
College Commitment: Albany (America East)
- EST Summer League 2017-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2017
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017

Sophie Tougas
High School: Bradford Christian Academy (MA, NEPSAC) (Previous School: Glens Falls)
AAU: Rivals
College Commitment: Cal State Bakersfield (WAC)
- EST Summer League 2015-2019
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017-2018

Kelsey Wood
High School: Averill Park (NY, Section II Class A)
AAU: NY Havoc
College Commitment: Sacred Heart (NEC)
- EST Summer League 2016-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2017-2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017

Jillian Casey
High School: Horseheads (NY, Section IV Class AA)
AAU: BNY Select
College Commitment: Quinnipiac (MAAC)
- EST Fall Showcase 2017-2019
- EST Summer Kickoff 2018

Kaci Donovan
High School: Owego Free Academy (NY, Section IV Class B)
AAU: Philly Belles
College Commitment: Penn State (Big Ten)
- EST Fall Showcase 2018


Dani Haskell
High School: Franklinville (NY, Section VI Class C)
AAU: I-90 Elite
College Commitment: Canisius (MAAC)
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017

Ahniysha Jackson
High School: Albany (NY, Section II Class AA)
AAU: I-90 Elite
College Commitment: Siena (MAAC)
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017

Division II

Makayla Blake
High School: Colonie (NY, Section II Class AA)
AAU: NY Havoc
College Commitment: St. Michael's (NE-10)
- EST Summer League 2017-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2017-2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017-2018

Julia DeBeatham
High School: Shaker (NY, Section II Class AA)
AAU: City Rocks International
College Commitment: Queens (ECC)
- EST Summer League 2016-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2017
- EST Summer Kickoff 2017-2018

Madison Graham
High School: Ichabod Crane (NY, Section II Class B)
AAU: Albany Capitals
College Commitment: Adelphi (NE-10)
- EST Summer League 2018-2019
- EST Summer Kickoff 2018

Amanda Mieczkowski
High School: Northampton (MA, WMass Division II)
AAU: NY Havoc
College Commitment: Assumption (NE-10)
- EST Summer League 2018-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2017-2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2019

Haedyn Roberts
High School: Holland Patent (NY, Section III Class B)
AAU: NY Havoc
College Commitment: Le Moyne (NE-10)
- EST Summer League 2017-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2019

Simone Walker
High School: Shenendehowa (NY, Section II Class AA)
AAU: Albany Capitals
College Commitment: Adelphi (NE-10)
- EST Summer League 2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2019

Kaitlyn Watrobski
High School: Shenendehowa (NY, Section II)
AAU: Albany Capitals
College Commitment: St. Thomas Aquinas (ECC)
- EST Summer League 2018-2019
- EST Fall Showcase 2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2018-2019

Shamoni Berrios
High School: Maria Regina (NY, Section I)
AAU: Empire State Blue Flames
College Commitment: Concordia (CACC)
- EST Summer Kickoff 2018

Halea Eaton
High School: Norwich (NY, Section IV Class B)
AAU: BNY Select
College Commitment: Le Moyne (NE-10)
- EST Fall Showcase 2017-2018
- EST Summer Kickoff 2018-2019

Georgia Haverlock
High School: Ithaca (NY, Section IV Class AA)
AAU: Elmira Fusion
College Commitment: Roberts Wesleyan (ECC)
- EST Fall Showcase 2018

Freey Pleasants
High School: Syracuse Academy of Science (NY, Section III Class B)
AAU: I-90 Elite
College Commitment: Queens (ECC)
- EST Summer Kickoff 2018
- EST Fall Showcase 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

ESTers In Action: Early November (Thru 11/10/19)

Halloween decorations are being replaced with Christmas trees, peppermint mocha & gingerbread is filling in for pumpkin, there's snow on the ground in upstate NY... it's basketball season!

Around 125 EST summer league & event participants will be suiting up at the collegiate level this year, and we've hit the time of year where the games are starting to count on the record. Division I games tipped off last Tuesday night, D2 & D3 games followed suit a few days after, and NJCAA teams saw the earliest start, with games having started at the beginning of the month. Time to check up on ESTers! Look for this style of post, following these EST event alums in their next chapter, as time allows throughout the winter.

* BOLD - EST summer league participant
* BOLD & ITALICIZED - Participated solely in EST one-day exposure events

Division I

Saeeda Abdul-Aziz (Davidson, jr) - Saeeda looks to be back at full health after an injury-riddled first couple years. The Mohonasen grad saw 8 minutes in their season opener Tuesday, recording an assist in their 66-52 W over Georgetown. They then fell 74-63 to Drexel on Saturday.

Cat Almeida (Quinnipiac, fy) - Cat, a Shenendehowa grad, saw 10 minutes of action in her collegiate debut. The 6'5" freshman scored her first collegiate points, hitting a three in the 1st quarter, and added 3 boards & a block in their 66-62 setback to Drexel.

Cat Almeida (Quinnipiac), pictured in the 2018 EST summer league
Brooke Bjelko (Bryant, jr) - Brooke got the start in the season opener of her junior year. The 6'3" forward, a Beekmantown product, contributed 5 points & 4 rebounds in a 45-44 victory over Brown on Tuesday. She was then one of three in double figures, finishing with 10 points (5/5 FG) & 5 rebounds in 20 minutes on Saturday, but they suffered a 68-56 setback to New Hampshire.

Danielle Migliore (Rutgers, GR) - Danielle, now at Rutgers as a grad transfer after 3 years at St. Bonaventure, saw 6 minutes of action in her Scarlet Knights debut, hitting a pair of free throws in their 77-56 W over South Alabama. She then registered 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, & 2 steals in 20 minutes in Saturday's 107-33 blowout W over Coppin State.

Silke Milliman (Penn, fy), pictured at the 2018 EST summer league
Silke Milliman (Penn, fy) - The Northfield Mount Hermon (MA) graduate saw her first collegiate action Saturday, playing 11 minutes and contributing 2 rebounds & 3 assists in what turned into a 92-44 blowout victory over Siena.

Brianna Rozzi (Loyola (MD), fy) - Bri is getting the opportunity right off the bat at Loyola, with two games in and plenty of run against BCS opponents. She started off with 4 points, 4 rebounds, & 2 steals in 19 minutes in her collegiate debut, a 84-60 loss at #16 Notre Dame. She followed it up a couple days later by getting 21 minutes off the bench and chipping in with 7 points in their 67-46 loss to Big 10 Northwestern.

Brianna Rozzi (Loyola (MD), fy), pictured in the 2018 EST summer league
Shyla Sanford (LIU, soph) - Shyla, a Shaker alum, got the starting nod in her squad's opening games. She finished with 2 points, 2 boards, a steal, & a block in 20 minutes in their 89-74 setback to Saint Peter's Tuesday. Following that, she went for 13 points (5/8 FG), 2 assists, & 4 steals in 25 minutes Thursday in a loss to Rhode Island - the alma mater of both her parents.

Also getting their seasons underway at the Division I ranks:

Chloe Chaffin (Fordham, R-FY)
Kerry Flaherty (Holy Cross, fy)
Grace Heeps (UMass, fy)
Lauraine Joensen (UMass, jr)
Cece Mayo (Indiana State, jr)
Hanna Strawn (Binghamton, soph)
Camille Loussedes (Marist, fy)
Mackenzie Smith (Old Dominion, fy)
Madison Smith (Vermont, fy)

Division II

Nerea Brajac (Georgian Court, jr) - Nerea, who has been a consistent contributor for her Lions squad since the start of her collegiate career, started in both of their contests over the weekend against NE-10 foes. She finished with 5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, & 3 steals in 36 minutes in their 77-71 W over SNHU on Saturday, then followed it up with a 15 point (6/10 FG)/4 rebound/3 steal performance while logging just 19 minutes due to foul trouble on Sunday, where they fell to Assumption 73-67.

Nerea Brajac (Georgian Court, jr), pictured in the 2016 EST summer league (photo taken by Joe Fenelon, NYG Hoops Report)
Sydney Brown (UC San Diego, soph) - Brown got the start for UC San Diego in her debut with the new uniform after transferring from Division I Columbia. Although she got the start, she only was able to log 8 minutes before an injury knocked her out for the remainder of the game. In that stretch, she connected on her only field goal attempt, finishing with 2 points & 3 rebounds, and the Tritons finished off with a 84-77 victory over Simon Fraser.

Emma Carter (Franklin Pierce, soph) - The Mount Abraham (VT) grad maintained a starting nod to start her sophomore campaign, finishing with 5 points & 4 rebounds in 20 minutes in their 61-48 triumph at Roberts Wesleyan. She recorded a pair of rebounds in 17 minutes the following day in a 65-45 loss to Daemen.

Nina Fedullo (Saint Rose, jr) - The Amsterdam product has worked her way into a prominent role to start her junior campaign for the Golden Knights. She contributed 16 points, 3 rebounds, & 2 assists in 32 minutes of action to start the year in their 66-56 W over Caldwell. The following day, she chipped in with 8 points, 11 boards, 4 assists, & 2 steals in 36 minutes as they defeated Wilmington 78-69.

Julie Ford (King (TN), soph) - New jersey for Julie, who transferred to King after a year at Division I Albany. The Cooperstown grad saw valuable minutes off the bench in her opening weekend. She started with a flash, contributing 8 points, 10 rebounds, & 4 blocks in 16 minutes in her debut, a 90-62 W over Mars Hill. She also saw 16 minutes the following day, finishing with 4 points & 2 boards in a 82-62 setback to Tusculum.

Stephanie Jankovic (St. Anselm, soph) - The Averill Park product saw action in both of her team's games over the weekend, registering 2 points & an assist in a 89-60 W over Bloomfield and 2 points & a rebound in a 93-68 win over Bridgeport.

Julia Kelner (Nova Southeastern, jr) - New beginnings for the Jamesville-DeWitt grad, making her debut for the Sharks after spending two years at Division I Bryant. She saw 31 minutes off the bench in her NSU debut, contributing 2 points, 5 rebounds, & 2 assists in their 77-56 loss to Union (TN). The following day, she finished with 6 points & 2 rebounds in 19 minutes in a 85-78 setback to Delta State.

Julia Kelner (Nova Southeastern, jr), pictured in the 2016 EST summer league (photo taken by Joe Fenelon, NYG Hoops Report)
Liz Millea (Le Moyne, RS-jr) - Millea had a strong outing in the Dolphins' season opener, going off for 18 points (4 threes), 4 rebounds, & 4 assists in 26 minutes as they handled Goldey-Beacom 67-46. The Cooperstown grad finished with a team high 11 points the following day, adding 6 rebounds in 20 minutes of action, but they fell at host USciences 71-51.

Alivia Paeglow (Mansfield, fy) - Paeglow got the starting nod in her collegiate debut, contributing 4 points, 5 rebounds, & 2 assists in 23 minutes in their 71-61 loss to WV Wesleyan on Saturday. The Colonie alum grabbed 4 rebounds in 5 minutes the following day in a 73-70 triumph over Davis & Elkins.

Harmony Philo (Queens, fy) - The Gloversville grad went off in her collegiate debut for the Knights, not only starting, but logging 38 minutes and dropping a team high 18 points (6 threes) with 3 assists & 3 steals in their 63-58 W over Jefferson Saturday. She saw 36 minutes of action the following day, contributing 8 points & 5 rebounds in a 64-54 setback to Chestnut Hill.

Isabel Sanchez (Saint Rose, fy), pictured in the 2018 EST summer league
Isabel Sanchez (Saint Rose, fy) - The New York Military Academy product by way of Spain saw her first collegiate action over the weekend. She saw 4 minutes in the Golden Knights' 66-56 W over Caldwell, then contributed 2 points, 2 rebounds, & 2 assists in 8 minutes in their 78-69 W over Wilmington the following day.

Cameron Tooley (Le Moyne, soph) - The Shenendehowa product saw her first action over the weekend since losing the back end of her freshman year due to a torn ACL. She played 17 minutes in their opener and contributed 4 points, 2 rebounds, & 3 assists in their 67-46 victory over Goldey-Beacom. She saw 26 minutes the following night in a 71-51 loss to USciences.

Cameron Tooley (Le Moyne, soph), pictured in the 2017 EST summer league
Becca Townes (Saint Rose, soph) - It appears as though Townes has worked her way into a much larger role for the Golden Knights heading into her sophomore year. The Our Lady of Lourdes grad got the start and nearly went the distance in their opener, finishing with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, & 4 steals in 39 minutes in their 66-56 W over Caldwell. She then went off for a career high 27 points (9/13 FG, 6/8 3P), 3 assists, & 3 steals the following day, logging 38 minutes in a 78-69 triumph over Wilmington.

Kyara Triblet (St. Michael's, fy) - The Colonie grad saw her first collegiate action in her squad's season opener, contributing 2 points, a steal, & a block in 4 minutes in their 82-64 W over Wilmington Friday.

Aliyah Wright (New Haven, fy) - Another recent Colonie grad debuting at the Division 2 level (one of three Raiders doing so over the weekend), Aliyah had 4 assists in 13 minutes off the bench in her debut, a 68-57 W over CSI Saturday.

Aliyah Wright (New Haven, fy), pictured in the 2018 EST summer league
Jenna Zimmerman (Le Moyne, soph) - After a big freshman year for the Dolphins, the South Jefferson grad didn't slow up in their opener on Friday. Although playing just 22 minutes while hampered with foul trouble, she contributed 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks in their 68-47 W over Goldey-Beacom. The following day, she chipped in with 4 points & 4 rebounds in 30 minutes, but they fell to host USciences 71-51.

Melissa Alifano (St. Thomas Aquinas, fy) - The Monroe-Woodbury graduate made her collegiate debut for the Spartans over the weekend. She saw 8 minutes in their opener, pulling down 2 rebounds in their 87-51 victory over AIC, then scored her first collegiate points with a bucket in their 85-65 triumph over Dominican.

Aurora DeShaies (New Haven, fy) - Couldn't ask for a much better debut from Aurora, as the Bishop Ludden grad had a monster game in her first as a Charger. She finished with a game high 20 points & 6 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench, as they defeated CSI 68-57 on Saturday.

Victoria Kurisko (St. Thomas Aquinas, soph) - Kurisko had a solid outing in STAC's season opener. The Clarkstown South grad finished with 4 points, 7 boards, & 2 assists in 18 minutes in their 87-51 W over AIC. The following day, she saw 19 minutes of action and contributed 3 points, 3 rebounds, & 4 assists in their 85-65 victory over Dominican.

Marina Maerkl (Daemen, fy) - The Seton Catholic product saw her first minutes at the collegiate level as her Daemen squad split matchups against NE-10 opponents over the weekend. She played 7 minutes in their opener, recording a point & a rebound in their 77-70 setback to Stonehill. The following day, she contributed 2 points & 2 boards in 7 minutes as they broke open a close game in the 2nd half to beat Franklin Pierce 65-45.

Also getting their seasons underway at the Division II ranks:

Ashlynn McKnight (Roberts Wesleyan, fy)
EmmaLee Morgan (NYIT, fy)
Alyssa Stevenson (New Haven, fy)
Lucy Tougas (Queens, jr)
Molly Williams (Daemen, fy)
Chyna Butler (Bowie State, soph)
Madelynn Stearns (Daemen, fy)

Division III

Olivia Allrich (SUNY Oneonta, sr) - The Ballston Spa alum went 'back home' for her senior year opener, playing a few miles from her old high school at Skidmore. She contributed 4 assists in 23 minutes in their 59-49 W over the Thoroughbreds.

Jordyn Burke (Keene St., jr) - The Mount Anthony (VT) product started her season with an 11 point/4 rebound performance in 35 minutes of action. They fell to Suffolk 59-50.

Danielle Caivana (Cazenovia, jr) - Already a big scorer for Caz in her first two years, Caivana started her junior year with a bang individually. In their season opener, a 77-62 loss to Potsdam, she went off for 26 points (9/16 FG) and added 5 rebounds & 5 assists in 31 minutes. The Frankfort-Schuyler alum followed it up with another strong outing the next day, going for 21 points (7/13 FG), 5 rebounds, & 10 assists in 34 minutes of action in a 76-61 W over Canton.

Petrina DeMarco (Utica, soph) - DeMarco had a strong debut to her sophomore campaign after being a source of consistent production for the Pioneers last year. The Whitesboro grad finished with 15 points (6/9 FG), 4 rebounds, & 3 assists in 17 minutes of action in a 99-34 blowout W over Delhi.

Natalie DiSalvo (SUNY Geneseo, sr) - A captain for the Geneseo squad in her senior year, the Canton alum hit a pair of threes and finished with 6 points & 2 rebounds in their season opener, a 83-49 victory over Hilbert.

Katelyn Flanagan (SUNY Potsdam, soph) - After starting her collegiate career in the JuCo ranks at Jefferson CC last year, the Canton product saw 19 minutes in her debut at Potsdam Friday. She finished with 2 points & 5 rebounds in a 77-62 W over Cazenovia. She also saw 21 minutes of action the following day in a 81-74 setback to Coast Guard.

Taylor Hansen (SUNY Geneseo, fy) - The Norwich grad saw 18 minutes of action in her collegiate debut, contributing 4 points, 4 rebounds, & 3 assists in their 83-49 triumph over Hilbert.

Taylor Hansen (SUNY Geneseo, fy), pictured in the 2018 EST Summer Kickoff
Lauren Hill (Suffolk, soph) - The Cobleskill-Richmondville graduate saw 14 minutes of action in Suffolk's season opener. She contributed 2 points, 2 rebounds, & 2 steals in a 59-50 W over Keene State. She added another bucket in 10 minutes off the bench the following day, a 71-52 loss to Western New England.

Jordan Hipwell (Suffolk, jr) - Hipwell, who has already been a key contributor for Suffolk in her first two years, saw 35 minutes of action in their season opener Friday. She contributed 6 points in their 59-50 W over Keene State. She added another 6 points the following day, but they fell 71-52 to Western New England.

Madison Hoyt (SUNY Geneseo, fy) - In her collegiate debut, the Stamford grad saw 8 minutes of action and contributed 3 points & 2 assists in their 83-49 victory over Hilbert.

Maggie Kirby & Molly Kirby (Hartwick, soph) - After a strong opening season, the Kirby girls started their sophomore campaigns on the road playing a tough Union squad. Maggie paced the Hawks with 10 points & 2 blocks in 21 minutes before fouling out in the 4th quarter, and Molly added 9 points, 3 rebounds, & 2 assists before also fouling out late in 29 minutes of action. They fell to the hosts, 65-46.

Lyndsey McCoy (Alfred, jr) - The Middleburgh grad went 'back home' on a road trip to a SUNY Cobleskill gym 10 minutes away from her high school. She contributed 10 points, 6 rebounds, & 2 assists in 31 minutes in their season opener, a 70-63 loss to the hosts.

Anna Milham (St. John Fisher, fy) - The Shenendehowa product saw 12 minutes off the bench in her Cardinal debut, contributing 5 points in their 62-58 triumph over St. Lawrence.

Anna Milham (St. John Fisher, fy), pictured in the 2018 EST summer league
Paige Niemeyer (SUNY New Paltz, sr) - It was a big opener for Niemeyer, who's already had a strong college career to date, that helped push them over the top in a tough opening test. The Ichabod Crane product finished with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, & 3 blocks in 36 minutes of action as they defeated RIT 83-80 on Saturday.

Lauren Obermayer (SUNY Oneonta, fy) - The Columbia grad started and saw 34 minutes of action in her collegiate debut, contributing 3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, & 2 steals in a 59-49 victory at Skidmore.

Mary Kate Palleschi (Skidmore, soph) - In her sophomore season opener, the Scotia-Glenville alum started and saw 24 minutes of action. She contributed 5 points & 3 rebounds in a 59-49 setback to SUNY Oneonta.

Kelly Pine (Hartwick, jr) - Kelly, already a key contributor on a Hawks squad that saw the NCAA tournament last year, finished with 7 points, 2 assists, & 2 blocks in 36 minutes in Hartwick's opener, a 65-46 defeat at the hands of Union.

Giuliana Pritchard (Hartwick, soph) - After starting her collegiate career at Hartwick and finishing last year at Sage, the Amsterdam product is back in uniform for the Hawks and in a more prominent role. Pritchard got the start in their season opener and contributed 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, & 6 steals in 37 minutes of action. They fell to Union on Friday, 65-46.

Megan Roell (SUNY Geneseo, soph) - The Valley Central graduate pumped in 10 points (5/6 FG) & 5 rebounds in 15 minutes of action in Geneseo's 83-49 triumph over Hilbert.

Lexi Tubbs (Cazenovia, sr) - One of the few original ESTers from the Class of 2016, the Madison product has had a respectable college career to date at Cazenovia. In a 77-62 loss to Potsdam Friday to start her senior season, she finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds, & 3 assists in 34 minutes. The following day, she contributed 9 points, 2 rebounds, & 2 assists in 23 minutes of action in their 76-61 victory over Canton.

Lexi Van Vorst (SUNY New Paltz, fy) - In her collegiate debut, the Columbia grad came in off the bench and provided a quick spark, hitting two threes & contributing 6 points in 7 minutes as they defeated host RIT 83-80.

Lexi Van Vorst (SUNY New Paltz, fy), pictured in the 2018 EST summer league
Abby Wilkinson (Salisbury, fy) - Abby saw her first collegiate action over the weekend, contributing 3 points in 7 minutes in their 80-66 setback to Muhlenberg.

Mallory Wood (St. John Fisher, soph) - The Averill Park alum got the starting nod to start her sophomore season, a role that she became familiar with off the bat last year. She contributed 3 points, 3 rebounds, & 2 assists in 21 minutes in a 62-58 W at St. Lawrence.

Harper Mead (St. John Fisher, fy) - Harper got the start for the Cardinals in her collegiate debut, and the Champlain Valley Union (VT) product contributed 5 points & 3 rebounds in 14 minutes in their 62-58 victory over St. Lawrence.

Kelsey Terrell (SUNY Oneonta, fy) - In her collegiate debut, the Middleburgh grad saw 12 minutes off the bench, contributing 2 points & 2 rebounds in their 59-49 victory over Skidmore.

Also getting their seasons underway at the Division III ranks:

Cassidy Albright (SUNY Poly, sr)
Carli Brenon (SUNY Poly, jr)
Paige Brinkman (Western New England, soph)
Gwen Carpenter (Framingham State, fy)
Kayla Doody (SUNY Plattsburgh, soph)
Megan Flynn (Sage, sr)
Madison Greco (Sage, soph)
Olivia Kelley (Manhattanville, fy)
Olivia Langdon (SUNY Cortland, fy)
Maddy Malicki (William Smith, fy)
Maggie Malone (SUNY Cortland, fy)
Sam McKenna (Mitchell, fy)
Ashlyn O'Neil (RPI, fy)
Kyra Oeffler (Sage, soph)
Julianna Okoniewski (U of Rochester, soph)
Sam Pasinella (Sage, soph)
Renna Poulin (Sage, fy)
Julia Ryan (McDaniel, soph)
Graci Serravillo (SUNY New Paltz, fy)
Kylie Sisto (Mount St. Mary, soph)
Julianna Taylor (SUNY Brockport, jr)
Taylor Torchia (SUNY Oswego, jr)
Kayla Usborne (SUNY Brockport, fy)
Alyssa Waters (Elmira, soph)
Asia Winney (Vassar, fy)
Sophie Wittenbeck (SUNY Poly, soph)
Morgan Wolanin (SUNY Oswego, sr)
Katie Costello (Marywood, fy)
Lexi Emmi (Buffalo State, fy)
Erin Hardick (Medaille, fy)
Abby Kienzle (Clarkson, fy)
Alana Kornaker (Middlebury, soph)
Meaghan Perrino (SUNY Geneseo, soph)
Emily Pike (Sage, soph)
Maddie Pratt (Clarkson, soph)
Kylee Rosbrook (SUNY Brockport, soph)
Katie Smith (Mount St. Mary, jr)
Genny Swanson (SUNY Poly, fy)
Liz Thompson (SUNY Oneonta, fy)
Emily Vallee (RPI, soph)
Liz White (Nazareth, jr)


Julia Carbonell (Northeast CC, fy) - Carbonell, who participated in the EST summer league in 2018 while in America by way of Spain, has come back to the states to play at Northeast CC, a D1 JuCo in Nebraska. She has seen good minutes coming off the bench to start her career for the 4-0 Hawks, averaging 5 PPG & 2 SPG in those wins.

Ally Crosby (Jefferson CC, soph) - After a strong freshman year as a key contributor for a regional champion Cannoneer squad, she started off Year #2 strong as well. The Hammond graduate finished with 9 points & 11 boards in 37 minutes of action in their opener, falling to NJCAA D2 Genesee 69-65 on Tuesday. She then went off for game highs of 36 points, 14 rebounds, & 4 blocks on Friday, but they fell to host HVCC 86-85. The day after, she added 10 points, 8 rebounds, & 5 blocks in a 72-37 victory over Adirondack.

Namir Davis (Herkimer CC, soph) - Namir is now a General after spending last year at Onondaga, and she started her season off strong as the starting PG at Herkimer. She contributed 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, & 4 steals in her Generals debut at Clinton, and the Utica Proctor grad added 4 points in her hometown of Utica in a win over MVCC. On Saturday, she chipped in with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, & 2 steals in their 85-54 W over HVCC to go 3-0.

Lexi DeBeatham (Herkimer CC, soph) - The Shaker grad started her sophomore campaign strong, finishing with 15 points (7/12 FG), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, & 4 steals in their 82-39 triumph at Clinton CC over the weekend. She then went off for 19 points (6/7 FG, 3/4 3P, 4/5 FT) in their 50-47 W at MVCC on Wednesday. It only went up from there, as she dropped a game high 22 points (12/12 FT), 7 rebounds, & 4 steals as they defeated HVCC 85-54 on Saturday.

Aubrey Halloran (Niagara CC, soph) - Much like last year, the Thunderwolves have started this season on a tear. One of the best D2 JuCos in the country, they've flexed in their opening games. It started with a 106-29 W over SUNY Adirondack, expanded to 119-19 over Davis College, continued with a 94-55 triumph over Springfield Tech, and they wrapped up the week with a 97-46 W over Broome CC. Halloran, an Albany grad, has got the start in all four games, which have all seen the starters get a very early exit. She's averaged 9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 2.8 SPG, & 2.3 BPG in those 4 wins.

Bre Palmatier (Corning CC, soph) - Palmatier, a Middleburgh grad, had a solid individual opening to her sophomore year as they took a couple close losses. She went for a team high 18 points, 10 boards, 4 assists, & 3 steals in their season opener, a 72-61 L to Genesee CC, and then added 10 points & 5 rebounds the following day in a 57-47 setback to Jamestown CC - both are D2 JuCos.

Anna & Grace VanRoy (Hudson Valley CC, fy) - The VanRoy twins were strong pickups for coach Rob Coleman at HVCC, landing in Troy after previously committing to Southern Vermont, which shut its doors after the spring. They started off their season with an 81-69 W over Cayuga, with Grace contributing 15 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, & 3 steals and Anna chipping in with 8 points & 4 boards. They dropped one the following day to Montgomery (MD), 82-71. GVR filled the stat line again with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, & 3 steals, and AVR added 6 points & 4 rebounds. They split a pair again the following weekend, winning a 86-86 nailbiter over Jefferson at home on Friday. Grace finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, & 2 blocks and Anna added 8 points & 2 rebounds. The Saugerties products were the two Vikings in double digits in their most recent game, a 85-54 loss to Herkimer. Grace led the way with 12 points, 5 rebounds, & 2 steals, and Anna added 11 points & 4 rebounds.

Emily Erickson (Hudson Valley CC, fy) - The Tamarac grad has been an instant source of major production for the Vikings, proving to be as potent of a scorer at the JuCo ranks as she was in the Wasaren. She's scored 20+ points in 3 of HVCC's first 4 games, which they've went 2-2 in. She led all scorers with 22 points in her collegiate debut, and she added 6 rebounds & 2 steals in the 81-69 W over Cayuga. Erickson went for another game high of 27 points along with 5 boards & 2 steals the following day, but they couldn't overcome a dreadful start in a 82-71 setback to Montgomery (MD). She led the Vikings with 23 points (7/12 FG) back home on Friday, hitting 5 of their 15 threes, and added 3 assists & 4 steals in their 86-85 victory over Jefferson. She was held to 9 points the day after at Herkimer in a game that saw her limited due to foul trouble, and she added 3 steals in the 85-54 loss.

Kamryn Hammond (Dutchess CC, fy) - Kamryn's enjoyed a fantastic start to her collegiate career at the JuCo ranks, leading Dutchess to a 2-1 record while putting up huge numbers. In her collegiate debut, she dropped a game high 36 points (15/19 FG) and added 5 rebounds in a 86-54 W. She followed it up with a 19 point/3 steal showing in a 51-49 setback, then responded the day after with 35 points (13/20 FG, 6/9 3P), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, & 4 steals in a 70-27 victory.

Aniah Ingram (Onondaga CC, fy) - Aniah, a Cicero-North Syracuse grad, started her collegiate career with a bang. She went for 14 points & 9 rebounds in their opener against Bryant & Stratton, then went off for 20 points & 19 boards as they ran their record to 2-0 with a W over Rowan College South Jersey. When they came back home, she added 12 points, 12 rebounds, & 2 blocks in their 92-51 W over the Ithaca College Club Team. She was held to 3 points in their final game of a busy week, but grabbed 10 boards in a 74-66 comeback W over FMCC Saturday.

Also getting their seasons underway at the NJCAA ranks:

Candace MacCutcheon (Orange CC, soph)
Julianna Noone (Orange CC, soph)