Atlanta, Ga. – The fall evaluation weekend is designed to bring an end to the summer season. The Peach State End of the Road Championships closed out the summer circuit with a bang. You know the talent level at an event is high when neither of the two marquee players’ teams reach the championship game. Neither Maya Moore nor Glory Johnson could lead their teams to the title contest. The Elite Division was loaded with great talent and an excellent championship game match-up.
The Arkansas Belles only brought seven players to the tournament, but found a way to go home with the Elite Division title. Led by 5-foot-10 Kelsey Hatcher, a 2008 guard out of Central Arkansas Christian, and 2007 Louisiana Tech commit Sidney Stewart, the Belles shot their way past the Winston-Salem Stealers and Collins Hill High School in the first round and semifinals, respectively. In the title game they matched up against Peach State Elite, which beat the Tennessee Xtreme and the Georgia Bearcats to earn the right to play for the title.
Peach State has a talented 2008 group including South Carolina commit Mo Bennett, a 2008 wing from Statesboro High School and Nisha Adams a 6-3 center from Liberty County. Thanks to the shooting of Hatcher, the Belles opened up a 10-point lead early in the second half, but Bennett helped bring Peach State back. Julie Inman also shot it well for the Belles and was matched shot for shot by 5-7 Shanasa Sanders for Peach State. It was a tie game at 40 with 12 seconds left when Hatcher knocked down two free throws to seal the game for the Belles.
Brandi Andrews, a 5-6 point guard from Chattanooga, Tenn., has blazing speed and can distribute the basketball. She still is uncommitted and could be a great pickup for a low to mid-major that needs a point.
Jordan Jones, a 5-9 guard from Suwanee, Ga., is one of the country's best long-distance shooters and is committed to Texas Tech. She did her thing from the three-point line and even demonstrated her toughness, tying a semifinal game to complete a 26-point rally against the Arkansas Belles in spite of taking a foul so hard it broke her front tooth in two places.
Angelica Mealing, a 5-7 point guard from Decatur, Ga., penetrates gaps, finds open players and can hit the standstill jumper. “Jelly” has the swagger that top guards possess and Central Florida has pulled off a steal on this one.
Taylor Dalrymple, a 6-1 post from Suwanee, Ga., has guard-like passing ability from the post. She can also step out to 18 and hit the open jumper. Her father, Bruce, played at Georgia Tech in the mid-1980’s.
Glory Johnson (white jersey) battles Maya
Moore for a rebound
Glory Johnson, a 6-3 post from Knoxville, Tenn., is an incredible athlete and is being recruited by every major school in the country. She has a high motor and huge upside.
Chelsea Jones, a 6-4 post from Fort Smith, Ark., is still relatively new to the game with a great foundation to build on. She is a legit high-major center with good hands and feet.
Shaniqua Pauldo, a 6-4 post from Macon, Ga., makes it happen on the block. Pauldo scores over either shoulder and can hit the 15-foot, foul-line jumper.
Tracie Sneed, a 6-1 wing from Jacksonville, Fla., can play any wing position. She showed the ability to penetrate, slash and hit the mid-range jumper.
Krista Tate, a 6-0 wing from Atlanta, Ga., is a top-line wing defender. On the offensive end, she likes to get in gaps off the bounce and get to the rim.
Metra Walthour, a 5-6 point guard from Hinesville, Ga., is a true point guard who sets the table for her teammates. She’s a definite big-time floor general on the next level.
Lindsay Welker, a 6-2 post from Tifton, Ga., plays hard on the block and showed the skill to face up this weekend. Welker’s a lefty with a strong frame and already has a couple of high major offers on the table.
Blanche Alverson, a 6-3 wing from Andalusia, Ala., shot the three as well as any player in the gym. She is long, rangy and has real game.
Shayla Bivins, a 6-5 center from Jacksonville, Fla., has a good frame and moves well for her size. At 6-5, she is definitely a shot changer on the defensive end.
Jasmine Blain, a 6-0 wing from Marietta, Ga., can let it go from the outside. She nailed a couple of threes early on Saturday afternoon.
Elan Brown, a 6-0 wing from Atlanta, Ga., is another smooth shooter with a good basketball IQ. She hit five threes in the 3rd Place game Sunday morning.
Brittany Carter, a 6-3 center from Montgomery, Ala., plays like a guard with a post frame. She passes well out of the post, can finish with either hand and handle in traffic.
Kyra Crosby, a 6-1 post from Mableton, Ga., changes the game on the defensive end and finishes well on the other end. Her athleticism is top of the line in the 09 class.
Jasmine Hassell, a 6-3 post from Lebanon, Tenn., might be the best '09 post in the Southeast. The Peach State Fab Five Camp star has great footwork and is aggressive in the paint.
Celeste Stewart, a 5-5 point guard from Charlotte, N.C., gets the offense started and is a good defender. She likes to shoot the mid-range pull-up and passes the ball well.
Erinn Thompson, a 6-3 post from Winston-Salem, N.C., has a great skill set for her age.
Tamika Willis, a 6-3 post from Atlanta, Ga., has very good size and is active for a young post player. She has good size and can finish on either side of the basket.
Kamiko Williams, a 5-10 combo guard from Clarksville, Tenn., exploded onto the scene this weekend with a stellar performance against Collins Hill. She can shoot, dribble and pass well in addition to being a lefty.
For more information about Peach State Basketball, visit www.peachstatehoops.com