Mill City Invitiational: Top Guard Performances
There were so many great players at the Mill City Invitational last weekend. Here is a short list of Minnesota guards who caught my attention with their performances.
Amaya Battle – North Tartan 2021 Contreras (Hopkins) – Battle is best when she is able to find her way to the basket. Her athleticism allows her to rise above defenders around the hoop, and she has a variety of finishing moves to create space for herself when she attacks. Battle is deadly in transition, and is a good rebounding guard. I enjoyed watching her consistently encourage her teammates throughout the weekend. She was the leading scorer from Minnesota in the 2022 Platinum division with 16 points per game.
Ruby Carlson – 43 Hoops 2022 (Orono) – Carlson was the first player to stand out to me at Mill City when I watched her play on Friday night. The point guard runs the show for 43 Hoops. She has nice vision, which helps her to put her teammates in positions to succeed. Carlson is a solid ball-handler, and isn’t phased by defensive pressure. She also has a really nice stroke from the outside. Carlson led all scorers in the 2022 Gold division over the weekend with 13.8 points per game.
Callin Hake – Fury 2022 Blue (Chanhassen) – Everyone has certain basketball players that they just enjoy watching. Hake is one of those players for me. She is a knockdown shooter, runs the floor well in transition, and possesses a high basketball IQ. Something that was telling about Hake this weekend was when I watched her play a game in which her shot wasn’t falling. Despite scoring well below her normal rate, it still felt like she was one of the most impactful players on the court. She is already such a well-rounded player that it’s hard to believe she has yet to set foot in a high school classroom.
Gianna Kneepkens – North Tartan 2021 Dickman (Duluth Marshall) – Kneepkens’s game is so smooth, and she has a fantastic outside shot. She plays with a confidence that seems to be infectious to her North Tartan teammates. She effectively iced a game versus Fury 2021 Yellow with 2 clutch free throws, all while having a nonchalant demeanor that you might expect from someone getting up a few shots in an empty gym. Kneepkens also wins the award for highest arc on her shot of anyone at Mill City.
Paige Meyer – Comets 9th Elite (Albany) – Meyer was the leading scorer at Mill City across all divisions averaging an impressive 22 points per game. Meyer has outstanding defensive instincts, which helps her to jump into passing lanes and grab tons of steals. She has good speed, and consistently makes the right decision in transition. What stood out to me about Meyer this weekend was her cutting. She cuts hard and with a purpose, expecting to get the ball with each movement.
Emma Miller – Stars 8th Kolden (St. Michael-Albertville) – Miller is an energizer bunny who is asked to do a lot for her Stars team. Standing somewhere in the neighborhood of 5’0″, she has perfected the art of the floater. That allows her to be impactful in the lane despite her lack of size. She has good quickness and is a strong ball-handler. I also loved watching her scrap and fight for rebounds against taller players.
Alexis Pratt – Fury Gauntlet 2021 (Stillwater) – Pratt provided the most impressive performance that I watched at Mill City, which I wrote about here. She has elite speed, and is a stellar defender. Pratt has great body control around the basket and welcomes contact, which helps her get to the free throw line often.
Kate Trachsel – Top Flight 2021 (Prior Lake) – It was eerie at times watching Trachsel play in the same tournament as her high school teammate McKenna Hofschild. The two move so similarly, and it’s easy to see the ways they have rubbed off on each other. Trachsel attacks that basket hard and takes good care of the ball. She can sneak her way through bigger bodies, and is a very good finisher at the rim.
Check back in at Prep Girls Hoops throughout the week for more Mill City Invite content. Top wing/forward players from the weekend will be posted tomorrow, and top post players will be available to read on Friday.
(photo courtesy of Callin Hake’s Twitter account)