We wrap up our pre-moratorium summer league with two more teams that are more of a mystery to me than most. Oftentimes, I know what to expect walking into a gym. In Thursday’s case, I had no idea what to expect, and I had to physically ask one of the coaches for names of kids I had never seen before.
Without(’22, 6-2 MB) in the gym, I got a chance to see some other kids take the reins in the middle. Kyla Wooder (’22, 5-8 MB) held her own against Shelbyville, got a few blocks in, and even put a couple of balls away. I also like the length of Akeyra Towers (’23, 5-9 MB), who plays WAY bigger than her frame. Considering the constant flux of kids that may or may not be in the gym, it was fun seeing (’22, 5-8 UTIL) take a stab at some 6-2 setting. She also has a mixture of a hard jump float and hard topspin serve that gave Shelbyville some trouble.
It has been two full seasons since I have seen what the Panthers are capable of. Oh, what a difference time makes. Coach Carlson is no longer there.(’23, 6-0 OH) was at AAUs with her Academy team. Sara Gomperts (’22, 5-8 S) transferred to Perry Meridian. Layla Gold (’23, 6-0 MB) is no longer with the program. Insert a ton of youth, including freshmen Rena Plankis (’25, 5-9 RS), Lilly Harris (’25, 6-0 MB) and Miriam Linton (’25, 5-6 DS). Rena has the capability to be a terminator on the other pin from Ava, and her lefty swing gives defenses another wrinkle to defend. Lilly made smart shots and takes up space on the block. Miriam had a great defensive game, and here’s to hoping we see more of her in serve receive in the fall. Finally, a nice run of serves came from Yael Ehrlich (’23, 5-3 DS), who is a nice three-rotation option and can bomb serves consistently.