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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Five Showdown show-stoppers

By Brandon Clay
HoopGurlz

Antania Hayes
Antania Hayes of Detroit, Mich., is at her best running wide on the wing to finish at the rim.

Cincinnati, Ohio -- This is a second look at the Midwest Showdown, featuring several of the top travel teams in the East.

2013 Checklist

Larryn Brooks, Kentucky Premier (Richmond, Ky.): The 5-foot-7 point guard made an impression throughout the event, pushing the tempo in transition and leading Kentucky Premier all the way to the Elite Division championship game. Brooks consistently got out with the ball on the fast break, leaving defenders wondering where she went as she blew by to finish or find an open teammate. Her game showed why multiple schools, including Miami and Xavier, have stepped up their recruiting after her play during the spring evaluation period.

Antania Hayes, Michigan Crossover (Detroit, Mich.): Like Brooks, Hayes makes her impact on the game with her defensive prowess and penchant for making plays in transition. The 6-foot forward was at her best running wide on the wing to finish at the rim and getting involved on the defensive end of the floor. Hayes is the No. 32-ranked player overall in the ESPN HoopGurlz Super 60 for good reason. Her energy on the defensive end is infectious and got the Crossover going multiple times with easy opportunities on the offensive end.

2014 Checklist

Mychal Johnson
Mychal Johnson of Huntington, W.Va., made shot after shot all weekend.

Mychal Johnson, West Virginia Thunder (Huntington, W.Va.): Each year, there are players who show and prove they belong amongst the nation's elite. Johnson has done just that over the past 12 months, making her mark at several key events along the way. The 5-7 point guard made shot after shot at the Midwest Showdown, all while applying pressure to the opposition with her ballhandling and defensive awareness. Her consistent play has drawn interest from major schools as far away as Stanford and has her ranked No. 21 in the latest ESPN HoopGurlz Terrific 25.

2015 Checklist

Maci Morris, Kentucky Premier (Pineville, Ky.): The 5-11 wing has developed her skill set since the Elite Basketball Academy Super 64 Camp last summer. Though Morris might not have a specialty on the floor, she finds ways to be productive on both ends, coming up with both timely baskets and rebounds. The daughter of a high school coach, her game exudes intelligence and awareness of time and score throughout the game. Throughout the event, she made open jumpers, scored on isolation sets at the rim and found open teammates for scores.

Alexis Robinson, West Virginia Thunder (Ashland, Ky.): Robinson's athleticism and speed with the basketball in her hands is impressive. At 5-9, she has good size for a point guard, plus the willingness to facilitate the offensive action for the other members of her team. Robinson is strong enough to take contact and still finish the play around the basket. Add that to the elevation that she gets on her jumper, and Robinson has all the tools to be a complete offensive player as time goes on.

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Brandon Clay is a contributor and national recruiting analyst for ESPN HoopGurlz. He is also the publisher of the JumpOffPlus.com National Scouting Report and the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc. The service is used by more than 150 colleges and universities nationwide. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as a recruiting analyst, event operator and trainer. He can be reached at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com or you can follow him on Twitter @BrandonClayPSB.