With around 120 school districts in the southwest Missouri coverage area, it is a given that there are many great players that fall through the cracks and do not get the recognition that they deserve. This is especially true in the outlying areas that simply do not get the same kind of media coverage that players closer to Springfield, the hub of southwest Missouri, receive. And then there are those players that are overlooked because they play on teams with more heralded teammates.
Here, we cover a few players on the girls side that we feel do not get their due attention. We feel that colleges looking for good potential recruits should pay attention to these players, some of who have not committed yet or much less received due attention.
Rachel Senn, 6’1 Kickapoo 2021 – Like the boys team, the Kickapoo girls have a loaded roster again this season, and are one of the tallest teams in the state on the girls side. With so many players rotated in and out of their games constantly, it is hard for any one player to put up gaudy individual stats. Senn is certainly a player that if she were the focal point of an offense, could put up big time numbers. But on Kickapoo, her numbers last season were 8 ppg and 7 rpg, which does not accurately reflect how good she is. She has a great shooting touch from outside and inside and is a smart, aggressive player who isn’t afraid to mix it up inside. She recently committed to play for Division 2 William Jewell College, so Senn gets her due, but we still feel that she is overlooked a bit compared to some of the other Kickapoo players.
Kaylee Corbin, 5’10 Kickapoo 2022 – Corbin is another player we feel does not get her due, as she has lurked in the shadows of older, taller and more prominent players. But like Senn, she gets lost in the shuffle a bit and on another team, she would garner more recognition. Corbin averaged 8 ppg and 6 rpg as just a part time player for the deep Kickapoo squad, and she gets many of those off of sheer hustle and is especially relentless on the offensive glass, getting many put backs. If she gets the opportunity to expand on her game away from the basket this season and next, her numbers and stock will continue to rise. She also has great intangibles and is the consummate teammate, showing great enthusiasm and support.
Aliya Grotjohn, 5’6 Seneca 2022 – Grotjohn doesn’t get much attention in the immediate Springfield area, playing for a school in a small town that is just a stone’s throw away from Oklahoma, but she put up big numbers for her team last season as a sophomore to the tune of 17 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 3 apg, earning her first team all conference honors in the Big Eight West. She is a tough, competitive gritty player who plays without fear and backs down from no one and typically guarded the other team’s best perimeter player. With the loss of three starters from last year’s team, Seneca will rely even more on Grotjohn to produce for them this season and next.
Emily Phillips, 5’4 Glendale 2021 – Glendale doesn’t get the attention these days like their rival Kickapoo counterparts do, so players like Phillips tend to be overlooked. Phillips works harder than anyone, keeps herself in top shape and leads by example. She has great dribbling and playmaking skills and an improving shot to go with it. Last year she averaged 8.5 ppg, 2 rpg and 2 apg, numbers we expect to rise given her work ethic and dedication to getting better.
Lexi Berry, 5’7 Bolivar 2021 – Berry recently committed to Evangel based on her considerable skills, which includes great moves off the dribble to the rim, a deadly pull up jumper, and an accurate 3 point shot. She also sees the floor well and can make the nifty pass to her teammates for easy buckets. She has one of the quickest releases around on her shot, especially off of her dribble moves, which enabled her to score 19 ppg to go along with over 3 rpg, 4 apg and 2 spg last season. She is definitely one of the better guards in southwest Missouri and we feel that she flies under the radar.
Trinity Williamson, 5’10 Bolivar 2021 – Like her teammate and classmate Berry, Williamson doesn’t get her due for being as athletic and skilled as she is on the basketball court. Her forte is rebounding, using her hops and aggressiveness to outrebound taller players, and is especially tough on the offensive boards. She averaged 10 ppg, 11 rpg and 2 spg last season and has shown steady growth in each year of high school basketball. Look for her to pair with Berry to lead an improving Bolivar team this season.
Emma Eagleburger, 5’10 Ash Grove 2021 – Eagleburger is another player who plays bigger than her size, and is a key cog for an experienced and talented Ash Grove team. She works well with 6’2 MSU commit Khloe Moad, as her inside presence allows Moad to play further outside and create mismatches with her height and skills. Eagleburger averaged 11 ppg and 9 rpg last season and she looks to expand her offensive game further away from the basket this season. Her work ethic and competitiveness will help set the tone for what should be a good season for the Lady Pirates.
Annette Ramirez, 5’4 Sarcoxie 2021 – Ramirez might be the best scorer on the girls side that you haven’t heard about. She had a couple of 40+ point games last season, including one against a good Ash Grove team, on her way to averaging over 18 ppg. She is also a phenomenal rebounder for her size and body type and has a knack for coming out of a crowd of mostly bigger players with the ball. Ramirez uses her speed and quickness with the ball to create openings for shots. She is an excellent dribbler and crosses over very well to get around defenders, and she has a great step through move to the basket. She also has a great shot off the dribble and deep range on the three ball. For her team she has to score a lot but she is a willing distributor of the ball as well. Ramirez is steadily receiving college offers and looks to have a big senior season to further showcase her skills.
Scarlett Teixeira, 6’1 Forsyth 2021 – Teixeira has the size, length and athletic ability colleges love to see in potential recruits and has multiple all conference and all district honors under her belt, including first team all conference last season in a loaded Mid Lakes conference. She averaged over 13 ppg, 8 rpg, and close to 4 blocks per games, along with countless steals and deflections thanks to her length and agility. She is for sure an impact player on both ends of the court and is looking to lead her Forsyth team to another good season after going 18-8 last time around, and hopefully in the process pick up more recognition from next level coaches.
Justine Barb, 5’9 Skyline 2022 – Barb is a vital part of a loaded fairly young Skyline team who is notable for playing way bigger than her size. She is a tough inside player who also has the quickness and dribbling skills to consistently maneuver around defenders from the high post area. Barb does a great job of establishing position down low and is very hard to keep off the boards, averaging 15.5 ppg and 10 rpg last season for Skyline. She has a motor that never shuts off and still has two years of high school ball left to further polish her skills, especially away from the basket. Barb is definitely a player with all the intangibles, skills and athletic ability that coaches love.
Miranda Quennoz, 5’6 Skyline 2022 – Quennoz, like Barb, is a big part of Skyline’s success and often doesn’t get the credit she deserves. She is the point guard and floor leader for the Lady Tigers and plays with a poise beyond her years. She is adept at scoring at all three levels and also plays stellar man to man defense, which is a perennial Skyline staple. Quennoz led her team in scoring her sophomore year with 16 ppg, 3 rpg and 2.5 apg. She has a variety of ways to get her shot off around the basket and is not a player you want to leave open from three point land. Another player with a future beyond high school ball that needs to be looked at.
Ashlyn Jones, 5’5 Willow Springs 2022 – Jones is the consummate floor general and lead guard that every good team needs. She is a hard nosed, gritty and determined player who makes opponents work on both ends of the court, finishing her sophomore year with averages of 12.5 ppg, 2 rpg, 2.5 apg and 2 spg. Jones is expected to lead a solid junior class for Willow Springs and pick up some of the scoring that was lost to graduation. Her combination of smarts, skills and intangibles serves her well and is one to watch this season and next.
Bella Stuckey, 5’8 Greenwood 2023 – The Greenwood girls team doesn’t get anywhere close to the attention that their loaded boys team does, but that doesn’t mean they are not good in their own right. They went 20-6 last season and return most every player from that squad. Stuckey is one of the young players that is expected to help Greenwood be even more successful this season and the ones to come. She put up double double numbers last season, over 13 ppg and almost 14 rpg, making her one of the very few girls players at any level to do so. The rebounding numbers are impressive since she is just 5’8, but she uses her athletic ability and knack for knowing where the ball is coming off at before other players do. She also averaged over 2 blocks per game. Look for Stuckey to continue to improve as the Greenwood girls team vies for more attention and emerge from the shadows of a nationally recognized boys team.