Sandy's Spiel Showcase Top Performers

Sandy’s Spiel Showcase Top Performers

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Kayla Cleaveland2025 6-0 F Kayla Cleaveland – River Ridge
What River Ridge and Kayla Cleaveland did in the first half against Grayson was nothing short of incredible as the Knights ran up a 51-26 lead with Cleaveland matching the Rams’ halftime point total. In River Ridge’s 91-62 win, Kayla would finish with 30 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals and 1 block. Everything was working for the versatile lefty, scoring from all three levels. Cleaveland has been off to a raging hot start this season averaging 19.4 points and 7.6 rebounds. Her ability to score inside and out makes her unique. Kayla loves the mid-range jumper from the elbow, able to sink it in the teeth of the defense. She’s a physical low block scorer with nice moves, capable of scoring through contact. When Kayla stretches the floor, she has enough ball skills to take her man off the dribble and enough range to let it fly from beyond the arc. Effort is never an issue for Cleaveland. She routinely beats her man down the floor to score in transition. With ACC, SEC and SoCon schools in the building, Kayla all but stamped herself as a legitimate D-I prospect with her skill level. Kayla hit three mid-range jumpers, two threes, ran the floor for two hoops, scored on two drives, a spin move, a putback and went 4-5 from the foul line. Defensively, Cleaveland was active as she got around post ups to knock away deflections and force turnovers. Kayla’s first half was the best I’ve seen out of a forward in a long time. Although she’s only a sophomore and has plenty of time to get even better, it’s about time that D-I schools start to seriously get involved.

Sophia Pearl2025 5-7 G Sophia Pearl – River Ridge
Sophia struggled with her shot a week ago against Brookwood, but had no issues whatsoever against Grayson as she was red-hot sinking five threes to finish with 24 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal. Pearl torched the Rams in the corners as they kept losing her, nailing four triples. Pearl was able to get in the paint and showcased a pull-up jumper. Sophia is a big reason why River Ridge is so devastating offensively, especially in transition. She knows to run to the three-point line which gives space for Kayla Cleaveland and others to streak down the floor when Mataya Gayle pushes the ball, putting defenders in the unfavorable position of deciding whether to stop the ball, hedge and get back to the three-point line or mark Cleaveland rim running. Pearl’s three-point shot and overall polished game has already drawn offers from Marist, Quinnipiac, LaSalle and Lipscomb. Her outside shot separates her from nearly every other guard in her class and once she transitions to point guard next year and gets more reps as a playmaker, her stock will rise even higher.

Mataya Gayle2023 5-7 PG Mataya Gayle – River Ridge
A dislocated shoulder the night before didn’t slow down Mataya Gayle, the energizer bunny that makes River Ridge go. The Penn-signee didn’t have to score much while orchestrating a 91-point performance. Gayle finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals. She sank a pair of threes and got downhill for her other hoops. Gayle is elite in transition and knows how to involve her offensive weapons. Her elusiveness and ability to create offense in different ways will make a major impact at Penn.

Samara Saunders
2023 6-0 PF Samara Saunders – Grayson
I loved what I saw out of Sam Saunders. With Grayson in dire need of scoring threats around Tatum Brown, Saunders has stepped up this season and did so with D-II and D-III schools watching – schools that are seriously recruiting her. Saunders has gotten her body into good shape, slimmed down some but still with strength on her build. Samara’s confidence and consistency has taken a jump her senior season. She’s an inside-out threat. Saunders posts up physically and uses a variety of moves with her back to the basket. She can bang for buckets inside and has quickened footwork, able to spin off defenders for hoops. I really liked what Saunders did outside the paint, hitting a three and a mid-range jumper while also attacking off the dribble. Samara finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds. She holds D-II and D-III offers and is trending up in her recruitment.

Tatum Brown2025 5-6 PG Tatum Brown – Grayson
Tatum attacked River Ridge out of high ball screens, turning the corner to get into the paint where she scored with her floater, dropping in five tear drops. Brown excels at finding creases in the defense and will wiggle her way into the paint whenever she wants to. She drew fouls when getting downhill going 6-7 from the foul line. Tatum hit a corner three. Brown shouldered a heavy load, tasked with scoring and creating for others. She finished with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

Tianna Thompson2024 5-10 PG Tianna Thompson – Galloway
When Galloway needed hoops to stave off Langston Hughes, Tianna Thompson is who the Scots turned to. The High Major prospect posted 20 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals and 1 block in a 54-45 victory. Thompson was a foul magnet when attacking the rim, going 8-9 from the free throw line. She finished with both hands and when she didn’t get to the rim, she got to her spots in the mid-range instead hitting two jumpers with a floater mixed in. Tianna doesn’t get rushed by pressure and always maintains her poise in tight games. She’s as reliable as they come when the game is on the line. Wake Forest and Mississippi State were evaluating on Saturday.

Mallory Holmes2023 6-1 C Mallory Holmes – Langston Hughes
I started texting schools as Mallory’s game went on. As far as stock risers go and biggest impressers, Holmes was that for me. There is major value in a sleeper like Holmes. It first starts with her length and athleticism. Holmes moves her feet well on defense and has a great wingspan that allows her to alter shots in her area. Mallory runs the floor extremely well in transition, able to catch and finish in one motion. Offensively, she can hit the mid-range jumper and can help space the floor. Holmes’ most impressive move came when she pump-faked a defender and drove baseline for a layup. She finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 4 blocks. There are a lot of tools to work with for Holmes. To find a big with her size, length, agility and touch on offense to go along with the fact she is a 4.0 GPA student, is rare to find. Holmes is worth some serious looks at the D-II and D-III level. She could be a player that blossoms at the next level.

Ashanti Bryant2023 5-8 G Ashanti Bryant – Archer
Ashanti Bryant exploded in the first quarter and sent Archer to an early lead they would never relinquish in their 70-54 win over Baldwin. Bryant scored 10 of her game-high 22 points in the first quarter, scoring on a pair of drives and two threes. Over the course of the game she would also add 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Bryant’s early outside shooting helped open driving lanes later in the game, scoring the rest of her points in the paint. The lefty is a good finisher in transition and an active perimeter defender with length.

Mearah Whitehead2025 5-9 W Mearah Whitehead – Archer
The hustle and defensive effort of MeMe Whitehead never disappoints. She collected 13 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals vs. Baldwin. Whitehead aggressively attacked on both ends of the floor. She put her head down and got to the hoop while drawing fouls going 6-8 from the free throw line. MeMe knocked down a three in the fourth quarter, shooting with confidence and a smooth release, a key part to her game which she will have to continue to work on. Adding a consistent outside shot would be huge for Whitehead who plays bigger than her size and is an impactful rebounder and a versatile defender.

Taniya McGowan2023 5-11 W Taniya McGowan – Archer
The South Carolina State-signee did the dirty work for the Tigers. She spent time defending Janaye Walker inside, giving up four inches and plenty of weight but did a good job getting low and trying to move her out of the paint. McGowan has always been an interesting player with her physicality and combo-forward game. She can space the floor from three, attack off the dribble and is a good offensive rebounder that can score in the paint. On Saturday, she banked in a jumper, nailed a straight away three and went coast-to-coast in transition. She recorded 8 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal.

Janaye Walker2025 6-3 C Janaye Walker – Baldwin
D-I schools are very interested in Janaye Walker. You can’t teach her size, a mountain of a woman that can simply overpower opponents with her size and strength. Walker eats away at the offensive glass, earning putbacks as she keeps the ball high while absorbing contact to score And-1s. Janaye has a soft touch from the foul line, shooting 6-7 on Saturday. Only a sophomore, Walker has time to improve other areas of her game. Archer’s defense harassed her with double teams in the post, frustrating her at times. Controlling her emotions is just a part of maturing which will come with age. Continuing to improve her foot speed will be crucial at the next level, but in half court sets there is not much teams can do with Walker once she seals and is able to catch lobs over the defense. She finished with 16 points, 20 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks. It will be fun to watch how Janaye progresses over her final two-plus seasons.

Aaniyah Allen2023 5-5 PG Aaniyah Allen – Elbert County
In what was a lopsided rout, Aaniyah Allen nearly outscored Murray County as she finished with 36 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 6 steals in a 67-39 victory. Elbert County quickly turned the game into a track meet which meant a layup line for Allen. She scored on four steals and had countless transition layups. While she hardly ever needed to, when Allen did shoot from the perimeter she netted a three and sank a one-dribble pull-up from the mid-range. Aaniyah is electric in the open floor with her speed and uses her on-ball defense as a catalyst for points. She impressed in front of D-II and D-III schools and currently holds offers from Georgia Southwestern, Piedmont, Brenau, LaGrange and East Georgia State.

Bayleigh Winkler2025 5-10 PF Bayleigh Winkler – Murray County
I really liked what I saw from Bayleigh Winkler. It was an extremely positive first impression in what otherwise was a tough game for the Indians. Winkler will appear on college radars by the time she is a senior. At 5-foot-10, she is a physical post presence with nice moves. She scores extremely well with her left hand, able to drop step on the left block and score over her right shoulder. Bayleigh also showed the ability to put the ball on the floor and finish at the rim with her off-hand. When Winkler is on the low block, she keeps her elbows wide when making moves to clear out space for her drop steps. She is an effective offensive rebounder and can alter shots inside. Winkler produced 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Alaya Grane2024 5-3 CG Alaya Grane – Central-Macon
Three first half threes got Alaya Grane in the groove early on as she went on to post a game-high 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in a gritty 48-37 win over Stockbridge. Alaya torched the defense with her outside shot using an unorthodox follow through. In the second half Grane started getting to the basket with tough drives in traffic. What she lacks in height, Grane makes up for with strength as a bowling ball getting downhill. Alaya will have to work on her left hand to play at the next level, but her aggressiveness and scoring mindset have been just what the Lady Chargers have needed this season.

Taliah Grier2024 5-5 PG Taliah Grier – Central-Macon
When Central-Macon needed plays to be made in the second half, it was often Taliah Grier delivering. The southpaw has a unique off the dribble attack. She loves to spin into short fadeaway jumpers from 15-feet and in but can also get all the way to the hoop and score from tricky angles, drawing fouls while doing so. Much like Grane, Grier will have to improve on scoring with her off hand. The deceptive lefty finished with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Tayelor Davis2024 5-9 PF Tayelor Davis – Central-Macon
I thought what Tayelor Davis provided inside was huge for Central-Macon. While the guards do the bulk of the scoring, Davis is the defensive anchor in the paint and the muscle that sets the tone. Listed at 5-foot-9, Davis is a physical powerhouse that posts hard on offense and blocks out well when shots go up. Tayelor scores on deep seals and defensively is an effective shot blocker for her size. Davis had 4 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks as the Lady Chargers packed it in with their 1-2-2 zone.

Carrington Wilson
2024 5-9 G Carrington Wilson – Stockbridge
While CJ Wilson was never quite able to get loose, she showed flashes of her high upside and why she already has been a multi-time All-State selection. Wilson has a next level frame, wiry and athletic with lean muscle. She was at her best when she was able to penetrate the zone, scoring with a pretty floater in traffic. Wilson has a smooth three-point shot which should continue to improve over time. Carrington finished with 13 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals in the loss to Central-Macon.

Kania Seymour2023 5-3 PG Kania Seymour – Pebblebrook
Undersized at the guard position listed at 5-foot-3, Kania Seymour is a sharp little sparkplug that does a lot of good things. She’s a very good athlete with great body control. Kania is a pesky on-ball defender that sits on the ball handler’s strong hand and makes them uncomfortable. She’s quick laterally, able to stay in front and defend without using her hands and will take a charge. Kania is a good finisher and is a dangerous outside shooter with three-point range. She posted 16 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 4 steals in Pebblebrook’s 71-25 win over Loganville.

Kelcei Rivers2023 5-8 F Kelcei Rivers – Pebblebrook
Kelcei Rivers is a bit of a tweener, capable of playing either forward position. Rivers plays bigger than her size. She’s a rugged rebounder and defender that can help guard multiple spots. She scores a lot of her points in the paint but stepped outside and hit a corner three on Saturday. Rivers finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals and 3 blocks.

Aaliyah Capers2023 5-10 PF Aaliyah Capers – Pebblebrook
While she didn’t score as much as some of her teammates, I think Aaliyah Capers was invaluable on Saturday with her physical defense guarding Emaya Lewis. Giving up five inches, Capers was stingy inside not allowing Lewis to set up with prime post position. Aaliyah did a great job of disengaging Lewis to get around her and steal entry passes. Capers showcased a well-rounded floor game, shining as a rebounder, passer and defender. She collected 4 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals and 3 blocks. Capers is a solid forward flying under the radar.

Emaya Lewis
2024 6-3 C Emaya Lewis – Loganville
Lewis was a bright spot for Loganville. While she was a bit streaky in her production, when she had momentum, she was very effective. The high upside big finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks. She hit two mid-range jumpers, a three-pointer and scored on a putback and a layup while going 2-2 from the foul line. Lewis has elite length and a soft touch to go along with improved mobility and ball handling. She still will have to add strength to her frame as the smaller Falcons were able to get into her base and push her away from the hoop, but all-in-all Lewis is a very talented prospect with her best basketball ahead her at the D-I level.

Kaden McCorvey2024 5-11 PF Kaden McCorvey – North Paulding
With a handful of D-II and D-III coaches watching, Kaden McCorvey had a terrific game as North Paulding snapped Lake Oconee Academy’s state-best 29-game winning streak, 42-32.  McCorvey dominated in the paint. She plays with a great motor, constantly attacking the glass and challenging shots. Kaden knocked down a pair of mid-range jumpers, scored on a putback and on a high-low look. McCorvey is a reliable low block scorer with patient post moves. She gets the most out of her size. Kaden posted 11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 6 blocks. The 4.0 student should be on D-II and D-III radars.

Jayda Jackson2024 5-5 PG Jayda Jackson – North Paulding
Jayda Jackson played a mature game against Lake Oconee Academy, helping handle their press and providing on-ball defense of her own in North Paulding’s zone. Jackson willingly sacrificed her body for a charge. On offense, Jayda shot the ball extremely well. With her compact stroke she connected on three three-pointers. Jackson went coast-to-coast with her left hand and later netted a tough scooping hook of a shot in traffic going across the lane. Jayda finished with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals.

Ava Andrews2025 6-1 W Ava Andrews – North Paulding
It looks like Ava Andrews is transitioning to a full-time perimeter player. On numerous occasions she brought the ball up the floor and initiated the offense. She hit a pair of threes but has to make sure she doesn’t settle on the long ball too much when she has such a major advantage with her length and athleticism. The versatile defender used her quickness and wingspan to collect a steal and finish coast-to-coast. Andrews’ ceiling is sky-high, especially if she shoots the ball consistently well from the perimeter. Ava tallied 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.

Jada Williams2023 5-4 G Jada Williams – Lake Oconee Academy
Jada’s high energy attack landed the bouncy athlete 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 steals and 1 block. Williams was quick to swoop in for loose balls and 50/50 rebounds. Jada scored from all three levels albeit not her best shooting day. She sank a pair of threes, a pull-up jumper and scored on a pair of drives. Williams is an interesting small school prospect with how hard she plays and the injection of pace that she brings to the floor.