Patosha Jeffery has been in girls basketball for over a decade and she continues to put out a great product through her passion for the game of basketball. Her Fall Exposure League has plethora of talent in the Memphis and surrounding area and features such players as Gigi Lewis (MHEA) Endya Buford respected by many as the best 9th grader in the area (Olive Branch) Ashtyn Baker, (Northpoint) who had fans raving on Saturday, Bionka Massie (Central), Sade Hudson (Trezevant) and several other names that people should know in the girls game.
I hate that I missed the first match up of the day which featured Buford and Baker against each other as I heard both played very well but I did see the last 2. In the second game, Syracuse vs Washington, Jayla Hemmingway was incredible. The 5’11 scored on all 3 levels and with the improved jumper especially from 3, Hemmingway might contend as the area’s leading scorer. She’s so physical on her way to the rim and can finish with fouls with either hand. Jayla’s very good with the ball in her hands and she makes good decisions as a passer but she’s at her best with the intent to score and she’s down hill, not a lot of east to west in her game. She looks for mismatches and when she sees it, she exploits it to her advantage. Hemmingway was the best player that I saw on Saturday, hands down but others stood out s well.
Johnna Jones, a 5’8 guard from Munford and CBU commit was really good, polished shooter who can maybe able to play some combo next year when she begins college. You simply can’t leave her because every time she shot the ball, it looked like it was going in. Really sound fundamentals, she moved well without the ball and got in positions to score via the jumper. Christian Brothers is getting a really good player in Jones, an absolute steal.
Tamia Aldridge was a surprise for me because when the game first started, it appeared she was more of a pure post but as the game progressed, so did she. She put it on the floor, handled full court and looked comfortable enough to play on the perimeter maybe more than she has in the past at her new school, Bolton High. She’s more athletic than one may think at first glance and plays every possession hard. She showed she can score it close and be a finisher and while she didn’t shoot the ball a lot from the perimeter, her mechanics were good when she did. She’s going to do some really positive things for Bolton this year and make a name for herself while doing so. Her teammate Heaven Thompson just keeps going and going, so active and she’s more than a ball hawk, I might call her a ball eagle. You can’t loft passes around her and you better guard your basketball because she gets after whoever she’s guarding . She takes chances and will gamble a lot but it’s something you can live with because of how hard she plays. She was the best on ball defender that I saw Saturday but Thompson isn’t just a defensive pest, she can score it as well. She did most of her damage off lay ups in transition where she thrives because of her speed and showed she can get where she wants in a half court setting. She’s just a ball of energy and she’s fun to watch because she looks like she loves to play.