The most imposing inside presence in the paint on Day One of the End of the Oregon Trail tournament was a sophomore-to-be named Kelsey Bone from Stafford, Texas. She roamed and dominated the paint so much that, for the time being, the paint should be renamed the Bone Yard. You usually don’t see a kid this young play with such power and strength and dominate the opposition young or old, big or small, but Bone went to work in her yard Thursday.
Bone plays for the ultra-talented West Coast Elite-Black team that made easy work of the Rocky Mountain Rage, their first-round opponent, and then dominated the paint in an exhibition game against the defending AAU National Champs, Fencor, which was missing star player Elena DelleDonne, who is nursing an ankle sprain. Bone nevertheless stood out as a dominating force and nobody today could handle her around the basket.
Six feet four, Bone has lost a noticeable amount of weight since the fall and her game has elevated to new heights. She has tremendous power and energy on both sides of the court. She uses her body to seal post position and her drop step is money in the bank. Several times against Fencor, she spun out of her drop steps to the middle of the paint, seemingly out of boredom with scoring on them continually. She pivots strong, finishes strong, is passing out of the post much better and is very active rebounding as well.
Janessa Wolff, a 6-3 post from the North Tartan 16/17 squad put in some work today. Wolff’s rebounding prowess is what makes her stand out. She rarely if ever misses a box out and she rips the rebounds out of the air. She looked solid in both outings, which included a great defensive effort against Chay Shegog, who was held to 11 points, mostly on putback buckets.
Kelly Hartig, a 6-4 post from Highlands Ranch, Colo., is a former ThunderRidge High teammate of standout Duke freshman Abby Waner, but is making her own mark on the game. The Virginia commit has good size and mobility, is a nice passer and can put the ball on the floor, though probably not under duress. She will fight for space on the block and has an assortment of finishes, as well as a decent shot to at least the elbows.
Boo Williams post Evelyn Lewis from Hampton, Va., looked solid in her team’s first-round win over the Lady Swift – Silver. She is big and long and can run the floor well for a big. She finishes well on the run but needs work on holding post position better to advantage of her 6-3 size.
Ebony Patterson, a point guard for Fairfax Stars – Virginia South from Richmond, Va., was dominant in her teams win today controlling the tempo of the game and getting into the paint off dribble penetration at will. She showed good explosion into the defender’s hips and nice handle throughout.
North Tartan point guard Alyssa Karel from Mendota Heights, Minn., had the daunting task of going heads up with one of the best defensive guards in the country in Jasmine Thomas of the Fairfax Stars. The gutsy 5-7 Karel didn’t back down. She pushed the ball up the floor against pressure, penetrated and kicked to her team’s plethora of shooters and even picked Thomas’s pocket at mid court leading to a fast break bucket in the North Tartan win.
Gonzaga commit Courtney Vandersloot did her thing in the Puget Sound Flight’s exhibition game against Team Ichiban. The 5-9 combo guard from Kent, Wash., showed off her long-range shooting, dribble penetration and solid interior passing off penetration. She was by far the best player on the court in the game.
San Gabriel Valley wing Leah Washington, from Riverside, Calif., showed some nice dribble penetration against North Tartan. She’s very creative going to the basket and was successful getting to the line when she couldn’t finish.
Mia Nickson, an Ashburn Va., native and 6-1 forward for Boo Williams, showed off her length and quickness. Most impressive was her upper body strength and she used it to her advantage. She applied a lot of defensive pressure, flying all over the court.
Jo Niquia Guilford, a forward from Chesapeake, Va., showed off her impressive athleticism. She’s got a sweet little spin move in the paint and showed good touch on her shots inside of 12 feet. Guildford plays for the Fairfax Stars – Virginia South squad.
West Coast Elite guard Briana Gilbreath came off the bench against Fencor and lit a fuse in her team by dominating the game defensively. She tormented the ballhandlers, forcing numerous turnovers which kicked the game’s pace up enough that the opposition could not keep up. She got plenty of fast-break opportunities as well as drew fouls and finished through the contact.
Darshae Burnside, a 6-3 post from San Bernadino, Calif., battled the imposing post players from Boo Williams and proved to be a bright spot for her Lady Swift Silver team. She showed good hands in receiving tough passes and used solid technique to create space for lob passes when the defenders fronted her. She’s a hard working kid that gets a lot out of a thin frame.
On July 4 Cal Swish guard Jeanette Pohlen visited the Stanford campus and verbally committed to the Cardinal. … In the day’s final exhibition match, Fencor guard Caroline Doty took a nasty fall, injuring her hip. She would not return to the game, but smiled and gave a thumbs-up after the game. If she is unable to play this would be a devastating blow to the Fencor team who is already without the team’s leading scorer Elena DelleDonne.
Chris Hansen is the National Director of Scouting for Women's Basketball at HoopGurlz.com and Scout.com. Chris leads the panel that evaluates and ranks girl's basketball prospects nationally for HoopGurlz, Scout.com and Full Court Press (www.FullCourt.com). Chris has been involved in the women’s basketball community since 1998 as a coach, trainer, evaluator and reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Our Complete 2006 End of the Trail Coverage Menu:
In the absence of her team's superstar, Caroline Doty has emerged as an elite player in her own right.
EOT Watch - July 8
Who is this girl, Melissa Jones, and why are all those coaches following her in Oregon City?
Team to Watch: CenCal Elite
Courtney Collishaw and her CenCal Elite teammates make a splash at the End of the Trail.
EOT Watch - July 7
Breakdowns of players, including Kayla Standish, from the second day of competition.
EOT Watch - July 6
Breakdowns of players, including Kelsey Bone, from the first day of competition.
Team to Watch: EBX 15s
Alex Cowling and the East Bay Xplosion Black are poised to do damage on the viewing circuit.