The inaugural Takeover Challenge is a club basketball kickoff that will showcase some of the best teams club teams in the mid-Atlantic and the northeast part of the country. Hosted by Team Takeover, the Nike EYBL program, this two-day event will present us with an early look at some of the regions ELITE 100 prospects and ProspectsNation watch list candidates.
Lauren Ebo (Team Takeover) – 2018 post, Lauren Ebo showed the range early as she was able to connect on a high volume of jump shots and force the opposing post player to step out of the lane to guard her. The improvement in her shooting ability is a good sign for the Penn State commit, adding more versatility to her game will make her a potent weapon for the Big Ten school.
Angel Reese (Team Takeover 15U) – Reese was one of the younger prospects on the floor today, a member of the class of 2020, she managed to impact the game with her energy and effort on both sides of the ball. As a prospect, she is still developing physically and could end up projecting as a four, a hybrid forward, or maybe even a wing depending on how her physical tools and skill set mature. For now, Reese is an exciting basketball player to keep track of.
Philly Triple Threat forward Nadyj Tyler is showing some lasting potential. Tyler was forced to sit out this high school season because of transfer rules and early in today’s match up with Team Takeover 15U there was some visible rust. As she settled in and started to get into the flow of the game, Tyler was able to show her versatility as a projected power forward. The 6-foot-2 prospect was comfortable facing the rim and isolating in the mid-post. She showed 15-foot range on her jumper and the ability to make a one on one move to score the basketball.
After a strong high school season, Emily LaPointe of New Jersey Sparks 15U is back in action and showing college potential at either guard spot. LaPointe is a fundamentally sound guard with a high basketball IQ.
Recent Oregon State verbal Andrea Aquino seems to get more and more comfortable facing the rim as her prep career continues. As she continues to progress, she is becoming a reliable pick and pop option.
In their match up against the Philly Freedom Stars, Germantown Lady Panthers guard Madison Hardy scorched the nets. While the 5-foot-9 combo guard has stationary range beyond the three-point line, she was very comfortable pulling up off the bounce, elevating, and knocking down the midrange jumper.
In what could be the match-up of the day, Team Takeover 15U defeated NJ Sparks 15U in a very well-played and competitive game. Takeover’s depth was an asset as they managed to come off the bench with waves of capable talent. 2019 guard Jayla James and 2020 forward Mir Mclean were both key contributors for the host team.
Look for New Jersey Sparks guard Michelle Sidor to be a breakout name this summer. The 2019 prospect has been one of the more prolific scorers in the state of New Jersey, and this summer could be the opportunity she needs to show how developed her offensive game is.
The Philly Freedom Stars have a playmaker at the point guard position in Cherelle Washington. At 5-foot-9, Washington has good size and is explosive off the bounce. She showed the ability to manufacture offense in one on one situations and was also a savvy playmaker out of ball screens. Washington is a name to keep track of this summer.
Philly Triple Threat guard Zamara Haines was dynamic today. The 5-foot-7 guard scored the ball in a variety of ways and used the dribble to get downhill and attack opposing defender. Because of the scorer's mentality that Haines plays the game with, she is a tough one on one match up.
2019 Class in Focus
This event is developing into a great opportunity for the class of 2019 prospects to build on their reputations. In addition to prospects we have already discussed, such as Michelle Sidor and Jayla James, there are a number of stand out 2019 prospects. Breyanna Frazier of the New Jersey Sparks and Madison Hardy of the Germantown Lady Panthers have been standouts this weekend, while Alana Swift of Philly Triple Threat showed comfort playing the point in her second game today.
Simmons at the Point
Earlier this year we featured Kansas State’s 2018 recruiting class in a story. One of the variables for Kansas State with their group will be if 5-foot-10 guard Savannah Simmons of Team Takeover can play significant minutes as a point guard. As of now, Simmons is the shortest player in the Big 12 school’s 2018 class, but her potential versatility could be a weapon as she develops more comfort playing on the ball and being a lead guard. This weekend we had the opportunity to see Simmons play a majority of her minutes at the point for her club team. In addition to her elite size at that position, she showed a solid grasp for controlling tempo and was able to see over smaller players to make plays with the pass. For Kansas State, Simmons doesn’t have to be a full-time point guard but the flexibility to be able to play her at the point and put a line-up on the floor with almost unrivaled size and length, is surely something that coach Jeff Mittie and his staff would love to have.
Day Two Coverage
Michelle Sidor (NJ Sparks)
Although it is still early in her prep career, class of 2019 guard Michelle Sidor has built a reputation as a prolific scorer. The 5-foot-8 guard has built an offensive package around accurate perimeter shooting, the ability to create space off the dribble, and an advanced basketball IQ. Today in a competitive game against Team Takeover EYBL, Sidor rose to the occasion and carried the scoring load for her New Jersey Sparks team. Down 12 late in the game, Sidor found her rhythm and knocked down four of six three-point attempts and sparked a run that would see the Sparks take a late lead.
In what was the game of the event, the New Jersey Sparks edged out Team Takeover 62-56. The match-up saw both teams take leads with the Sparks taking an early advantage out of the game while Takeover managed to control the game for a sizeable stretch in the middle until a late run by the Sparks allowed the New Jersey-based program to come away with the win.
Two 2019’s, Leilani Correra of New Jersey Sparks and Jakia Brown-Turner of Team Takeover played key roles today as they were both called to score the ball offensively. For the Sparks, Correra was a factor on the offensive glass where she was able to use her athleticism to earn extra possessions for her team. On the other side, Brown-Turner found spots on the floor to isolate and make moves in one on one situations.