War Games 28.5

War Games 28.5 Upperclassmen Top Performers

2024 5-7 PG Zaynah Preston – FBC 2024 Malik – Holy Innocents’
When I first watched Zaynah Preston as a freshman, I had a feeling she could become a real difference maker quickly over the course of her career. This past season as a sophomore, she did just that earning Second Team All-State honors in Class A-Private. At War Games, Preston’s upward trajectory continued as she showcased a well-balanced offensive game with dynamic defensive instincts to boot. Preston scores from multiple levels. She stretches the floor with her three-point shot and is quick enough to dart her way to the rim. What really impressed me on Thursday was her on-ball defense and quick hands. Preston finished with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 8 steals and 3 blocks in a 41-40 loss. She is the type of guard that uses her defense to set the tone and ignite her offense. Zaynah is one of the better guards in a deep 2024 class.

2024 6-2 PF Sa’Mya Wyatt – FBC Supreme Team – St. Francis
If she isn’t already, Sa’Mya Wyatt is about to become a popular name with D-I programs. She’s a strongly built post that can score through contact inside. Wyatt uses her strength to position herself on the offensive glass for putbacks and can power through the arms of defenders. She displayed good footwork on the block, using and up-and-under. Wyatt recorded 13 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist in a 58-33 win. Her physicality will translate well to the college game.

2024 6-1 G Erin Rodgers – Team Huncho NXT-GEN – Grayson
Even though she wasn’t at 100%, Erin Rodgers still looked like a High Major player in a loss to Team Curry. She came out of the gates hot with 13 first half points to keep Team Huncho close and would finish with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Aside from her great size on the perimeter, what makes Rodgers special is her consistency and ability to impact games in multiple ways. Rodgers loves to get dirty in the paint, battling for rebounds and altering shots on defense. Offensively, Erin is great at finishing through contact with either hand and mixes in a steady mid-range jumper. She is extending her three-point range and is a threat when left open. With her ability to defend multiple positions on defense, Rodgers holds great long-term value with her versatility. Erin has one of the highest ceilings in her class.

Katherine Bottoms2024 5-9 G Katherine Bottoms – Atlanta Cagers BlueChip – West Forsyth
I think it has been a great summer for Katherine Bottoms. I have come away pleased every time I’ve seen her play this offseason. The wiry guard is a hustler with long arms and quick reflexes on defense. Her instincts allow her to jump passing lanes and knock away weak handles. She’s able to convert turnovers into transition points. In the half court, Bottoms does a good job of drawing fouls on her slashes to the basket. She went 6-10 from the foul line in a 48-40 win over FBC Reign Tipton, finishing with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals. If Katherine can consistently knock down jumpers, I could see her stock rise steadily over her final two seasons.

Lindsey Pirkle2024 6-1 C Lindsey Pirkle – Atlanta Cagers BlueChip – North Forsyth
Something may have clicked for Lindsey Pirkle this July. I really liked what I saw from her on Thursday, as did college coaches who were inquiring about what level she could play at. Pirkle played much stronger than what I’ve seen in the past. Lindsey did a great job controlling the paint, using her size to her advantage. She ate up the glass and scored on putbacks while anchoring the defense swatting away shots. Pirkle finished with 7 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks, scoring efficiently around the rim against FBC Regin Tipton. Throughout the course of the week, Pirkle also showcased her soft touch hitting perimeter jumpers, stretching the defense to the three-point line. Lindsey is just scratching the surface of her potential.

2023 6-0 W Sara Lewis – FBC Legacy GUAA – Woodward Academy
It was a great week of work out of Sara Lewis, a popular name for D-I programs. Sara looked quick to balls and utilized a swift first step when attacking offensively. Lewis had it all working in a 56-20 win over MP Ice, dumping in 20 points off four three-pointers. Sara runs the floor gracefully, beating her man down the court in transition opportunities. Her length and versatile offensive game along with her ability to rebound in a crowd make Lewis one of the best available prospects in Georgia’s 2023 class.

2023 5-3 PG Veronaye Charlton – FBC Legacy GUAA – Tallulah Falls
Playing at a level much different from Region 8-A-Private, Veronaye Charlton had no issue playing with pace alongside talented teammates. The Bahamian plays with great speed and energy as a natural playmaker. She pushes the ball extremely well in transition and sees the floor, looking to set up others before trying to score herself. She understands how to suck in the defense before dishing to the open man. Charlton was a sparkplug in a blowout win, contributing 2 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. The more she gets seen, the more schools will fall in love with her.

Chassidy Fedd2023 5-9 G Chassidy Fedd – Team Tre – Valor Christian
It has been a good summer for Chassidy Fedd. She looked impressive in early June at PRO Movement’s Summer Madness and now carried her momentum into War Games. Fedd was clutch against a loaded Porter Sports team, dropping in 17 points, 2 assists, 4 steals and 1 block in a 54-48 win. Chassidy is a good slasher that can draw fouls getting to the rim. She went 7-9 from the foul line and scored 10 of her points in the second half. I thought Fedd’s most impressive bucket was a pump fake one-dribble pull-up, a smooth play with the game on the line. Continuing to hit perimeter jumpers and working on implementing her left hand more often will help with her development. I think Fedd could slip through the cracks a little and be a terrific pick up at the next level.