Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sixth annual girls GymRat Challenge this weekend in Albany

Katie Roth (40), seen here competing in the New York State Class C Final Four this March at Hudson Valley Community College, a University of Hartford-bound junior at Maple Hill High School, will be competing with the Albany City Rocks in this weekend's GymRat Challenge. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Steve Amedio, the Director of Communications for the GymRat Challenge, has passed along the following notes and rosters in advance of this weekend's tournament in the Albany area. Plenty of local high school basketball stars will be taking the court this weekend. For rosters and schedules, scroll to the bottom of this post.

This year's girls GymRat Challenge tournament brings 156 teams, over 100 local players, 1750 total players from 11 states and Canada and thousands of spectators to the area for games at Siena College and the University at Albany.

WHAT: The largest girls’ AAU basketball tournament on the East Coast.
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20.
TIME: Saturday: games continuous from 8 a.m. through 11 p.m.; Sunday from 8 a.m. until the conclusion of championship games at 7:30, 8 and 8:20 p.m.
WHERE: Siena College and the University at Albany.

A local team, the Albany Capitals, won the 15-under division last year and most of its players will be back to try to win another title at the 16-under division, the highest age bracket. Champions will be determined at the 16-under (mostly current high school juniors), 15-under and 14-under age divisions.

Among the Capitals’ players competing this year are Siena-bound Tehresa Coles of Colonie High School and Catholic Central’s Taliah Pounds, last season’s Most Valuable GymRat at the 15-under division.

Also among a strong contingent of local standouts is Maple Hill’s 6-foot-2 center Katie Roth, who has given a verbal commitment to play at 2009-10 America East champion Hartford next season. Close to a dozen local players who will play here this weekend are being recruited by some level of Division I college teams.

This is the event’s sixth year, and while its longevity doesn’t match its boys’ tournament counterpart, its list of standout players who have appeared in the GymRat is extremely impressive.

Included is Epiphany Prince, who played in the first two years of the GymRat and, recently, was the No. 4 pick overall in April’s WNBA draft.

Last year’s tournament brought Syracuse’s Breanna Stewart to the area. She is currently rated the No. 1 player nationally in the high school class of 2012. Another standout who is scheduled to return for her third straight year in the GymRat is Betnijah Laney of Philadelphia, the No. 12-rated player in the class of 2011 nationally.

Graduates of last year’s event have moved on to join a number of major college programs including UConn, Boston College, Virginia, Ohio State, Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia Tech Providence and Vanderbilt. Past participants can be found at high-major level college teams from every conference nationally.

The majority of players who have appeared here in the past have gone on to play at some level of college competition.

This year players will come to the Capital Region from 11 states and Canada for what has become the largest girls’ tournament in the east, and one of the nation’s premier showcases for young basketball talent.

Admission is $10 per day, or $15 for both games and covers all games at all sites. In all, 280 games will be played. Reasonably priced concessions and event-related wearing apparel will also be available for purchase.

Teams will play a minimum of three contests with teams competing in the championship game getting up to seven games over the two days.

Here’s a list of local teams with rosters and preliminary round game times participating in this year’s event, along with the game times of their preliminary round games:

16-under division
Game Times: Saturday 12:20 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 9 p.m., all at Siena.
Roster: Tehresa Coles, Colonie; Taliah Pounds, CCHS; Shannon Allen, Warwick; Sarah Agan, Holy Names; Lea McClain, Mohonasen; Jaci Hinchey, Onteora; Hillary Kollar, Johnston; Emily Kirby, Bethlehem Central; Amanda Batzold, Columbia; Allie Setter, Shenendehowa; Alexi Howland, CCHS.

Game Times: Saturday 10:10 a.m, 7:55 p.m.; Sunday 9:05 a.m., all at Siena.
Roster: Alexis Alteri, Colonie; Angelica Smith, Shaker; Catherine Howe, Waterford; Christina Alley, Shaker; Clara Alison, Albany; Molly O’Bryan, Averill Park; Monica Chappodi, Guilderland; Tessa Baker, Mechanicville; Tori Coronanto, Colonie; Whitney Ballou, Albany.

Game Times: Saturday 12:20 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 9 p.m., all at Siena
Roster: Katie Roth, Maple Hill, Janae Lyde, Bishop Maginn, Dani DeGreory, Greenwich, Arriell Mussi, Liverpool, Briana Kiessel, Utica Proctor, Coriesha Hickey, Corcoran, Donnaisha Fountain, New Charter School, Khadejah Ellison, John S. Burke H.S.; Sarah Longto, Kingston; Tianna Johnson, Brockton H.S.

Game times: Saturday 1:25 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 10:05 p.m., all at Siena.
Roster: Alexis Perryman, Queensbury; Ashley McCaughan, Niskayuna; Bailie Tetrault, Cohoes; Danielle Beauchamp, Cohoes; Danielle Conley, Scotia; Haley VanOrman, Arlington; Kalie Sanboeuf, Scotia; Kelly Mahar, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake; Maggie Smith, Shenendehowa; Mallory Dickson, Shaker; Mandi Edick, Shenendehowa; Megan Rogers, Shenendehowa; Taylor Whyte, Ballston Spa.

15-under division
Albany Capitals/DiBacco
Game times: Saturday 10:10 a.m., 7:55 p.m. at UAlbany; Sunday 9:05 a.m., UAlbany.
Roster: Ashley Loggins, Colonie, Brooke O’Shea, Averill Park; Bridget Carney, Averill Park; Jennifer Cillis, Voorheesville; Hannah Kutny, CCHS; Sarah Madden, Voorheesville; Geena Gallo, Ballston Spa; Cristal Benton, Guilderland; Molly Lauver, Cambridge; Allie Olsen, Bethlehem Central; Sarah Jenson, Scotia; Bernie Jordan, Holy Names.

Albany Capitals/Matthews
Game Times: Saturday 12:20 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 9 p.m., all at UAlbany.
Rosters: Courtney Donlon, CCHS; Julie Mia, Averill Park; Emily Blow, Voorheesville; Heather Lewis, Saratoga; Kelly VanEpps, Guilderland; Kolbie Robinson, Colonie; Megan Matthews, Saratoga; Amanda Kernozek, Guilderland; Monica Compton, Schenectady Christian; Allie Smith, Columbia; Amber Maiello, Mechanicville; Samanta Tornack, Duanesburg.

Saratoga Sparks
Game times: Saturday 1:25 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 10:05 p.m.
Roster: Lauren Woods, Shaker; Emily Weber, Shenendehowa; Erica Vallacorsa, Shaker; Brehanda Stratton, Albany; Mary Kate Cusack, Shenendehowa; Laura Kipper, Colonie; Ali Lewis, Shenendehowa; Mackenzie Rowland Shaker; Kylie Small, Holy Names, Christina Spicer, Holy Names.

14-under division
Albany Capitals
Game Times: Saturday 9:05 a.m., 3:35 p.m. at UAlbany; Sunday 10:10 a.m. at UAlbany.
Roster: Bridget Murphy, Bethlehem Central; Mary Kate Murray, Holy Names; Mikayla Farrara, Mt. Anthony; Emily Sischo, Guilderland; Mikayla Deguire, CCHS; Brinkley Leagacy, Mt. Anthony; Anna Feller, Voorheesville; Kate Goodell, Mt. Anthony; Jacquelyn Miller, Argyle; Faith Welch, CCHS; Allison Nunziato, Averill Park.

East Side Hoop Stars
Game times: Saturday 10:10 a.m., 7:55 p.m. at UAlbany; Sunday 9:05 a.m. at UAlbany.
Roster: Morgan Rush, Averill Park; Megan Crock, Columbia; Claire Everitt, Averill Park; Anna Bryce, Albany Academy for Girls; Jenna Horton, Averill Park; Maria Holland, Averill Park; Christine Roy, Averill Park; Maddie DiNardo, Columbia; Eden Zeller, Averill Park.

Saratoga Sparks
Game Times: Saturday 1:25 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 10:05 p.m. all at UAlbany.
Roster: Kelsey Colwell, Mohonasen; Katherine Small, Holy Names; Madison Rowland, Shaker; Sydnie Rosales, Colonie; Allyssia Marsol, Shenendehowa; Ailayia Demond, Watervliet; Sidney Hansen, Ballston Spa; Cassie Broadhead, Scotia; Alix Gleason, Shenendehowa; Lashana Tolliver, Watervliet.

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