Every year, hope rises high for several athletes that their talents will
be noticed by the right people. This couldn’t be more accurate than here in Southwest Ohio. College coaches and
scouts keep a close eye on this region and for good reason. It’s a hot spot…
Every year, hope rises high for several athletes that their talents will be noticed by the right people. This couldn’t be more accurate than right here in the Dayton and Southwest Ohio area. College coaches and scouts keep a close eye on this region, as the talent pool always seems to bring in the big names, with some talented players.
This year is no different here in this region, and in fact, this will begin a run of some extremely talented classes of basketball players. We just saw a very talented class of 2013 graduate and several of them are already at their respective college getting workouts and summer classes in. It will be remembered as one of the best classes to ever come through Southwest Ohio, with several players now playing at the Division One or Two levels.
While the Classes of 2014 and 15 have made a name for themselves over the past couple of years, the incoming sophomores are starting to make themselves very well known among college coaches everywhere. The Class of 2016 is very talented in both Dayton and Cincinnati, and I expect several of them to explode onto the radar this upcoming season. In fact, the 2016, 17 and 18 classes will keep the attention on the Dayton area, as there are plenty of talented players who will hit the floor this winter. I am hearing this could well be the best back-to-back-to-back three classes of talent we have seen in a tremendously long time.
Right here in Dayton, several kids have started to make themselves pretty well known with their play last season as varsity contributors as a freshman. I expect several of them to improve their stock after a good summer. While there are several 2016 kids who can shine this upcoming season, I will take a look at a few who have already established themselves either last season as a freshman, or this summer.
Some key 2016 players to watch in Dayton:
Sydney Bates, 5-9 Kenton Ridge- Outstanding jump shot, and strong slasher to the hoop. Will be getting injured shoulder fixed in the fall and looks to come back with a solid winter. Her range is improving also, as she looks to be a solid leader in the CBC.
Logan Brazille, 6-2 Thurgood Marshall- Working to improve her post moves, and she has done a nice job this summer improving her game. Also has improved her footwork.
Carly Clodfelter, 5-10 Tippecanoe- Very high basketball IQ who has improved her complete game. Better range, and a strong finisher around the hoop. Solid defender, and the leader for a very strong and deep Tippecanoe 2016 group.
Hayley Combs, 6-0 Kettering Alter- Solid and strong around the rim, improving her jump shot, and can handle the ball. Needs to work on finishing at the rim and increase her range. Impressive defender, one of her strengths.
Aubrey Cox, 5-10 Tippecanoe- Maybe the biggest sleeper of the class. This diamond in the rough can score, and finishes around the rim. Good defensive presence on the court. Coaches at every level should watch this kid!
Courtney Eggleston, 5-7 Dayton Oakwood- Coming back from an ACL injury, Eggleston looks to be ready to go soon. She is another one with a strong basketball IQ who is athletic, has a good midrange jumper and is a physical player.
Celeste Etter, 5-8, Kettering Fairmont- Comes over from Bellbrook, Etter can light it up from anywhere on the court. Outstanding spot-up shooter and zone buster. Working to improve other aspects of the game, and could be the best shooter in the class.
Danielle Franklin, 5-6 Tecumseh- Physical, hard-working kid who has improved her game. Good mid-range shot, improved her ball handling, and plays hard while she is on the floor. Needs to improve her range.
Kasey Hughes, 5-8 Springboro- Another sleeper in the area, I think her improvement will be noticed this season. Has an improved jump shot, and is a tough, hard-nosed defender. Needs to work to get better around the rim.
Elea Karras, 5-9 Miami Valley School- Strong off the dribble and can beat her defender to the rim. She has an above-average outside shot, and defensively, can use her athleticism to block shots close to the rim.
Lindsey Nartker, 5-11 Tecumseh- Very solid at the rim, and has improved her post moves. Strong and physical player who will take a solid leadership role with the Arrows this season. Plays trememdous post defense, and good passer.
Rylie Parkhurst, 5-8 Miamisburg- Another kid who I look to really hit the radar this season. She can light it up, and has improved in different aspects of her game. Can play solid defense against girls taller than her.
Miquela Santoro, 5-6 Clinton Massie- Could very well be the best pure PG in the class. A good shutdown defender, strong handles, and passes the ball effectively well. Sees the court well, distributes the ball to the right person.
Kayla Shields, 5-10 Beavercreek- This kid is another who will blossom onto a lot of radars this year. Has improved her outside shooting, and is a strong, physical player against a post player in the paint.
Kaitlin Taylor, 5-6 Carlisle- Hard and tireless working player who has good court awareness and is a strong player. Taylor can finish at the hoop and can drain the three. Also a solid defender.
Nottia Ward, 5-7 Dayton Meadowdale-Very quick guard who is very unselfish. Can rebound, play solid defense, and will land on the radar of a lot of people this summer.
Cassidy Wasson- 5-6 Tippecanoe- Another potential elite PG who is the top on-ball defender in the class. Quick, tough player who has improved her play at the rim. Outstanding presence who can see the floor well. Working to improve her perimeter shot.
Kelly Wurth, 5-8 Springboro- Strong, physical kid who is very solid going to the rim. Good handles, and an improving jump shot. Very advanced for her age, and will be the key player for Springboro this coming season.
This list is growing by the week. There are other kids who could likely be added following next season, after getting another season under their belt.
If you look closely at the teams with the deepest and most talented 2016 class, there can always be an argument on who is actually the best group. I however, feel pretty confident that there are three teams in the Dayton area who shine above the rest when it comes to having the most talented 2016 kids.
Top 3 teams with deepest 2016 class:
1. Tippecanoe- the most talented group of 2016 kids reside in Miami County. Clodfelter is the most talented of the bunch. She slashes the basket, handles the ball, and can use her quickness. Watch for Aubrey Cox (5-10 Wing/Post) who has improved as much as anyone in the class. She can score, gets position in the paint, and has range. A third Division One prospect is 5-6 guard Cassidy Wasson, who is the best on-ball defender in the class in Dayton. Her lateral movement is solid, and she works extremely hard as a leader on the floor. There are several other ’16 kids at Tippecanoe who could draw attention of coaches during their career, including Kelsey Wertz (5-10), Mikenna Varvel (5-6), Holly Bernhold (5-8), Lexi Blair (5-6), Rachel Rusk (5-7), and Sammie Rowland (5-9).
2. Beavercreek- without a doubt, this is another fun group to watch as they have improved over the summer, and the Creek should contend as these kids continue to grow. Kayla Shields is the leader of this group, as she has worked herself into one of the key 2016 kids in the region. Strong physical player with a solid outside shot, Shields will get some help from Maddi Shannon, along the likes of Braelyn and Jaelyn Bean, Aleah Caskey, and Alexa Low. This group is a very talented class, and should bring Beavercreek back to their winning ways sooner rather than later.
3. Springboro- Wurth headlines a very tough group of girls who have good athleticism and work ethic. This group will play in your face for the entire 32 minutes with good man-to-man fundamentals and skills. Kasey Hughes is another key player who looks to elevate her game in 2013-14 to be a solid leader for the Panthers. Also a couple of other players who could elevate their game to be a key contributor are Breanna Graham (5-4), Lauren Shrout (5-8) and Hanna Ingram (5-8).
I am excited to see what this class brings to the table when it comes to moving on to play at the next level. At the Shootout/Combine coming this fall, I anticipate a chance to see some additional kids in this class that will work their way onto my radar as we approach the upcoming season.
And what about in Cincinnati? Not to be discounted, this group of sophomores continues a great tradition of talented players from the Queen City. Here are an impressive group of sophomores I really like from Cincy heading into the season, in no particular order:
Nia Staples (Lakota West); Hannah Tubbs (Norwood); Julia Jenike (Bethel Tate); Celina King (Mount Notre Dame); Abby Scholz (Mount Notre Dame); Jailyn Mason (Mason); Samantha Rogers (Lakota East; LaJessica Olverson (Princeton); Ashli O’Neal (Wyoming); Lauren Van Kleunen (Mason); Arielle Varner (Walnut Hills); Amaria Allen (Colerain); Taylor Foster (Milford); Mariah Campbell (Winton Woods); Aniah Williams (Northwest); Markayla Sherman (Princeton, injured).
And if you think the talent stops there? Braxtin Miller from Alter is the top 2017 player in the region, and as far as teams are concerned? Carroll appears to have the deepest ’17 class in Dayton.