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Coach Brett Bush is confident that the Dayton Metro squad is headed for a strong summer, but the team has some hurdles to clear. The Metro roster will have four returnees and four newcomers, and Ohio rules forbid high school players from practicing with their AAU teams while the winter season is ongoing.
“We got together once, but we didn’t practice, so it can be tough,” Bush said. “Still, I think we’re going to be really, really good. We have eight very skilled, very high IQ kids who are all very unselfish and team oriented.
“They haven’t played together yet, but we know that each player fills a certain niche. We have a good combination of great shooters and players with great size. The one thing they have in common is that they are all the type of players who will make that extra pass to an open teammate who is in a better position.”
That teamwork will be on display at the 2017 Deep South Classic, which will be held in Raleigh, NC from April 20-23. The event, which will feature some of the finest travel teams in the nation, will be played at the Raleigh Convention Center. There will be 20 courts in the building, keeping the entire event under one roof in downtown Raleigh.
The Dayton Metro squad is balanced, but Bush is expecting key contributions from Presley Griffitts (5-11, CG, 2019), Alexa Pennington (6-1, F, 2019), Madison Bartley (6-3, P, 2020) and Rachel Murray (5-7, SG, 2019). Griffitts (No. 148) and Pennington (No. 303) are both rated among the top 2019 players in the nation by the All Star Girls Report, and Bartley is at No. 59 on the 2020 list.
“Presley is a slasher with a high motor. She is a great all-around player who just oozes athleticism,” Bush said. “She is a point guard who can create off the bounce, but she can be effective anywhere on the floor.
“Alexa is a very, very fundamental player who can really shoot the basketball. I think Alexa is going to have a big summer. She is a good rebounder, and a super unselfish player who plays within the system.
“Madison is a super skilled player with all the tools. She plays inside for us, but she was the point guard for her middle school team last year. Madison can handle the ball and she has a nice jumper out to 15 feet. The sky is the limit on her potential.
“Rachel is a pure scorer. She is great off the dribble, she has a strong mid-range game, and she can attack the hole. If you leave her open on the outside, Rachel will knock down the three. She also handles the ball well, so she can fill in at the point.”