The games were split 3-3, all very close as suspected.
Mead’s girls JV team is a solid group. I watched them earlier in the season hold off G Prep and today they had another test against University who is equally as strong. They held on to win behind Maddie Lee(freshmen) who led the way for her squad, showing her solid and controlled game at the point. She scored when she needed to and didn’t force the action too much on offense, obviously something her and the coaches are working on. Lindsay Russell, one of Mead’s upcoming triple threat (she is part of a set of triplets that are freshmen) has good size and a nice outside shot also showed well in this game. University ladies played very well and could have easily won this match. They were paced by a group of freshmen. Courtney Awberry– a shooter and playmaker on both ends. She knocked down some spot up threes and made a handful of steals in the fourth quarter to keep this game close. Gracie Dwyer– a post with knowledge and leadership, and Sierra Apodaca, who was fast and tough, just like the varsity PG Emma Kennedy.
Game of the night! U high came out and was all over Mead, forcing turnovers and scoring underneath with #32 Campbell Barrington(freshmen). This kid is going to be good, he showed a scoring ability down low, seems to be pretty athletic, and uses his size to rebound. Elijah Ramirez is lightning quick and loves to handle the rock with shifty crossovers behind the back. He raced up and down the court all game and could develop into a solid point guard. The Titan were up 6-8 point all game until the fourth quarter when Mead came back with a 3 point assault and tied the game on Chase Boss’s triple with 3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into over time. Let me tell you this kid can play! He was EVERYWHERE in this game and Id bet he had 5 steals in the second half alone. It was fun watching he and Ramirez sprint down the court every possession. Boss forced this game to go into overtime with steals and the three and helped put it away in OT, with timely defensive plays (a charge) and multiple set ups for his shooters to knock down threes to pull away.
The Titans dominated the Panther boys with the constant offensive pressure of #22 Brady Brinkman and #23 Tate O’Kert. They both spent the gamer attacking the basket finishing layups and shooting free throws. Their energetic pace and attacking of the rim was good to see at this level as so many players are timid and afraid to play so intense on offense, afraid to make mistakes. Mead showed some fight from the PG position as #11 played hard and made some plays to keep it close and the big man owning the high post, #25 Orom Opien, showed good fundamentals on the block and the sense that he will grow and develop as a bruising scorer in the years to come.
The Mead girls held on to win a one point game against the undefeated Lady Titan group. It was a game that showed how these girls can score and how it can go if the other team can’t finish at the rim. Setting the tone for Mead was Olivia Sloan who from the get go was in a scoring frenzy hitting 2 threes in the first quarter and also lacked no confidence in her basketball abilities whatsoever. She will definitely be someone to watch at Mead for the next 3 years. Sarah Wilson was the next in line to show the goods, she is fun to watch and generally makes the right play without a lot of flash, just solid fundamentals at the guard position. For the University Lady Titans it was a tough night but not one that failed to show the talent they posses as a class. There were 3 girls I noticed that seemed to show a lot of experience and ability. Ill start with the point- Mo Woods, she runs the show with strong ball handling and an ability to raise her game and score when needed. The wing- Kailey Sanford is a smooth lefty that has a good shot and can run the court with the best freshmen around. Lastly, the post- Elena Rhodes, this girl has the heart of a lion and does not own an ounce of “give up” in her DNA. She was on the floor half of the game and ripping the rebounds away from Mead the other half. She is not afraid to shoot from the outside and has some good footwork down low. The combination of these 3 players will in no doubt keep the U High girls program rising to the top.
This game was controlled by U High from start to finish. The girls forced a ton of turnovers as Mead tried 4 different point guards and they used clock on offense to get good shots. A well-played game for the visitors. This being my first time watching them this season, something that really stood out was the advancement of Kaity Pannell’s game this year. KP has developed the confidence to shoot and make three pointers and attack the basket with a scorers mentality this season. Combine that with her sound court presence it makes for a very good player as a junior. Emma Kennedy did what she always does, hold tempo and make the right pass for her scorers. Brooke Bailey has the swagger of an all around talent. The other player I cant fail to mention is Josie Wicklund. She plays hard-nosed defense and got into the lane a handful of times and scored with pull up jumpers. She looks to be a very capable floor leader. Mead also showed some new faces tonight aside from the usualls-(Winger, Pauling, Douglas) and without Coreen Labish. Sydney Hellmen played denial defense on Bailey and kept her in check for most of the game. It was impressive to watch the way she fought through screens and stuck to the scorer, keeper her to a low point total. Alyse Jackson got off some shots and as a sophomore I see a lot of treys in the crystal ball for her.
After a hot start I thought Mead might be coming into their own after the break ready to make a run at the top of the league. Unfortunately for them, that is all it was. Max Hess had a good night scoring as he nailed threes to start. What I liked most was that throughout the game he was very active offensively posting up off of the UCLA cuts they run. He could have scored even more with his mindset to attack tonight but the passes just didn’t seem to get to him as U High played with a lot of intensity on defense. Bobby Little made me smile as I got to see him down low using his size to score a couple of easy hoops. He has a nice game and in too many cases seems to settle for the outside shot with that shooters touch under his control. Austin Dill continues to get better and seems bigger this season and Garrett Schmerer is under rated or over looked… cant figure this one out…for his contributions to the surprising Titans.