On Monday, Phenom Hoops traveled out to Lake Norman High School for an open gym tour dual feature, capitalizing on the opportunity to evaluate both (boys and girls) varsity squads. While most of the boys’ team consisted of familiar faces, this was our first full viewing of the Coach McKenzie Graham’s team—and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Though the sample size was limited, it’s clear that this group is overflowing with talent and prospects for all types of college coaches. This article will take a closer look at some of the girls who stood out during their open gym…
5’7 ’22 Madison Saunders
Though she’s only a junior, Saunders seems to be the main representative of senior leadership within this roster. Between her personality and communication, she’s somewhat of a coach on the floor. She makes up for her unassuming nature with a high IQ and an all-around skillset. Saunders displays a fundamental, straightforward approach with a strong balance between scoring and playmaking. She’s great at utilizing her crafty handle and sharp first step to breakdown defenders, touch the paint, and finish or make the correct read. Additionally, Saunders is a pesky defender with grit, toughness, and the ability to rebound and force turnovers at a consistent rate. She clearly has the makings of a next-level prospect.
5’9 ’23 Leigh Marks
It’s easy to see the appeal with Marks, who really showcases a complete identity on either side of the ball. She’s tough, intelligent, and well-rounded, which immediately makes her a matchup problem for a vast majority of guards at the high school level. Marks is a quality athlete, especially in the open floor, and finishes well with either hand. She is a reliable perimeter shooter with a nice change-of-pace and the ability to absorb contact effectively around the basket. Marks defends very well, plays hard, and highlights an impressive list of intangibles. Like Saunders, she should definitely have various college programs in pursuit.
5’9 ’23 Kirsten Lewis-Williams
Between her unique combination of IQ, skill, athleticism, Lewis-Williams is an obvious talent and noteworthy prospect. She’s already very productive and displays a pretty complete game, but still has a ton of upside left—which should instill legitimate fear within opponents. Lewis-Williams is a well-rounded athlete with great instincts and strong two-way versatility for a guard/wing. She’s extremely difficult to contain from getting wherever she desires on the court, able to effortlessly breakdown defenders and essentially pick her spots. She defends multiple positions at a high level, forces turnovers, and truly showcases an all-around game on either side of the ball. Though she’s still quite young, college coaches need to start laying groundwork and monitoring closely over the foreseeable future.
6’3 ’22 Aly Wadkodsky
Immediately upon walking into the gym, Wadkodsky catches the eye and brings intrigue with her size and phenomenal physical tools. She possesses a strong frame, soft hands, and a pretty consistent perimeter jumper. Wadkodsky understands how to assert herself around the basket, especially offensively, and finishes effectively from either block. She rebounds at a consistent rate, makes quality passes to ignite fast-breaks, and runs the floor quite well in transition. Wadkodsky also displays nice feel and understands how to maximize her strengths on both ends of the floor. There is still a ton of long-term potential remaining, yet Wadkodsky already has the makings of a next-level prospect, which should have various college coaches enticed.
5’8 ’22 Bella Harwood
After a productive freshman season, Harwood stepped away from the team. She now returns as another capable, well-rounded wing prospect with the ability to consistently make plays within the flow of the action. Harwood offers a steady, unselfish presence and simply understands how to fill in the gaps on both ends of the floor. Her low-maintenance identity should allow her to carve out a strong role during the season.
5’6 ’22 Jade Lowe
Though somewhat undersized, Lowe certainly fills a void for this squad. She’s lightning-quick and extremely fast in the open floor, arguably standing out as the purest athlete on the roster. Lowe is a very heady on-ball defender and utilizes her combination of positioning and quick hands to force turnovers and dust opponents in transition.
5’5 ’22 Carley Reilly
Despite being the smallest player on the team, Reilly also provides a steady, reliable presence on both ends of the floor. She’s a quality floor general with a nice balance between playmaking and perimeter shooting, though she primarily looks to set up others. Reilly makes smart decisions with the ball and simply understands how to run a team with poise.
5’8 ’23 Kendall Robinson
Like the aforementioned trio, Robinson should be another useful role player for this squad. She can pass, handle, fill the lane, and knock down the open jumper, but also shows a willingness to make hustle plays. Her role will likely continue to expand throughout the next few years.
5’7 ’21 Abby McMahan
As the lone senior on this roster, McMahan brings toughness, a high motor, and an extremely low-maintenance identity to the table. She has a strong frame and doesn’t shy away from getting in the mix on every possession, whether as a defender or rebounder, and runs the floor well in transition.