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Injury issues forced the MP Elite Gold team to add new players late in the spring, and that roster shift surprisingly led to a resurgence on the court for the Austin, Tex., based program.
“Once we added those players, it just seemed like things fell into place,” said Coach Herb Jones. “What we have right now is definitely better than what we started with. We are a lot more competitive now, and we are still improving.”
Jones’ club will face a major challenge in July at the Nashville Tournament of Champions, which will be played from July 10-12. The event will include 48 elite travel teams, with games being played at the newly expanded Hooptown facility in Smyrna, TN. Hooptown is conveniently located near popular restaurants and hotels.
MP Elite Gold will be powered by five solid contributors — Lydia Baxter (2015, 6-0, WF), Taylor Scott (2015, 5-1, PG), Meredith Gibson (2016, 6-1, F), Macy Lozen (2015, 5-7, PG) and Diamond Caro (2015, 5-7, G).
“Lydia is very hard to deal with now, and she has a huge upside,” Jones said. “She is a great athlete with an inside-outside game. She is our second fastest player at 180 pounds, she can touch the rim, and she can shoot the three. Taylor has a great motor, and she is quick as a cat. She is one of the best on-ball defenders we have ever had, she distributes the ball well, and she has a nice three ball.
“Macy has great court vision and a great handle, and she has a nice overall package. She can shoot the three, and she has a good mid-range game with a tear-drop jumper. Meredith is more of an inside player, and she is our highest field goal percentage shooter. She is very accurate out to eight feet, and she has great timing on blocks. Diamond is a do it all type of player. Wherever the ball is, that’s where you are going to find Diamond. I’m not sure how she gets there sometimes, but I’m always glad she is there.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, also provided his perspective on the MP Elite Gold standouts.
Lydia Baxter: “Baxter is a great all-around athlete. She is a long leaper who can score inside, and she can step out beyond the arc.”
Taylor Scott: “Scott is a lightning quick point guard. She is a team leader, she is a strong defender, and she is a team leader.”
Macy Lozen: “Lozen sees the floor well and she has a nice runner in the lane. She has good quickness and she can shoot the three.”
Meredith Gibson: “Gibson is a blue collar player who rebounds and blocks shots, and she is a very effective offensive player around the basket.”
Diamond Caro: “Caro is an athletic combo guard. She is great in the open court, and she really knows how to attack the basket.”