MARCH 16-17, 2019
It was really nice to see the girls come out in full force to compete in the March SLAMFEST with a total of 25 teams from 10 organizations! I guess it’s safe to say, Girls Travel Basketball is off to a great start. Our girls re-cap will feature a few new names that you may want to remember. I personally watched every team that participated in the Primetime Sports Arena. Without a doubt, girl’s travel basketball in South Florida has an abundance of talent from 4th-12th grade.
STAND OUT ORGANIZATION
From an organization standpoint,
dominated the entire weekend going 12-1, winning 2 championships, and 1 runner-up! Although their record is quite impressive, Team Knight will readily admit they were in some very close games which included two buzzer beaters as well as 5 games decided by 5 points or less. When it was all said and done Team Knight solidified their name as a top tier organization. We can’t wait to follow their success over the next 5 months.
5TH GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP
FLORIDA LADY HUSKIES
FLORIDA LADY HUSKIES
went undefeated behind the superior play of Taniyah Davis. Davis is an exceptional player with a myriad of developed skills. Davis is one of those players that can play well above her age. Davis led her division in points and steals. Her most encouraging characteristic is her toughness which allows her to control the paint offensively and defensively.
Victoria Valle! I know I shouldn’t have favorites, however, this 4th grader can play! For such a young player she has the demeanor of a seasoned athlete. Often challenged by bigger players, young Valle is as poised as they come under pressure. In a pool play game Valle had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Valle can get in the paint and drop dimes! Her expression never changes, she plays basketball the right way.
Marissa Arellano played well all weekend earning her an All-Tournament Selection. Jaelynn Housey, the eventual MVP, played outstanding the entire weekend. Her ability to shoot from beyond the arc and in the paint make her a tough defensive assignment. Housey’s toughness in the paint contributes to her success to rebound on both ends.
is a solid organization led by Allison Bustamante. The entire organization is top notch from the players, parents and coaching staff. In my 20 years of travel basketball, it’s always encouraging to see coaches that coach with positive reinforcement. The rapport the coaching staff has with their players is the reason why the team responds and executes their game plan. It’s very evident that every player gives their all to gain their coach’s approval. Ashley Martinez is a solid player on both ends of the court, she's a tough rebounder in the paint and can score inside and out. Alissa Azcuy is an all-around athlete that will show up in every statistical category. She can score, rebound, defend, drop dimes and block shots!
Dakotah Daniels, GT Queens
6TH GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP
is loaded with talented athletes! Speaking of athletes, let's talk about Nykeria Flowers! Flowers is your all around stat stuffer. She is the heart and soul on the defensive end and contributes offensively as well. Flowers distributes the ball in the paint and will outwork her opponent for rebounds. Offensively, Chardae Rumph, Laciega Crockett, and Teriyah McFadden are three players that you can always count on to score. All 3 have an array of offensive options, inside, outside, and most effective in transition. Team Knight’s offensive power proved to be too much in the champion game and ultimately helped them grab the title as SLAMFEST’S 6th Grade Champions!
have 5-6 players that can score which makes it difficult for their opponent to defend. At any given time Riley Stoker, Markeli Jones-Tynes, Brianna Brown or Darianne Christian are capable of going off from beyond the arc. All four can score inside and outside. In pool play the Queens gave Team Knight all they could handle behind the offensive scoring of Jones’ 9 points and Leila Burgess’ 7 points. Unfortunately, the Queens ran into a hot Team Knight in the finals. Nevertheless, Tonia & George have done a superb job assembling a group of respectful players and parents and we wish them continued success!
Skyla Chambers, SK Elite
Yiuno Wang, SK Elite
Isabella Ivy, SK Elite
J'yan Tyrell, Hollywood Eagles
Jazmine Jones, Hollywood Eagles
MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP
MIAMI LADY BALLERS
went 5-0 simply because of their defense. They led the entire Middle School Division allowing 101 points collectively in 5 games. That equates to 20.2 a game! Offensively Team Knight was the 3rd ranked team yet they still collected the championship. I guess it’s safe to say “
defense wins games
Although Team Knight went 5-0, GT Queens and Miami Lady Ballers gave them all they could handle in pool play. Team Knight won two games at the buzzer to solidify their undefeated weekend. All and all, a great tournament for Team Knight. Arielle Facyson saved her best game for the championship netting 20 points. Peyton Looky’s 9 points and Tamara Elliott’s 8 points in the championship game were huge as both players were major contributors throughout the weekend.
MIAMI LADY BALLERS
have been around the travel scene for many years and have always entered competitive teams. This week was no exception as the Miami Lady Ballers challenged Team Knight in pool play and the championship game. Both games had a combined 6 point differential! Miami Lady Ballers showed resilience all weekend as the continuously fought their way back from deficits when most teams would have conceded. The Lady Ballers are a very unique team, unique in a way that you never know where their points will come from. They honestly have 6-7 players that consistently score and can be their leading scorer. Jaelyn Cardoza & Khadee Hession provide the scoring from beyond the arc with the skill set to score from multiple areas inside and out. Defensively, Hession & Cardoza played great all weekend. Jade Leon has a really nice defensive game to go along with her consistent scoring.
DIRECTORS PLAYER SELECTION
Jocelyn Gagnon, GT Queens, is a really nice all-around player. I really like her ability to move without the ball to get open. Gagnon has a quick release on the catch to get her shot off. Another player to watch.
Shania Swan, GT Queens
Lauren Jones, SF Heat Elite
Jocelyn Arias, SF Heat Elite
Ashley Martinez, Miami Impact
Gianna Diaz, Miami Impact
9TH GRADE CHAMPIONSHIP
The championship game between the Hollywood Eagles and Team Knight was definitely the most anticipated championship. Team Knight was never challenged in pool play or the 1st round of bracket play which allowed them to bring their 3-0 record to the championship. On the other hand, the Hollywood Eagles had to fight their way out of pool play and barely secured the number 1 seed after the 3 way tie rule was imposed. The highly anticipated matchup lived up to the hype as the young Eagles were victorious with their 2 point victory.
The Eagles were led by Jamesha Card’s 17 points. Card was solid and made sure this victory wouldn’t be denied. Defensively, Card showed flashes of becoming a dominating defensive presence with her rebounding and shot blocking ability. Jazmine Jones (2026!), a 5th grader playing in the 9th grade division. I’ve watched this girl since 2nd grade. As a 2nd grader playing in the 4th grade, Jones was a shooter. This weekend, Jones was a shooter! Her outside shooting from beyond the arc looks effortless, a natural shooter with a quick release. In the championship game, Jones hit some key buckets scoring 8 points. You most definitely want to keep an eye on Jones as she progresses through middle school and high school.
Jamesha Card saved her best for the last two games where she put up 34 points, 17 in each game. Card’s defensive game is just as good as her offensive game. Her shot blocking ability is well above her age. Card absolutely dominated the championship game with her 17 points. Morgan Taylor, another highly skilled Eagle is a high energy player that played consistently well in every game. Morgan came up with some key steals in the championship game that went down to the wire.
Team Knight breezed their way into the championship game. As a result, they really never had the opportunity to face adversity until the finals. Team Knight’s roster is loaded with talent from top to bottom. Any given day 4-5 players can easily lead the team in scoring. Tyra Brown, a really nice all-around player that may not lead a statistical category, however, she’ll appear in every category. The typical player that will grind it out to beat you. Gianna Corbitt, another exceptional player in all facets of the game. Corbitt displays a nice defensive game to go along with her offensive success.
Madison Aguilera, Miami Basketball Academy
Samantha Vales, Miami Basketball Academy
Angelica Gonzalez, Miami Basketball Academy
Sofia Mendez, The Lady Jaguars of SF
Emily Montes, The Lady Jaguars of SF
Mariah McKenzie, GT Queens
Samiyah Briggs, GT Queens
Azazrriah Brown, Florida Lady Huskies
Jadah Tombs, Team Knight
Janessa Kelley Team Knight
SF HEAT ELITE
FLORIDA LADY HUSKIES
South Florida Heat Elite finished the weekend undefeated. Miami Northwestern's Mary Delgado lived up to her name leading almost stats category for the entire division. This was my first time watching her play and all I can say she’s the real deal. Delgado has a real smooth flow to her game and looks so natural in transition. I can tell she’s always thinking 2 plays ahead. Her instincts on defense are crazy good. I watched her cover a lot of ground to bait her opponents into bad passes resulting in turnovers for layups. Her game-high 38 was too much for the Florida Lady Huskies to overcome as the SF Heat Elite held on to a 5 point victory. Anaya Lopez & Katharina Eibel showed their talent as well as scoring and doing the dirty work in the paint. When those 3 are clicking the team is poetry in motion in transition.
Florida Lady Huskies gave the SF Heat Elite everything they had and just came up short. Shallon Chai was the Huskies most consistent player all weekend. Chai sets the tone on defense and led her teams in steals. Chai plays angles extremely well and has superb closing speed forcing turnovers for easy transition layups. Chai can score from anywhere! Chai has a nice shot from beyond the arc, quick 1st step to get to the basket and a nice mid-range game. Jaici Hastings is another deep threat that can light it up. A streaky, rhythm shooter with an exceptional defense game. Hastings and Chai are very comfortable in the paint with the ability to block, alter shots, and control the boards leading their team in rebounds.
Sophia Clark, REAL Basketball
Tatyana Wyche, REAL Basketball
Taliyah Wyche, REAL Basketball
Khaliyah Gator, Sweet Rebound
DIRECTORS PLAYER SELECTION
Tamaya Patterson, Eagles Elite, really showed her ability to score and get to the basket. A superb ball handler with true point guard skills. Has nice range on her jump shot and a very tight handle. Definitely, a player to watch moving forward.