Megan Abrams of Lafayette, La., scored teh ball at all three levels this weekend at the May Day Challenge. *Photo by Ty Freeman.
SUWANEE, Ga., - The fourth and final spring tournament hosted by Peach State Basketball came to a close on Sunday afternoon. The May Day Challenge provided the platform for teams and individuals to perform while the spotlight is brightest on Championship Sunday. Here are a few of the standout prospects from the event.
Megan Abrams (Lafayette, La.), Louisiana Lady Select – 2018
The May Day Challenge is a place where names get put on the map in the basketball world (May Day archive). Abrams is the latest to enter the discussion of point guards to track in years to come. The left-handed lead guard stands at 5 feet 8 and has the skill level to affect the game in multiple ways on the offensive end. She showed consistency with her perimeter jumper, both off of the catch and the pull-up. She makes an impact at a young age because she also is able to hit the gap in the defense to score with the dribble. She led coach Kenneth Lee’s team to a championship in the @ProspectsNation bracket.
Taja Cummings (East Point, Ga.), FBC Motton – 2017
Players who may not meet the airport test are often undervalued in the untrained eyes of casual fans or observers. Cummings, who stands at 5-4, might be overlooked playing alongside of 6-4 center Kasiyahna Kushkituah and 6-foot wing Tylia Gillespie. Nevertheless, Cummings consistently sets the table for her teammates with her ball handling ability and is the engine for coach Alfred Motton’s team. With a strong build and quick first step, Cummings has the ability to create space and take the bump even if she is playing against bigger defenders. It is her basketball intelligence that is the most valuable asset while she runs the team. She routinely makes the right pass to get the ball to her teammates and can even create scoring opportunities with pinpoint passes. It was hard to overlook the energy that she provided on both ends of the floor and was a big reason why her team claimed the @JLHemingwayPSB championship on Sunday afternoon.
Rhyne Howard (Cleveland, Tenn.), Tennessee Xtreme – 2018
The Tennessee Xtreme was rolling coming in to the May Day Challenge, fresh off a championship at the PSB Tip-Off Classic. Howard proved to be a key piece of this talent-laden team. The 6-0 wing player showed that she could play facing the basket as well as have a strong presence around the rim. Her knack for being in position on the interior affords her opportunities to score and also get to the free-throw line. Her confidence and skill level are developing and are compliments to her teammates, Jazmine Massengill, Elizabeth Balagun and Juliet Esasah. This quartet combined for 47 points with Howard leading the pack scoring 17 and a strong finish down the stretch in the championship game of the @ChrisHansenPSB bracket.
Sydney Long (Atlanta, Ga.), Pistols Diamond Elite-- 2016
Making shots consistently from the perimeter always draws attention. That is exactly what we saw this weekend from this 5-10 wing. Long is a player to be respected for her ability to catch and shoot long range jumpers. She compliments that with her ability to put the ball on the deck and shoot pull-up jumpers after she moves past perimeter defenders. Long’s shot-making ability proved to be the catalyst that put the Pistols Diamonds in a position to win the championship of the @KeilMoorePSB bracket. She finished with 20 points while connecting on five 3-point jumpers in the first half alone. She raised a lot of eyebrows with her display of shooting ability.
Braxtin Miller (Centerville, Ohio), Cincinnati Angels – 2017
One of the steadiest performers of the entire tournament was the 5-10 point guard from the Buckeye State. For second year in a row at the May Day Challenge, Miller proved that she is a skilled playmaker who can impact the game against some of the best competition in the nation. While last year the Angels came up short in a championship bid, they finished the job this year by knocking off the Florida Future in the @BrandonClayPSB bracket. Miller’s presence fueled the championship effort and finished with a game high 17 points. She established herself as an ELITE 60 Watch List prospect in her class after this weekend.
Vashnie Perry (Norcross, Ga.), TN Team Pride – 2016
This weekend was a prime stepping stone opportunity for kids that work hard and have a passion for the game. Perry definitely took advantage of this and it showed. Her hard work paid off during her performance in the championship game of the StephenPeckPSB bracket. The 5-6 point guard was a multifaceted piece of the Pride’s victory. She is adept at finding the open player and can make shots from the perimeter. Her quickness forced tough decisions on both ends of the floor for their opponents. She was the leading scorer with 13 points in a well-played championship game.
Bracket Champions and Top Performers
► The Louisiana Lady Select took home the @ProspectsNation bracket behind Abrams 17 points. Class of 2018 forward Jazmyn Womack is a forward that contributed consistently all weekend for the Louisiana Lady Select as well.
► Rhyne Howard’s 17 points were the difference for coach Keisha Hunt’s Tennessee Xtreme team as they took home the @ChrisHansenPSB championship. The development of class of 2016 center Esasah of Chattanooga, Tenn., is notable in her team’s bracket run. She is becoming a force on both ends of the floor.
► Tennessee Team Pride brought home the @StephenPeckPSB title with a great game from Perry who scored a team high 13 points. However, the interior combo class of 2016 posts Jasmine Bond and Raegyn Branch should be noted. The tandem of 6-4 posts are impactful and impressive.
► The @KeilMoorePSB bracket was won by Pistols Diamond Elite. Long scored 20 points in the win. Class of 2016 forward Jordan Stallworth continues to be a consistent performer this spring. Her performances in earlier bracket games helped propel coach Jimarcus Blanding’s group to the title game.
► The North Georgia Magic received 10-point outings from class of 2018 prospects Skylar Aledia and Tatum Shipes to win the @VinceSmithPSB bracket.
► The most exciting game of the tournament took place between Team Elite Freshman and FBC Freshman. With a raucous crowd and emotions running high, this game was decided in sudden death overtime by Brittany Davis who scored the game winning lay-up after both teams had chances to win with free throws. Davis also finished with a team high 13 points.
► All Alabama put themselves on the map this weekend with a championship win in the @BClayScouting bracket. This team has multiple prospects that we will track in years to come including Jaylen Sherrod of Birmingham, Ala., who scored seven points in the win.
► The Cincinnati Angels got a game high 17 points from Miller in the championship game of the @BrandonClayPSB bracket. However, it was far from an individual effort as class of 2016 guards Miquela Santoro and Julia Jenike both dropped timely jumpers in the win over the Florida Future Elite.
► Class of 2017 guard Nichel Tampa had her 3-point jumper on-point Sunday afternoon. She connected on three long-range jumpers and finished with a game high 12 points in the win for the @JLHemingwayPSB bracket championship.
Hemingway is the Assistant Director of Scouting for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report, is on the Naismith Trophy Board of Selectors and owns CoachHemi.com, the go-to source for coaches for X’s and O’s. He is the floor director of #TeamEBA camps, a site director for #TeamPSB tournaments and can be reached at email@example.com.
Peck is the owner of Dream In Motion Athletics and is a national evaluator for the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report. He also serves as a on-floor skills coach at the Elite Basketball Academy events. He can be reached at StephenPeck@peachstatebasketball.com.