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Hoop Group Girls' Championship Recruiting Notebook (Pt. 1)

07/13/2022, 12:00am EDT
By Josh Verlin & Sean McBryan

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Sean McBryan (@Sean_McBryan)

MANHEIM, Pa. — The Hoop Group Girls’ Summer Championship took over Spooky Nook Sports from Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon, with just under a couple hundred teams vying for different brackets, including the 15U, 16U and 17U Hoop Group Summer League (HGSL) championships. 

Here’s the first part of our recruiting coverage, featuring players we spoke to on Sunday evening:

Reese Zemitis (2024 | Mid-Atlantic Magic 16U | Neshaminy)

It’s been a great offseason for Zemitis, who’s seen her list of potential future schools grow by quite a bit over the last couple months. 

Reese Zemitis (above) has nine offers, including three of the City 6. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

The 6-foot-tall wing guard from Bucks County picked up her first Division I offer before her sophomore year of high school, last August from Drexel, but it’s been since May that things have really taken off.

As of this week, her offer list stands at nine: Drexel, Saint Joseph’s, Fordham, Monmouth, Niagara, Bucknell, Penn, Columbia and Harvard. Lafayette, Manhattan, Lehigh and several others had started to reach out.

They all like her ability to play multiple perimeter positions or even slide into the post, to knock down 3-pointers and create for her teammates, as well as defend all over the court.

“I’m just really grateful for all of it,” Zemitis said on Sunday evening. “It’s really good, I’m keeping it slow, trying to see what I want and what’s best for me.”

So far, Zemitis said, she visited five of the schools that have offered, the three Philly schools as well as Fordham and Bucknell. She plans to visit the rest this summer, getting a chance to take in what they each have to offer.

“What stands out to me is basically the team bonding and how coaches relate to the players, how they treat them, the whole bonding experience,” she said. “What schools have what I want to do outside of basketball, the major, and what school feels like home to me; I know I’m going to be at college most of the time, so whatever is the best fit there.

“I’m just really considering everything, what one school has to offer over the other and what’s best for me, so that’s why I’m trying to take my time but also make sure I make the right decision,” she added. 

While she’s not in a huge hurry to end her recruitment, Zemitis said she won’t be dragging it out too long, either. A decision should be coming, she said, at some point during her junior season, or perhaps just afterwards.

In the meanwhile, the left-hander said she’ll be continuing to work on her ability to go right: “if I can do that,” she said, “I’ll be a more dominant player, for sure.” — Josh Verlin


Anna Foley (2023 | EVOElite 17U | Andover, Mass.)

When you’re 6-2 and mobile, with a smooth, high-arching jump shot and noteworthy passing abilities, it’s not going to take long for college coaches to take notice. So Foley has had a double-digit list of scholarship offers for some time, and now she’s getting ready to narrow it down and make her pick.

Anna Foley (above) has an offer from Saint Joseph's amongst her group of suitors. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Over the last few weeks and months, she’s taken official visits to two schools (Saint Joseph’s and Quinnipiac), but she’s taken unofficials to many others, including Fairfield and Marist, while Richmond and Delaware have joined the mix as well. A decision, she added, is likely to come at the end of the month, after the live periods have wrapped up, now that she feels she has a good idea of what each of her suitors have to offer.

“I did a lot of good unofficials,” she said. “It’s just really hard to fit officials in over the summer during the live period, and I said I wanted to make a decision closer to the end of July, so I was happy, I have enough information from my other unofficials as well.”

When it comes to making her college choice, Foley said she’s looking for a mid-sized school with a “family atmosphere, really having a good bond with my coaches, and being able to compete at a high level; looking to win the conference, getting to the NCAA Tournament is obviously a dream,” she said.

Foley helped EVOelite’s 17s into the HGSL semifinals, beating Lehigh Valley Fever, LI Lightning and NJ Demons to get there. Along the way she showed off her inside-out scoring ability and unselfish offensive nature, as well as a willingness to crash the glass and a good enough handle to bring the ball up court and initiate offense.

“My focus this summer is to be more confident with my right hand and in my shooting ability,” she said, “and getting faster. I know at the next level I’m going to have to guard very athletic ‘4’s and ‘5’s so that’s my next step: strength, conditioning, speed, stamina.” — Josh Verlin


Lena Stein (2025 | Lady Runnin’ Rebels 15U | Perkiomen Valley)

Lena Stein made her mark on the high school basketball level as a freshman, playing a meaningful role in Perkiomen Valley’s 23-win, PAC runner-up, PIAA quarterfinal (the first in school history) season.

Lena Stein (above) is part of a deep and talented 2025 group at Perkiomen Valley. (Photo: Sean McBryan/CoBL)

The Vikings defeated PAC foe Methacton in the PIAA second round and Stein shined on the defensive end, largely responsible for holding second all-time leading PAC scorer Nicole Timko to four points. Timko had averaged nearly 19 points per game during the season.

“That was my role on the team last year,” Stein said of being a defensive stopper. “It really helped me carry that on into AAU season. I’m really looking forward to improving my offensive game so I can build off my defense. During the AAU season I’m just looking to try new things so I can get my offensive game up for next year.”

The 5-9 wing’s defense was unsurprisingly impressive during the Hoop Group girls’ showcase league’s Summer Championships as she generated a multitude of blocks, steals, and tipped passes. The midair, no-look assist was surprising, as was the turnaround jumper she used, and drained, to make her defender unbalanced after constantly battering into the paint on drives and cuts.

“I’m trying to work on contact,” Stein said. “I watch a lot of college basketball and fast cuts are a big part. It’s a strong suit for them. I was really working on that and trying to get contact when driving and knifing to the rim.”

Is there anyone in particular she watches?

“[Former Spring-Ford great] Lucy Olsen from Villanova,” she said. “She’s from our area so I’ve always looked up to her.”

That might be where the versatility and unselfishness comes from.

Stein also mentioned wanting to continue improving her passing, ball handling and court vision as the summer rolls along, but after averaging only 3.0 points in her freshman season, she’s bound to see an increase in scoring numbers as a sophomore.

Perkiomen Valley leading scorer Jennifer Beattie (12.3 ppg) and third-leading scorer Emma Miley (9.4 ppg) graduated. Five freshmen, who all played significant roles in the Vikings’ success, rounded out the top seven scorers on the team: Quinn Boettinger (10.2), Grace Miley (7.4), Julia Smith (4.5), Bella Bacani (3.3), and Stein.

Upper Perkiomen’s Grace Galbavy (18.9 ppg), the PAC’s second leading scorer as a freshman, is moving into the school district to join the already loaded Class of 2025 for the Vikings.

As Stein and the rest of the Perk Valley underclassmen continue to develop throughout the summer, the Viking program should be in good hands this upcoming season and seasons to come. — Sean McBryan


Reynah Rattliff (2025 | Mid-Atlantic Magic 15U | Archbishop Ryan)

The first apparent part of Reynah Rattliff’s game is her tremendous ball handling, which she utilizes to effortlessly break down the press, split double teams and penetrate to attack the basket or drive and kick to open teammates.

Reynah Ratliff (above) will be playing for her father at Archbishop Ryan. (Photo: Sean McBryan/CoBL)

The second is her motor, which never stops throughout the course of a game even if her team’s losing or she’s not playing up to her standards. If the shots aren’t falling, she’ll pick up steals on the defensive end and/or get her teammates open shots just like her favorite player, Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Phoenix Mercury.

“I take her passion for the game,” Rattliff said of Diggins-Smith, who nears the top of the WNBA leaderboards in points, assists, and steals per game every year. “She’s really aggressive, tenacious. I love the way that she plays.”

Rattliff only scored nine points in the two games CoBL had eyes on at the HGSL Girls’ Championships at Spooky Nook. But she picked up six steals and six assists as her Mid-Atlantic Magic 15U squad defeated Lehigh Valley Fever 47-38 and narrowly lost to NJ Shoreshots 38-36 in a quarterfinal game.

She showed the potential of being a good scorer by getting to the basket on multiple occasions but just missed on finishing at the rim. She hit a 3-pointer in the first game, but can improve in that area. Once that comes, watch out, because the product on the floor now is already a valuable player.

“I definitely set up my teammates but can score if needed,” Rattliff said. “I would say leaning more toward a passing guard but I can do both.”

The 5-7 guard had minimal playing time off the bench for state champion Archbishop Wood as a freshman. She transferred to Archbishop Ryan this offseason where her father Jullian Rattliff takes over a Ragdolls squad that went 1-9 in the PCL last season.

The last time Archbishop Ryan won more than seven games in the PCL was in 2016-17. Needless to say, it'll be a change of scenery.

“I’m going to need to learn to be more of a player myself and lead a team,” the younger Rattliff said. “At Wood we had a bunch of players that could step up.”

Still, Rattliff is embracing the opportunity to start something new with the Ragdolls.

“It’s just a better opportunity at Ryan,” Rattliff said. “That’s why I’m there. To change the culture.” — Sean McBryan


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