Ayanna Mitchell followed up a strong April evaluation period showing by helping the Pistols to a May Day Challenge championship. *Photo by Ty Freeman.
MARIETTA, Ga. The SSA Cobb facility provided the stage for Championship Sunday at the PSB May Day Challenge. On this day several teams proved to be the best in their division while other individuals gain reputations as winners. Here is a look at who stood out the most at the tournaments end.
TEAM OF THE DAY
Georgia Pistols 2015
No. 1 rising senior Asia Durr.
*Photo by Ty Freeman.
Coach Lanny Martins team returned to the May Day Challenge hoping to take home the championship that eluded them during the Pre-Season Shootout. The Pistols would rewrite the script and fire on all cylinders behind the remarkable performance of 5-foot-10 shooting guard Asia Durr of Douglasville, Ga. She firmly cemented her place as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2015 as she demolished defenders with an array of jumpers and killer crossover moves. Coach Martin also found the interior presence needed to control the lane with 6-1 power forward Ayanna Mitchell of Conyers, Ga., and 6-3 center Victoria Harris of Lilburn, Ga. Mitchell, who earned the No. 46 ranking in the latest ELITE 100, gave a big scoring punch by converting multiple 3-point plays on the offensive end. Harris is established as one the elite defenders at the center position, because she can block shots while also being able to defend the pick and roll. She too earned a spot in the ELITE 100 with a No. 99 ranking.
The Pistols had solid complimentary performances turned in by 6-0 wing Meredith Schulte of Suwanee, Ga., and 5-6 point guard Madison Newby, a Georgia State commit from Lawrenceville, Ga. Their efforts were key for this team to work together as a cohesive unit and take home the championship in @StephenPeckPSB bracket. After this bounce-back performance, the Pistols have established themselves as one of the premier travel teams in the nation.
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Ayanna Mitchell (Salem, Ga.), Georgia Pistols 2015
While Durr sliced up defenders on the perimeter for the Pistols, it was Mitchell who patrolled the lane. She rebounds the ball at a high rate on both ends of the floor. On defense she plays a critical role in starting the transition game for her perimeter teammates, while on the offensive end she is valuable in her ability to finish second shots. We have watched the progression of Mitchell over the past six months as we saw her early in the high school season with her Salem High School team (Recap: Hilton Event). It is safe to say that she is one of the most productive power forwards in the nation with her consistent performances this spring.
AROUND THE RIM
♦ Kalani Brown of Slidell, La., proved why she is the top ranked senior post player in the nation at the May Day Challenge. At 6-5 she has elite size that is coupled with the ability to score simply around the rim. She works the high-low game on the block better than any other post player in her class.
♦ Team Elite Pointer pulled off its third Peach State Basketball championship of the spring by defeating the Cincinnati Angels in the @VincentSmithPSB bracket. This squad might be the most balanced team that we have seen in many years. Team Elite can play high-pressure defense to create turnovers while also playing efficiently in the halfcourt.
♦ Tierra Webb of Richton Park, Ill., showed her exceptional ability to create with the ball in her hands for the Illinois X-Citement program. At 5-9 she has the size and the athleticism to score in the lane off of the dribble.
♦ The WP Celtics Gold team is a promising team from the Atlanta area. They are led by talented class of 2016 guard play in Tamecia Blue of Stockbridge, Ga., and Vashnie Perry of Norcross, Ga. The Celtics aggressive style of play gave them two big wins over the weekend.
♦ Coach LaToya Brown with the Georgia Hoopstars 2016 came up with a championship victory in the @JLHemingwayPSB bracket on Sunday afternoon. Class of 2016 post Khari Jernigan of Lilburn, Ga., carries a lot of potential in the lane. Meanwhile Jessica Belcher of Suwanee, Ga., could develop into a sharpshooter much like her older sister, Joshlyn (Georgia Regents University signee), became while playing with the Hoopstars. Follow @JLHemingwayPSB