Angels at USJN Windy City

AngelsThe Cincinnati Angels have started the AAU season and competed in their second tournament last weekend in Chicago. While Syd is still sidelined with the ACL injury, she stays as involved with them as she can.

Blue Star Media had a recap article on the Chicago tourney, highlighting the 17u bracket of the weekend. They had a nice write-up on the Angels as they integrate new players onto the team.

The Cincinnati Angels’ 17 Blue squad has three players back from last season, mixed in with seven newcomers.

Don’t feel bad for coach Dante Harlan, though. His roster is as talented as they come, featuring one player who is committed to Louisville and four others rated in the top 50 of their respective classes.

So, while Harlan searches for the right mix and most effective chemistry among all of those moving parts, he has a nice trump card that any coach would envy: playing time.

Harlan has the luxury of switching out one talented player for another if he doesn’t like what he’s seeing.

“I always preach that we’re going to defend, we’re going to rebound and we’re going to take care of the ball,” he said. “You don’t have to be the most athletic kid or the fastest kid to do those things. That’s what I base (playing time) on. It’s the little things that make the difference in winning games. That’s what separates the playing time and they know that.”

A good example was evident in Saturday’s final game, a dandy encounter between the Angels and Wisconsin Playground Elite 16. The Playground Elite won 71-70 in overtime as Harlan stuck with primarily a seven-player rotation through the final 10 minutes of regulation and overtime.

On his bench at the time were three highly rated players.

“They know that basketball changes based on matchups,” Harlan said. “If there’s a five I find (that) I’m comfortable with and they’re doing the things we need to do, that five is going to stay in. And that five changes from game to game.”

The Angels finished 1-2 Saturday, but don’t look for them to suffer many losing tournaments hereafter. The roster includes sophomore Tierra Floyd (Toledo, Ohio), No. 5 in the Class of 2015; junior Alyssa Rice (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), No. 22 in the Class of 2014; along with Naomi Davenport (Cincinnati, No. 26 sophomore) and Emily Thomas (Pickerington, Ohio, No. 48 junior). Junior Sydney Brackemyre has committed to Louisville.

Blue Star’s Classic in the Country Wrap Up

bluestarbig_twBlue Star Media was present at Classic in the Country and do a great job (in my humble opinion) providing exposure for high school girls basketball. They offered a recap of each day’s action at CITC and then posted a wrap up of the entire event. As you read through it, they point out both the strengths and areas of improvement for players. You can read the entire write-up and find links to the game by game coverage on the Blue Star Media website.

Syd got some love from them even though she was sidelined with her ACL injury. Here’s what they wrote about her:

Sydney Brackemyre – Clinton Massie – Brackemyre recently joined the much too large ACL sorority and was on crutches but actively involved on the bench with her teammates and coaches. Just a speed bump in a very promising future.

They also highlighted some of the top girls in our area including Alyssa Rice, Makayla Waterman, Kathryn Westbeld and Chelsea Welch. There are many strong players in Ohio.

It was great to see Kasey Uetrecht under the “A Little More on a Few You May or May Not Know” portion of the page. Here’s what they wrote about her:

Kasey Uetrecht – Clinton Massie – A 6-0 junior, Uetrecht has a good combination of size and perimeter skills. With standout Sydney Brackemyre sidelined, the wing/forward is stepping up for the Falcons both on the wing and in the post. Though somewhat upright, she demonstrated the ability to handle the ball on the break or off the drive from the elbows. At other points she was efficient posting up and becoming an option around the rim. Her versatility presents a challenge for opposing defenses in terms of matching up with size or perimeter skills. She was 4 for 14 in Clinton Massie’s lone game but added 6 rebounds and 6 assists in the 60 to 47 loss to Proctorville Fairland. There’s plenty of basketball in her future, what level remains to be seen.

Good to see Kasey get some well-deserved attention for her play.

Classic in the Country Recap

Classic in the Country 13My wife and I were able to take in a couple of games at the Classic in the Country Challenge this weekend. We got up to Berlin in time on Sunday to watch Kettering Fairmont play. I’ve seen a few of their players on the AAU circuit, but haven’t seen the high school team play. They handled the ball well through the game and stretched out to a 20+ lead in the second half.

Clinton-Massie played on Monday morning. They went up against an undefeated team from Division III, Proctorville Fairland. The Falcons played them well, but just couldn’t get the shots to fall in the fourth quarter.

Blue Star Media had a recap of the game and gave some deserved recognition to Kasey Uetrecht. She has been Syd’s teammate during school and summer ball and is a solid player.

The first game of the day had a missing element that most likely would have had a tremendous impact on the ultimate outcome. While Proctorville Fairland got the 60 – 47 win over Clinton Massie, it’s hard to imagine that injured (ACL) CM junior standout and nationally ranked forward Sydney Brackemyre might not have influenced the final score to some degree. As it was, Fairland utilized a 18 – 7 fourth quarter to break open a two point game and make the final margin a deceiving 13 points. Junior guard Chandler Faulks led the way for the Dragons with 20, 12 of which came as a result of her 4 for 10 three-point effort. Minnesota early commit Tera Stapleton, a 6-4 2014 post, added a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards in the win. Clinton Massie got 14 from versatile junior swing player Kasey Uetrecht and another 10 from senior Mary Moyer. Both teams rebounded even at 37 for the game while Fairland finished with 13 turnovers to the Falcons 11. In the end Clinton Massie’s 24 percent second half shooting was their downfall despite getting seven more attempts from the floor over the course of the game.

Great job Lady Falcons!

Syd is a “Stat Stuffer”

Blue Star Media covered the Ohio Girls Basketball Report (OGBR) Top 64 Event held Sept. 29-30 in Reynoldsburg. OGBR was a great opportunity for the girls in the Buckeye state to play in front of college coaches.

On their website, Blue Star highlighted some of the players from the class on 2014, 2015 & 2016. Mark Lewis wrote the article and you can read the entire article on the website. Below is what he wrote about Syd’s class, the class of 2014. Love the way he described Syd as a “stat stuffer.”

2014 class

Alexa Hart – This 6-2 forward from Lake Ridge Academy can do it all. She runs, blocks shots, rebounds, scores inside and just flat out plays with energy that excites other players on the floor. She is fun to watch due to the number of plays that she makes.

Amanda Cahill – This 6-2 forward from Clyde brings a lot to the court when she plays. She is a coaches kid that really understands how to play the game. Shoots and handles the ball like a two guard, gets to the rim like a small forward and rebounds like a power forward. Competes and plays hard at all times.

Kathryn Westbeld – This 6-2 small forward from Fairmont is always impressive. There is no secret why Kettering Fairmont is in the hunt for another run at the state title. Kathryn plays at a high level at all times. The ability is there to score inside and out plus she can rebound and defend with the best of them. She competes and can put the ball on the floor like a guard.

Makayla Waterman – This athletic 6-2 forward is an established inside force. Waterman is Westbeld’s running mate at Fairmont and can more than hold her own. She can post up and score using a variety of moves. Additionally, she can shoot from the perimeter efficiently while rebounding with a vengeance.

Alyssa Rice – This athletic post is exciting from the time she steps on the floor until the moment she steps off. Standing 6-3 with an array of post moves, she can score almost at will inside. Rice can shoot the ball on the perimeter as well as drive it effectively from the high post. A great rebounder, she can get it off the glass on both ends of the floor. Reynoldsburg is in great hands with Alyssa in the line up.

Sydney Brackemyre – This 6-1 forward from Clinton Massie continues to show everyone why she is a player. As with this past summer, she just keeps getting better and better. Brackemyre is what’s known at a stat stuffer. When you look at her stats you will see that she has made an impact in virtually every area of the game. She can shoot the 3 and can score on the perimeter in many ways. There’s a physical presence and some effective rebounding from her position.

Syd in Battle in the Boro

This past weekend Syd and her Angels teammates traveled to the Nashville area for the Battle in the Boro.  It was a huge tournament with a lot of good – like really good – teams.  In the games I saw the Angels played teams from Dallas, TX, Los Angeles and DC. They had an exhibition game against a team from Rhode Island and lost in bracket play to a team from Maryland.  Again, big tourney, good teams.

Along with good competition, the tournament allowed some of my family to see Syd play a few times.  My sister and brother-in-law live in Nashville, so Jason, Krista, McKenna and Riley got to see some basketball. Riley didn’t like the loud buzzer that would go off, but other than that, she seemed to have fun.

My dad was also able to be there as he was traveling from Orlando to Memphis.  Living in Oklahoma, he doesn’t have the opportunity catch many Ohio ball games, so this was a nice convergence of travel schedules.

As an added bonus, Jason brought his iPad and captured some highlights of Syd playing.  You can see more of them on his blog, but here is a sampling of what he got.  (Thanks Jason!)

 
This is a 3-point shot she made right as the first half expired.

Here’s another 3-point shot from the far corner

Using the glass

Riley even liked this one!

USJN Toledo Blue Star Media Recap

The Cincinnati Angels finished 3-1 over Memorial Day weekend at the USJN Toledo Tournament.  Mark Lewis of Blue Star Media was there providing a few twitter updates which helped those of us who couldn’t get up north for the games.  He had a nice recap of the weekend and featured a couple of Angels players, including my favorite one on the team.  Here’s what he wrote about them specifically.  You can read all of this thoughts on the Blue Star Media site.

The Cincy Angels may have not had a full roster nor did they play their best basketball but its hard not to still take notice of the talent on hand.  Swing player Sydney Brackemyre (Harveysburg, Ohio – 2014) already has major offers on the table but there could be plenty more knocking once July rolls around.  Combining good size at 6-1 with strength and skills makes her a tough assignment defensively.  The ballhandling is there to get to the rim but the form and range will force tight closeouts as well.  There’s a patience to her game on the catch that allows her to read and break down defenders.  The tools are there to defend both the forward and wing spot and she has the agility to be a factor in pressing situations.  Brackemyre is already well suited for the college game and what she does the next two years will determine just how far she can take her game and at what level.

Brackemyre wasn’t the only standout for the Cincy Angels.  Point guard and recent St. Bonaventure commit Imani Outlaw (Cincinnati, Ohio – 2013) demonstrated the game that has Jim Crowley’s staff excited up in Olean.  The 5-8 Outlaw was on constant attack and made things happen both off the drive and from the perimeter.  Using her explosive first step she got by on ball defenders time and again converting at the rim and from a consistent pull up.  She also added several deep jumpers that forced opponents to commit to containing one element of her attack or the other.  Defensively her physical strength offsets any lack of size and allows her to contain and steer opposing ballhandlers.

Angels Highlighted by Blue Star Media

The Angels are off to a great start this AAU season.  The 15u and 16u teams both won this weekend at the AAU Super Regional in Mason.  The 16u team crawled out of a 10-0 deficit in the first quarter and finished strong with a 20+ win.

A couple of weekends ago the Angels traveled to Chicago for the USJN Windy City Classic.  Blue Star Media featured four teams they watched in Chicago.  Here is what was written about the 16u Angels. (You can read the entire article here.)

Cincy Angels 16 (Cincinnati, OH): A while back Disney produced a baseball movie called Angels in the Outfield. The Cincy Angels could be cast in a basketball version called Angels on the Hardwood. If you’re a coach looking for size, you definitely need to take a long look at this team. This squad is stacked with talented and multi-skilled prospects.  Kayla McDowell loves to create off the dribble at 6-2 and the senior to be runs the floor in transition with the guards. She finishes well in the paint and has a nice shooting touch that stretches beyond the three point arc. Their Class of 2014 is very strong and has some depth. First one to catch your eye is 6-1 wing Sydney Brackemyre.  With a college ready body she’s skilled offensively posessing a nice face up game that includes a jumper that extends out to the three point range.  Brackemyre, in addition to matching up on the perimeter defensively, can also battle down on the block as needed. Jenna Gunn also has a strong build and good size at 6-0 that she effectively uses to defend and rebound. She handles the ball efficiently and loves to attack the paint with no reservations about contact.  Ana Richter has lots of versatility at 6-0 allowing her to play with her back to the basket or exploit her smooth midrange shot. Richter also does a good job of handling pressure and demonstrated good vision passing out of double teams.  Rounding out the Class of 2014 is 5-8 point guard Imani Outlaw.  She does an impressive job of attacking and creating in traffic but at the same time has a smooth reliable jumper. The Angels are a well-coached ball club with sound defensive principles. Their post players are well schooled fundamentally and contribute both in getting stops and providing offensive firepower. The Cincy Angels will not beat themselves and you’re going have to bring you’re “A” game if you plan on coming out on top.