The Assessment of the Girls Pizza Hut Tournament

Posted by Andy Durham on December 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm under High School | 9 Comments to Read

Special to Greensborosports.com from outside the Greensborosports.com staff…..

1. Page: They were the Champions and congratulations for the accomplishment with in
itself. Did they play well? They beat NEG 52-18 which does not have a good team and does not seems to be headed in any direction. If they win six games this year their coach should be State coach of the year. They beat Greensboro Day 48-41 who does have a solid team that used to be the doormat of the Pizza Hut Tourney for years and not ever being in this position of prosperity, they squandered away a
golden opportunity. They beat Northwest Guilford for the Championship game 56-45.
Northwest Guilford came into the tourney with a record of 2-7 and a number #2 seed.
Northwest Guilford has not been playing well all year. Paris Kea was chosen the MVP
of the tournament but was not really outstanding becuase no player really stood out
from the rest. Kayla Johnson played very well in stretches and seemed more of the
agressor and showed more toughness for Page at the times when
they needed it and could have easily been chosen the MVP. She at least made the All
Tournament team. Debresha Barnes (All Tournament), Cheslsey Coleman and Hannah
Pegram were the difference in the championship game . Going forward Page is off to
a 12-2 start and they have great coaching. Can they win the conference title which
is their next goal? Yes, it is reachable. Can they win the Conference Tournament
Title? Yes, that is reachable as well? Can they go very deep in the State playoffs?
That remains a question mark unless they get to play teams like Northeast and
Northwest early on to advnace and have early home court advantage. Page strength
is coaching staff and good solid role players. Weakness? Their main player has a
difficult time with more athletic agressive guards that can play and have a
tendency to turn the ball over often.

2. Northwest Guilford: They should feel good about themselves going forward after a
dismal season thus far. Reaching any championship game is a well deserved
accomplishment. Coach Joyner will have this team ready to play the second half of
this season. They were more physical than Smith, a team that was capable of
winning the Pizza Hut Tournament. Spring Hill signee Natalie Harper(All Tournament)
and Alyssa Munson (All Tournament) must set the pace and let the rest of the team
know that the losing stops now. If they do not establish that right now this is
going to be a very long and frustrating season and could be one of their worst in
years. Their point guard Brandi Burrell plays hard but must learn how to convert on
scoring opportunities or else when Harper, Munson and a occasionally good game from
Mcgee is not working this team will struggle against even average teams. They do not
have the luxury of a lot of mistakes against good athletic
teams that can play and execute. Can they turn it around? That is a 50/50
response. Will they turn it around? The answer will lie in the first three games
after the Holiday break. A lot of question marks are surrounding this team and they
know it.

3. Greensboro Day: Off to best start in years and they should feel really good about
themselves. A 14-3 record is not bad and any team would like to have that at this
stage. What is not good is that they were on the BIG STAGE at the Tournament and did
not perform when it counted most. They were by far the most talented team in the
tourney but key players did not step up when it was needed most against Page. They
did however came back and derailed Smith 57-37 whom had already checked out mentally
for the holidays after losing to Northwest Guilford. They finished third and it was
their highest finish ever. Taneesha Conners (All Tournament Team) played very
agressive and smart through out the tourney. She destroyed her former school
Northern Guilford in the first round with penetrations, steals and freethrows at
crucial moments in the 44-39 win. She forced Page’s Paris Kea into several turnovers
and held her to a very low shooting percentage. Ronata Rogers
averaged 9.6 ppg during the Tournament and only scored 4 against Page in a crucial
game that should have created a match up problem. It never materialized even though
she did attempted several shots and had scoring opportunities. She did however
finished with 21 points against Smith to help team finish 3rd. Marquee players find
away to perform in big time games. Appalachian State signee Khadeja Wilkerson
played very well against Page 14 points and created a matchup problem that Page had
no answer for. However down the stretch the team got away from what was working and
it cost them a possible championship. Tamera Thorpe averaged 8.6 ppg during the
tournament. That was well below her season average of around 15 ppg. Caroline Spurr
had good moments and averaged 7.3 ppg but must learn how to manage the game better
in crucial type games and stay with in ones ability. All of the main players
averaged between 7 to 9 points per game. The danger in that is no
one becomes the closer in big games. Greensboro Day will have a great season and
will learn from this.

4. Smith: They will admit that they did not have a good tournament. Any time you go
1-2 or 0-3 during this period, it could have a carry over if it is not handled right
immediately. Smith beat Ragsdale 43-36 which is definately not a good team (3-10).
When a team that should be dominant have poor execution against very subpar teams,
it tends to have a carry over. It happened against Northwest Guilford (4-8) 40-32 .
It ended with the blow out loss to Greensboro Day 57-37. Smith team is standing at
9-5 which is not bad. But the team does not have a team leader on the floor that is
not afraid to get up in teammates faces and lead by example by demonstrating through
their actions that this is not the Smith team of the past that looks like they are
ready to turn the corner but end up going in the other direction. Who is that
leader? Greer, Phillips, Robinson? Leadership is never assumed. It is earned.
Normally if the senior leadership is not strong, a team
normally will collapse and never recover. Brandi Robinson had a solid tournament
with 33 points in three games for an 11.0 average and a strong finish of 12 pts and
13 rebounds against Greensboro Day. Now she must find away to get the others to
follow or this promising season can turn into disaster especially if they do not
get off to a fast start at the beginning of January.

5. Northern Guilford: Finished 2-1 in the tournament. Beating Northeast 0-10 (53-26)
and Grimsley 1-11 ( 51-30). Their only loss was to Greensboro Day 44-39. Northern
may not have benefited in the long run by playing the likes of Northeast and
Grimsley in the long run no matter how the seasting was drawn. Sometimes losing to
stronger competition molds a team better in the long run. Their were several bright
spots led by Alexis Robinson who continues to be consistent on both nds of the court
and does a great job of attacking the basket. Amanda Coffer continues to swat shots
away and becomes the last line of defense. Aliyah Grinage does well underneath but
has not shown the ability to knock down the mid range jumpers yet. Gabby Boys
continues to improve and does provide hustle. Sydney Wilson has become their best
outside shooting threat and has the ability to knock down a three and the midrange.
Does not handle real pressure well yet but experience will
help in the years to come. Northern goes into the New Year 10-3 and 3-0 conference
record and is the odds on favorite to win it all.

6. Ragsdale, Grimsley and Northeast Guilford are all in the same category and there
is not much to talk about. It will be interesting to see which one of these teams
emerges by the end of the season from the bottom of the barrow ranks.


  • Falcon said,

    Why so many teams with losing records in such a high profile tournament?
    Looks like they would want the best teams in the area to participate.
    I assume it could be a money issue, do the losing record teams bring in lots of fans?
    Greensborosports.com has done excellant job of covering this event. Local newspaper
    is terrible but that is nothing new. They could learn alot from the Lexington Dispatch who does
    a great job covering high school sports. Still, this is the best place to get local sports information.

  • HoopsMike said,

    A question for Andy: What are your qualifications to assess basketball talent? Have you coached or played the game?

  • Don Moore said,

    HoopsMike… Question for you. Did you read the first line?

    It was submitted by someone other than US. As for Andy’s qualifications, he has broadcast basketball professionally for nearly 40 years; and I understand that he still can be found playing street ball on various public courts around Greensboro. Watch or listen to the interviews Andy has done; his wealth of knowledge when it comes to local sports is first on my list. I’ve worked with the best in TV and Andy is the closest thing radio has to Charlie Harville on TV.

  • Andy Durham said,

    You’ve got to remember that I didn’t write this particular assessement, in the title I included Special to Greensborosports.com….Back in the school days I did play basketball was a starter and played very good defense and could hit some free throws…Not a big deal, but I did coach basketball for six years..Two years as a boys JV coach and the last year we went 17-2 and then coached girls basketball for four years on the private school level and our team played for the State Championship my last year….Lots of fun even though we lost the final game by 1 point on the last shot of the game….Played outdoor hoops for 30 years and figured it up one day, and it was 300 games a year outdoors for 30 years and that was 9000 games and it could have been more or less, but no big deal…I remember all of that stuff, but I don’t care what I did yesterday, even though it brings back some good memories, it will be what I do today and tomorrow that really matters….Announced basketball on radio and internet since 1986 and called 9 State Championship Games and the varied teams won 5 of 9 State Titles….

    Again, I didn’t write the above piece, it is a special for us, and I rattled off a lot of stats that really don’t mean a hill of beans, but I have been around the game and have seen a lot and have tried to make a lot of kids look and sound better…….What I did yesterday does not mean anything , watch for me down the road and see if I am seen contributing tomorrow and the next day…I better be or it will be a waste of time….

    Most of those outdoor games were very competitive and it was very hot outdoors most of those summers and a bit cold in the winter….I shot at three different courts last Sunday…..Guilford College, Jefferson School and Forest Valley…..Good game that basketball….

  • Back Court said,

    Why has Northeast been so bad? No wins last season, not looking like they will win this year either. It seems like they would have talent out there like the Northeast boys do. Must be the coaching?

  • HoopsMike said,

    Thanks for clarifying. I missed the first line. My mistake.

    So what are the assessor’s qualifications?

    Why put this assessment up that is so hard on 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 year olds?

    It is an opinion that “busts” a lot of hard working young people.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Have seen them play 4-5 times and they just don’t have it right now….When you talent goes dry it takes some time to rebuild…The NEG girls don’t know how to win right now cause they haven’t won in two years….Wnen Coach Wayne Stevens was there he had them playing for the conference championship with Mercedes King and Shelley Reece and then Coach Apple took over and they still won a few games but didn’t have young talent coming up…Current Coach Ramsey played at South Carolina and she coached as an assistant at Elon, so she knows basketball…She has a couple of players that can contribute, but it is much tougher than it looks…..They will win again, but it will take time and until they win, it should be no crack on them, they’re trying and they are still learning……Very slow process when you hit rock bottom and have to come back up….

  • FISHING said,

    SPECIAL TO GREENSBORO SPORTS…..KNOW THAT YOU ARE CONTRADICTING YOURSELF. WE KNOW WHO YOU WANTED TO WIN THE MVP. SORRY IT DIDN’T HAPPEN! BUT IN THE MEAN TIME BE MINDFUL THAT THESE ARE YOUNG GIRLS. YOUR TO SERIOUS. AT THE END OF THE DAY IM SURE PARIS AND THE OTHER YOUNG LADIES WENT HOME HAPPY AND CONTENT UNLESS SOMEONE RUINED IT FOR THEM SAYING THEY SHOULD HAVE WON THE MVP! DOING MORE HARM THAN GOOD.

    NOW AS FAR AS THE BBALL PLAYING. GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE. PARIS IS A TALENTED PLAYER AND YES FROM WHAT I KNOW SHE HAS TO PLAY A DIFFERENT GAME THAN HOW SHE PLAY WHEN SHE’S 100%. FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND SHE HAS AN INJURIED SHOULDER AND STILL MANAGE TO HANDLE THE BALL AND DISH IT TO HER TEAM MATES. AND IF YOU ARE A TRUE BALLER YOU WOULD HAVE NOTICE HER DEFENSE. SHE WAS UNSELFISH AND ALLOWED HER TEAMATES TO STEP IT UP. COMING UP AGAINST AGGRESSIVE PLAYERS, I’ve PLAYED BALL WITH HER AND WATCHED HER PLAY WITH MEN. JUST KNOW SHE HAS TO CHANGE HER GAME WHEN SHE’S PLAYING HIGH SCHOOL BALL. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. IN FACT WHEN SHE’s 100%, COME SEE HER PLAY AAU! THAT”S WHY SHE’s INVITED TO ALL THE D1 COLLEGES INVITATION ONLY CAMPS! SO STOP HATING ON THE KID, SHE’S JUST HAVING FUN PLAYING THE GAME. AND A VERY HUMBLED YOUNG LADY.

  • Tournament Assessment said,

    This was an interesting assessment of the girls tournament. Page won not only because of players like Paris and Kayla but they played team basketball with talent better than any team this week. You could argue that NW had the least talent of the top 5 teams but they played their way into the #2 finish because they also played extremely good team basketball. Natalie and Alyssa played well off of Brandi’s ball movement and made the defense pay though out the tournament. I thought Page and GDS had the most talent on the floor with Northern a close 3rd in talent. Smith has a lot of talent but they played out of control at times. At this level, your point guard play will often determine whether you win or lose unless you have supreme talent. Page has the dominate point guard with Paris. She was in total control and did exactly what was needed throughout the tournament. The NW point guard (Brandi) gets the most out of her talents. She does not have the offensive finishing ability of other guards but she gets the defense moving and creates opportunities for her teammates. Not sure about the point guard situation with GDS or Smith. The Smith PG was not always in control and did not seem ready to play the final game. They clearly missed Alexus on the final day. The GDS point guard dribbles too much and does not push the ball. GDS may have had the best guards next to Page in this tournament but they need a PG like Page or NW. I also thought Page, GDS and NW had the best shooting guards on the floor. The Page shooters like Kayla showed up as needed throughout the tournament. The GDS shooter (Thorpe) did not score enough to beat Page. GDS’s Tenesha out worked the opposing guards in every game that I saw her play in this week and may have been the best defensive guard in the tournament. NW made the most of their shooting opportunities throughout the tournament with Natalie and Alyssa. Brandi worked harder than any other PG during this tournament and her team benefits greatly.

    Page, GDS and Northern had the best big girls. The Page bigs were not really that big but they play as if they were 6’2″. They out worked all the other girls in the paint the entire tournament. The 2 bigs for GDS were amongst the best in the tournament. They were able to get their shots off within the paint at will but missed too many shots during key games. Both had big games but never during the same game. The 2 bigs for Northern worked hard and would do well on any team in this city. The Coffer player continues to prove that her sister is not the only player in the family and Aliyah continues to come up big.

    This tournament had some very good talent on display for the girls. Even though many of the teams had players that did not necessarily perform up to their talent level in each game, it is clear that Greensboro has some really good players at a lot of different schools.