BROOKLYN, NY - The girls took center stage at the Conrad McRae Youth League on Saturday. With the boys off until next weekend, the girls finished off their regular season this weekend, and on Saturday many of the top names from the NY area were on action as they look to help their teams advance into the playoffs.
Here is a recap of some of the action from Dean Street in Brooklyn.
New Heights (Chez) Out Hoop Westchester Hoopers, 64-52
One of the more anticipated games of the day saw recent Maryland commit, 6'2" forward Kiah Gillespie (Capitol Prep, CT '15) square off against 6'4" Abbie Wolf (Greenwich, CT '16), a forward with high major offers. The pair's matchup was highly anticipated, but before it even got going, it looked like the Hoopers were going to take control.
Gillespie and MeiLyn Bautista (St. Mary's '15) did not arrive on time for coach Chez Williams squad, so while still very talented with girls such as Mikaiya Moore (Copiague '16) and Mimi Reid (Murry Bergtraum '17), they were without key cogs and it put them in a massive hole early.
Lanay Rodney (Peekskill '16) could not be stopped in the early going scoring the first 9 points of the game for the Hoopers, and ending up with 15 in the opening eight minutes. She hit on 3 threes in the quarter, and Wolf was a presence inside showing good footwork in the post as Westchester took a 19-12 lead after 1.
Bautista and Gillespie came in to start the 2nd, but the lead just expanded for the Hoopers with guard Kayla Correa (Cardinal Spellman '16) hitting on a pair of midrange jumpers, while Wolf and Amina Dixon (New Rochelle '15) each were able to finish inside, and with Gillespie struggling to get going, the halftime lead for the Hoopers grew to 32-16.
It was a long halftime break for New Heights as they had to look into the mirror to figure I how to fix their sluggish play, and that's exactly what they did. Bautista made crisp passes for easy finishes, and the pressure defense in the backcourt led to a ton of turnovers. The main offensive weapon was the youngster Moore who at 6'1" was versatile enough to dominate both inside and out, scoring 14 points in the 3rd as Gillespie's presence allowed her to get better looks, and when she connected on an and 1 right at the buzzer to end the quarter, New Heights had climbed all the way back and took a 41-40 lead after 3.
It was a 25-8 quarter for New Heights and with Wolf not getting as many good looks on the inside with Gillespie stepping up the defensive effort, and the guards led by Rodney struggling from the outside now, it was just too much to overcome. Gillespie scored 7 in the fourth, and Bautista took the ball inside and dished off to a cutting Reid for an easy bucket, and the New Heights lead grew to as big as 14 in the 4th before finishing off at 64-52.
Gillespie had a team high 22 points for New Heights with Moore adding 20, while Rodney paced the Westchester Hoopers with a game high 25 in the loss.
D1 Bound Overwhelmes Woodlands H.S. 50-33
Coach Mike Toro always brings a great squad out to the Conrad McRae League, and led by Michigan bound Lauren Brozoski (Long Island Lutheran '15) and Seton Hall commit Taylor Byrne (Long Island Lutheran '15), they were able to run away and take the 17 point win.
Brozoski was on fire early pulling up and knocking down midrange jumpers and showing her ability to hurt defenses off the dribble, with Harvard commit Nani Redford (Long Island Lutheran '15) stroking it from the outside to help D1 take a big 32-12 lead at the half.
With Byrne dominating on the inside against the smaller Woodlands H.S. team the lead grew to as many as 27, but Woodlands wasn't going to quit and they had a big time talent of their own who may become one of the bigger names in the area.
Teisha Hyman (Woodlands '19), a lead guard who is only a rising 8th grader, was able to attack and finish in transition, and helped lead a 13-1 run to narrow the down to a reasonable 14 points late in the game, but a strong finish upped the lead once again to where it finished at 50-33.
Brozoski led D1 with 13 points, while her H.S. teammates Byrne and Redford each had 10 a piece in the win. In defeat Hyman impressed and finished with a game high 16 points.
Team Prince Elite Extinguishes Long Island Lightning, 49-22
It may not have been the prettiest start with Team Prince Elite, which is South Shore H.S., struggling with just 10 points in the opening quarter, but when Maryland bound Brianna Fraser (South Shore '15) got going, it turned into a runaway win for the PSAL powers.
Fraser showed she has expanded her game to be a lethal three point threat now as she connected on 4 threes in the game, with 3 of them coming in the 3rd quarter where a 12 point lead grew to 30+ backed on her strong play both inside and outside.
Amanda Cruz (South Shore '15) struggled at first with the Lightning pressure, but she picked up her game, was solid with the ball in her hands decision making, and was solid pulling up in transition from deep.
Fraser had 21 and Cruz added 11 as the team had a near flawless 2nd half and continues its strong play in hopes of a Conrad McRae title.
NY Belles Edges Canarsie H.S. 51-48
In the opening game of the day, it took a dramatic comeback by the Belles, who were without star forward Lorraine Hickman (Floral Park '15), who in their final Live Period tournament in Atlanta at the end of July tore her ACL and will miss her entire senior season, to pull out the win.
Down 48-45 with 17 seconds to play Kiana Clark (Bishop Loughlin '15) knocked down a trey to tie the game up at 48. Off the ensuing inbounds, Cynthia Perez (Christ the King '15) stole the pass, went baseline and converted on the reverse layup while getting fouled. She hit on the FT with 9 seconds left and all of a sudden it was 51-48 for the Belles.
Canarsie did have one last shot, but they couldn't get it off as the swarming pressure never allowed them to get off a shot to tie and the NY Belles, who were down by as many as 7 in the 4th came back for the hard fought win.
Clark had 16, Perez had 14, and Nicole Teta (Archbishop Molloy '15) had 13 to lead a balanced Belles attack for the win. Briana Stoddart (Canarsie '15) led everyone in the game with 19 points in the loss.