Posted On: 06/27/21 6:54 AM
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 Imani Stokes Imani Stokes 6'2" | MB Warren Central | 2022 State IN (’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 Stevi Vandevanter Stevi Vandevanter 5'9" | OH Warren | 2022 State IN (’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. Ava Smith Ava Smith 6'0" | OH Park Tudor | 2023 State IN (’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.