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* Throughout the summer, The Dabbelt Report will be doing feature stories on different local AAU teams. This was done at a recent workout. After the April break, Jim will be back in May with additional team stories.
By Jim Dabbelt
One of the up-and-coming Ohio travel basketball teams this summer will reside from the Dayton area, and after having some recent success, coach Marcia Doner is expecting her squad to make some noise this year.
One of the biggest things that will be going positive for these girls is that Doner and the staff wants to get them some added publicity and skill development. While I attended their special Friday night skills session with Jim Clayton and Carla Booth (Sports City U), there is little doubt that this group will make a name for themselves as an improved club as the summer progresses.
The Stingers, located on the Ohio/Indiana border, has several players from the Darke and Miami Counties, along with quality players from Indiana.
One of their top players will be Lissa Siler, a freshman at Tri-Village who is a strong hearted player. Defensively, she is very skilled and it is likely the best part of her game. As she continues to work harder on her ball handling, her overall game and value will increase.
Trisa Porter was a key part of the Tri-Village tournament run this year, as the freshman is an excellent ball handler and a court general. She is a pure shooter who can take over a game, but needs to be more offensively aggressive, Trisa is likely the most overall talented player on the Stinger roster.
Another player expected to be a key contributor Camille Pohl, who causes havoc on defense, and when needed she can do it all on the floor. Camille is no stranger to hard work and being aggressive, but she just needs to work on her confidence on her shot.
Watch for a possible big summer from Kayla O’Daniel from Arcanum. Her game has really improved a lot from last summer, and she has gotten stronger with her left hand. She is a solid defender with a good outside shot, and is not afraid to take it to the hole.
A newcomer to the team this year is a player who is expected to play a big role in the future of Miami East basketball. Camryn Miller contributed last year for the Vikings, and she looks to improve her overall game this summer. She has a good outside shot, and can get to the rim. Does a nice job boxing out on the boards.
One of the top young players in the state of Indiana is eighth-grader Jenna McFarland, who has great leadership skills playing with the older kids. She is an aggressive player, can attack the rim and distributes the ball. Needs to just work on improvement playing against older kids all summer.
Another eighth-grader on the roster is Emma Wright, who like McFarland is from Indiana. She does well with technique, but needs to add to her game with some productive post moves. As she gets older, I would expect her to expand her game.
Brooke Stonebraker comes from a basketball family, as mom is the head coach of the state runner-up Versailles Tigers. With that said, I hold a coaches kid to a higher standard since she is around it at often. Her court IQ is there and she has the desire to get better. She needs to work on her handles, but has nice inside moves.
Two more players who were not at the workout were Becca Chamberlin of Indiana and Caitlin McEldowney from Versailles.
The Alter Knights cemented their legendary status as the top girls basketball program in the Miami Valley this decade, as they won their third consecutive state championship by defeating Hathaway Brown 58-41 today in Columbus. It was the fourth year in a row that the Knights have reached the finals, and their record for this senior class is phenomenal.
“We have been a second half team in the tournament just feeling teams out in the first half, and the third quarter has been our quarter,” said Alter co-coach Kendal Peck. “We showed up at 7 a.m. this morning for shootaround and the kids were laughing and joking when we got off the bus. We play better when we are relaxed and having fun, and not so serious.”
This team has no reason to be nervous, and do anything except have fun. They have been through the fire against everyone, and has a record that will be hard to top.
“We are 115-5 playing all of the top teams,”Peck added. “The senior class is the winningest in Ohio history, boys or girls, ever. Someone is going to have to average 29 wins per year to top that. It will get broken sometime, but what this team has accomplished it great.”
“We played 36 teams with 20 wins or more, and you have to show up every night. People are motivated to play us. That’s all part of it. We have not always played our best, but we have to find a way to get it done. It’s a great challenge. Except for the West Holmes game, they have been one possession.”
Braxtin Miller led the Knights with 23 points, while Libby Bazelak added 21 points and six assists. Alter shot 44% from the field as a team, and finishes the regular season 28-2 overall.