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Select Events Atlantic City Showcase: Notebook Pt. 3 (May 19-21, 2023)

05/24/2023, 1:45am EDT
By CoBL Staff

CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

ATLANTIC CITY — The Select Events Atlantic City Showcase filled up the AC Convention Center this weekend, with more than 500 teams taking part in the action, with Division I (plus II and III) coaches out for the May live recruiting period. A high-level field featuring some of the area’s top teams as well as sneaker-sponsored and independent programs from around the country came out, along with hundreds of college coaches.

Here’s the second part of our notebook from the prospects we caught up with at the event:


More Coverage: Day 1 Standouts | Day 2 Standouts | Day 3 Standouts | Notebook Pt. 1 | Notebook Pt. 2


Grace McDonough (2025 | Lady Runnin’ Rebels 16U)

McDonough’s Friday morning brought the Souderton rising junior a relatively rarely challenge, as the Rebels opened their weekend with a game against the WPA Bruins’ 15s: matched up against the Bruins’ 6-foot-3 forward Natalie Wetzel, a high-major target, the 6-2 McDonough wasn’t the one with the height advantage. 

Grace McDonough, 2025 Lady Runnin' Rebels

“Playing against someone who’s taller than me, which I’m not used to, it was a good experience to get better,” she said. “I’ve never really played defense against a girl that tall and aggressive, so I think it was a good experience.”

McDonough acquitted herself well in a game that had no fewer than two dozen Division I coaches watching, coming up with a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double, holding her ground in the paint against Wetzel, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

It’s outings like that at the last live period in April, when the Rebels played in the Select Events showcase at Spooky Nook, that has McDonough on the radar of Division I coaches: she said she fielded calls from Colgate, Army West Point and NJIT after that weekend, and one coach courtside at her game commented they’d likely be reaching out as well.

“I was definitely nervous the first couple of calls because I was new to it but they were all so sweet and it was just a call to get to know one another, so it wasn’t too bad,” she said of those first three calls. “They said they liked how I hustled up and down the court and I never gave up, I was aggressive at rebounding, that’s basically it.”

McDonough said she’s spending this summer working on her offensive game, able to make more shots around the bucket than “just layups;” she knocked down a 12-foot face-up jumper in the game against the WPA Bruins, which the Rebels only lost by five against the Under Armour-sponsored opponent.

Through her first two years at Souderton, which made it to the PIAA 6A state tournament this year, McDonough’s had the ability to learn from point guard Casey Harter, who’s starting her career at Northwestern this fall. Being able to see the development and leadership of another Division I player on a daily basis helped McDonough understand what it takes to get to the next level.

“She’s a great leader and I think it’s so cool that I (got) to play with a D-I athlete,” she said. “Especially playing with her in practice, it made me get better.” — Josh Verlin


Lauren Patnode (2024 | Elevate NYC 17U)

Lauren Patnode didn’t foresee herself going far from home just a few years ago.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Patnode ended up at the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, Pa. and things started to change. In the midst of her final grassroots season and a few college offers in hand, she’s excited where her path will lead next.

Lauren Patnode, 2024 Elevate NYC

“I’m going to be really honest, I don’t really have a preference, especially now because my school is very small and my last school was huge,” Patnode said. “I don’t think I have a preference like a big school or small school or destination or how far away from home. I don’t really think it matters. I just think it’s about the culture of the team and academics.”

Patnode is a 6-foot guard, who began running point guard for Perkiomen School this past season and is sharing ball handling duties for Elevate NYC this summer. She’s the shortest of the five members of the Patnode family. 

Her father (6-6) and mother (6-1) both played hoops at Clarkson University. Her older sister Taylor (6-1) is a swimmer at Seton Hall. Her older brother Andrew (6-8) played at Perkiomen School and is now at Boston University.

She received her first Division I offer from Presbyterian around this time last year and has added offers from NJIT, Manhattan and most recently Merrimack (two weekends ago) to the list of scholarships. 

“A lot of coaches like me because I can guard 1 through 5,” Patnode said. “ I think my defense is definitely the biggest thing that catches people’s eyes because you’ll see me guarding a point guard and then I’ll be guarding a post, which is part of because I grew up being a post because I was taller than everyone and now I’m a guard. Also just being able to see the court.”

Patnode’s a program changer at Perkiomen.

There was some jokes about her coming to the program while she was in middle school and her brother was part of the Panthers’ powerhouse boys program, which won its first PAISAA championship this past season. It didn’t become a reality until COVID wiped away her freshman academic and basketball years and she decided to reclassify.

The decision coincided with the hiring of Perk coach Kerrie Kosakowski and an attempt to grow the school’s basketball program into something similar to what was happening on the boys side. She was one of the girls program’s first “recruits” and the growth was evident this past season as the Pantehrs won the firs PAISAA tournament game in school history.

“It’s amazing to be the start of a program,” Patnode said. “You can always join a really good program and just play, but when I graduate or 10, 15 years from now, I’m going to look back and watch them continue to compete and know that I was the start of that.”

The Panthers had two scholarship players this past season in Brigid Scanlon (Saint Francis) and Mia Stock (Bloomsburg). Patnode is poised to give Perkiomen another girls basketball alum in the Division I ranks and the cupboard won’t be bare after she leaves with the likes of 2025 Jaycee Merizalde and some more recruits incoming.

Going up against Merizalde, who received an offer from D-II Southern Connecticut in late April, helped grow Patnode’s game throughout the course of the season. 

“We’ve been playing pickup in the postseason and we want to be on the same team because we guard each other two hours a day for the whole season and preseason,” Patnode said. “She really pushes me. She’s a scrappy little guard, great defender and she’s really the one who pushed me to get my ball handling tight and all those things.”

Patnode said the recruiting process is turning into a “full-time job” with her phone constantly ringing. Boston, Columbia, Albany and Loyola (Md.) are some of the other schools who have expressed interest outside of the four offers.

She’s visited NJIT, Columbia and UMass and even checked out the University of Hawaii while her family was out there. This summer, she’s trying to schedule visits for Manhattan and Presbyterian, which continues to stand out for being the first school to offer her. The Blue Hose staff was actually recruiting a team from South Carolina that Patnode was playing against before offering her and one of her teammates.

The tall guard is confident that it won’t be hard to eventually find a program that fits.

“It really goes with anyone else’s game, which is the most important thing because there are some amazing players but sometimes their games don’t translate to team play,” Patnode said of her abilities.


Quinn Boettinger (2025 | Comets GUAA 16U)

Boettinger’s accomplishments with Perkiomen Valley this season weren’t enough as she is dominating the AAU circuit. On Saturday, in one of the most entertaining games of the showcase, the 6-3 center/power forward put up 19 points and 9 rebounds and the game-winner to defeat the Minnesota Fury.

“Just a simple two-man game between me and Molly (Rullo),” she said about the final play drawn by Ky McNichol. “It worked and we were able to win.”

Quinn Boettinger, 2025 Comets

Boettinger did not miss a shot from the floor as she showed a remarkable touch around the rim and the ability to score even if the defense was fouling her. Her performance was not a fluke as she averaged 16.4 points per game, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, shooting 69% from the floor as a sophomore at PV. These stats are exactly what college coaches need to see. 

“Playing in front of these coaches is intimidating but it just kind of forces me to play better,” she said. “It’s training me to play at the higher level and not let my emotions get to me.”

Lehigh,Iona, Villanova, Drexel, Richmond among others were in attendance. Boettinger received offers from Saint Joseph’s and Drexel so far. Boettinger went on a visit to Drexel in October, SJU two weeks ago and this past Wednesday she visited Lafayette. 

“It’s very stressful. I don’t really know much about the rules, what can and can’t be done, so it’s kind of fun going through the process,” she said about college recruiting. “Neither of my parents did it, so I am kinda the first one. It’s very exciting for our family.”

Boettinger, who hasn’t scheduled any other visits, really liked the three campuses and she is looking to find a good education and establish relationships with college coaches and teams early on so that it can grow for two years before she gets there. She hopes more coaches will start to reach out when the open contact period starts on June 15th and it will help her gain a better understanding of what she needs to do. 

“I put in so much work so I think it’s being recognized but it’s just kind of like a reassuring thing that it’s showing results,” she added. 

The Perkiomen center was Mercury All-Area first team and Pioneer Athletic Conference first team. Boettinger led the team to the PAC and PIAA District 1 6A championships. In the district final, Boettinger went on the line with 9.1 seconds left and knocked down four FTs in a row to take home the first district title since 2016. 

Boettinger and her Perkiomen Valley teammates are not satisfied yet as they are already thinking about the next season with the goal of winning the state championship. The Panthers are looking forward to having Grace Miley back from her knee injury and they are getting to know the incoming freshman. 

“Being able to have a good foundation on defense and be able to get out on shooters, guard the drivers and not just a post defense player,” she said about how to improve her game. — Antonello Baggi


Anna Barry (2024 | Fencor 17U)
Anna Barry had a pretty good shooting coach growing up. One with a familiar name: Rick Barry.

While her father and Fencor coach isn’t the Rick Barry who shot underhand free throws in the NBA, he was a terrific shooter in his own right at Quinnipiac University, where he is a member of the school’s athletics hall of fame. It’s a trait he passed down to his daughter.

Anna Barry, 2024 Fencor

“My dad played in college, so I always had a ball in my hand,” Barry said.

“I always loved shooting threes, always loved practicing threes,” she added.

Barry was a first team All-SOL selection at CB East this past season in a strong Colonial Division that also included Souderton, North Penn and Pennridge. The 5-5 point guard has range that extends well beyond the 3-point arc, knocking down five threes in a 17-point outing Friday night, which ended in a close loss to NJ Shoreshots-Select. 

Several of the local D2/D3 programs have been in touch — quite a few of the local D3 programs were courtside for her 3-point barrage on Friday. Along with her shooting ability, she said college coaches have taken notice over hard defense.

She’s hoping to polish off a few more areas of her game this spring/summer playing and practicing with CB East and Fencor.

“I’ve just been working on trying to distribute to my teammates more, getting my assists up and kind of my midrange,” Barry said. “I feel like I shoot a lot from three, so I’ve been looking to shoot in the midrange too.”

She said she’s only played for maybe two other coaches in her life other than her father, who coaches Fencor. He gives her and her teammates a lot of freedom on the court, which she said is a nice change of speed after the high school season where the Patriots run sets almost every time down.

After winning their district opener this past season, Barry and CB East (16-9) gave eventual champion Perkiomen Valley a scare in the second round this past season before bowing out in the their first playback

The division should be pretty open next season with Barry and North Penn’s Caleigh Sperling the only first teamers set to return.

“Our goal is every year to go as far as we can,” Barry said. “Try to get to districts and then go from there. The first goal is districts.” — Owen McCue


Katrina and Bella Valencia (2024 | LGB Select 17U)

When the Valencias joined the Conestoga girls basketball program as freshmen in 2020-21 only one player in the program was playing AAU basketball. Now, the soon-to-be senior twins are part of 13 Pioneers playing some type of grassroots hoops.

“That’s so cool to see how everyone is trying to get better so we can win,” Bella said.

Katrina and Isabella are part of a senior class that also includes Marisa Francione (Rebels) who have helped elevate the Pioneers from a 6-16 team as freshmen into a squad that went 22-8 this past season, reached the Central League title game and the state tournament.

“It was fun. It was good to see all our hard work pay off because our freshman year, we barely had a season, but it was still a losing season,” Katrina said.

The Valencias said the spring, summer and fall before their freshman years at Conestoga were filled with driveway games against each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. It certainly had an impact on their ability to develop into impactful varsity players for the Pioneers, even if some of those games got a little chippy.

“One of us tends to get hurt if we try to play one-on-one,” said Katrina, who also noted neither sister liked to end on a loss, which kept them out there longer.

The pair have never played on a team without each other, only a few games when one was sick or injured, including this past high school season. Their chemistry from time spent on the court is apparent. They teamed on a backdoor cut during Friday’s action.

“We have good chemistry because we’re twins obviously,” Bella said. “We shared a room for a couple years. We know each other, and we know how each other plays. It’s just so easy to be like, ‘Oh I see that. You see that?’” 

Neither Valencia sister is sure if their basketball careers will extend past their senior seasons at Conestoga — one they hope ends with a Central League title and more. 

Bella plans to go into the medical field, so she doesn’t have college hoops on her radar. Katrina isn’t shutting the door on playing at the next level and noted Goldey-Beacom (Del.) reached out after her team’s last tournament, but the situation would have to be right.

“I’m still on the fence, so I’m just going to go through the process to see what I've got, but I don’t want to go to a small college just to play basketball, so depending on how it plays out I might,” Katrina said.

While what happens next for them is uncertain, what is certain is that they still have plenty of hoops left together: one final summer with an LGB group that’s been playing with each other for a while now and one more season at Conestoga

“We want to go out with a bang and keep playing good basketball together, so we can have fun,” Bella said of their goal this summer. — Owen McCue


Riley Stackhouse (2024 | Delco Goats-Stackhouse 17U)

Stackhouse and the Goats put together another standout weekend at the AC Convention Center. They went 3-1 with a one-point loss to RIBC the only blemish and also ended the AC Showcase with a win over the Western PA Bruins GUAA squad on one of the main courts.

Riley Stackhouse, 2024 Delco Goats

The 5-8 guard, who is the daughter of Goats and West Chester Rustin coach Lauren Stackhouse, had a huge part in the well-rounded win, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds and an assist. 

“With this team, we all play together,” Stackhouse said. “We need a leader, and I’m trying to be that leader, so I can carry it into Rustin’s season and do great things.”

Rustin will certainly need a new leader next season.

Very few teams in District 1 will have more to replace next season than the reigning Class 5A champions West Chester Rustin. The Golden Knights graduated 81 percent of their scoring, including Drexel-bound guard Laine McGurk and her 23.1 ppg. 

Stackhouse averaged 7.8 ppg, 1.6 apg, 3.9 rpg and 2.2 spg this past season and will see her usage skyrocket next year with five of the other top six members of the rotation gone.

“I’m going to have to take probably a lot more shots, and I’m going to have to lead my team and just be the voice on the court and everybody will rally around,” Stackhouse said.

Stackhouse has a pretty looking jumper, knocking down one three in Sunday’s win. She did a really good job of reading the defense and cutting to the hoop for buckets as well. She’s a guard but her height makes her versatile as will.

The Goats are certainly a roster that has been and will continue to be tracked by the local small college programs throughout the summer with college-level talent up and down the roster. Stackhouse, whose mother is in the Delaware Valley Hall of Fame, has heard from coaches and been to visit campus.

The feedback she’s received from coaches is that they like her quickness, ability to get to basket and shooting ability. Widener, Neumann and DeSales are three programs that have stuck out so far.

This Goats group has plenty of players who compete against each other in the Ches-Mont but they’ve been teaming together on the grassroots scene since middle school. Along with drumming up some more college buzz, they’re enjoying one last season playing together before going up against each other once again come high school season.

“We’ve been playing for probably five or six years, and we’re the best. We’re like a family,” Stackhouse said. — Owen McCue

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