Pre-Season Tourney Exposes Talented Freshman Class
Many pre-season tournaments throughout the state measure the strengths and weaknesses of teams preparing for district play. Scheduling teams in a higher classification is an excellent way to view personnel. Newcomers are the focal point of this article. A plethora…
Many pre-season tournaments throughout the state measure the strengths and weaknesses of teams preparing for district play. Scheduling teams in a higher classification is an excellent way to view personnel. Newcomers are the focal point of this article. A plethora of excellent talent in the 2027 class made a surprising impact at the MWC Lady Cat Invitational in Conway this past weekend. The following players in that 2027 class got my attention;
Makenlie Campbell-5’6″ PG, Springdale Har-Ber H.S.-Makenlie, pictured above, has skills that are advanced for a freshman. The ball is in her hands on every possession. Her quickness is deceiving and she anticipates very well. Her footwork is stellar and she’s an excellent defender. When she puts it on the floor something positive happens. Her motor runs on high all the time. She can score inside and out.
Brooklyn @ Brianna Burnham-5’7″ SG, Vilonia H.S.-This sister duo play like upperclassmen. Their maturity was impressive. Both are excellent rebounders and both get out on the break very well. Brooklyn impressed me with her work in the paint, especially on the offensive end. Brianna sees the court very well and can get the ball to her teammates. From a statewide perspective, these two are still under the radar, but that will change soon. Keep your eye on Vilonia to go deep in the postseason again.
Traniyah Weston-5’6″ PG, Conway H.S.-The Lady Wampus Cats didn’t lose a beat at the point guard position with Ttaniyah at the helm. Conway, the 2023 Class 6A State Champions were strong on the perimeter and will stay that way this season. Traniyah is very quick. She can get out on the break and finish in traffic. She will get stronger and needs to work on her weak side a bit but her athletic skills are top-notch. Fundamentally, she’ll only get better.
-5’10” SG, Fayetteville H.S.-Syniah’s strength got my attention. She glides up and down the court with ease. Her maturity playing at the Class 6A level was impressive. She’s long and her footwork in the paint enables her to get many second-chance opportunities. She prefers to play on the right side offensively, and that will change, but defensively, she’s active and can defend any position on the floor.
Kimberly Henry-5’10” F, Vilonia H.S.-Talk about energy! When Kimberly enters the game, things speed up. She’s very physical and is an aggressive rebounder. She usually posts up and plays with her back to the basket. Kimberly tends to get into foul trouble, but she can run the floor on the break and produce quality minutes for the Eagles.
The impressive thing about these young ladies is that they are all playing high-level competition very early in the season. That indicates they are special athletes and it credits the many grassroots organizations’ developmental programs to help these kids excel. Well Done!