Girls basketball around the country has risen to another level over the years, and now the state of Arizona is following suit, as girl's prep programs have now gone to another level in the state. Exactly like was has taken place in boy's basketball in Arizona, dominant prep programs are now pushing girls basketball to another level. On Saturday evening on The Grind Session, as the organization has also done for boys basketball in the state, girl's basketball took center stage Saturday evening as PHH Prep and AZ Compass faced off in a terrific match-up that brought the best crowd and anticipation ever seen in girl's basketball, in a state that has lacked such attention for girl's hoops.
PHH Prep and AZ Compass Prep, as both programs have done for boy's basketball in the state, are two of the elite girl's prep programs in America. Both programs are loaded with Division-I talent, elite coaching and support administration that is not content with just being dominant in Arizona, but rather rising to the highest level nationally. These two programs facing one another is always a joy to observe, and Saturday evening proved just how much basketball enthusiasts appreciated the moment, as the gym was electric - filled with supporters for both programs.
The PHH Prep program is exemplary from top to bottom, as they have committed, high-level coaches that have coached at high levels on the girl's circuit for many years, and loads of college prospects that fill the rosters for each of their teams in the program. The program also has a nice Under Armour shoe contract that makes for an excellent look aesthetically. The program has only lost one game this entire season, and continues to have girls from the program receive maximum national exposure and recruiting attention.
The AZ Compass Prep girl's program is following mightily in the footsteps of the boy's program at the school. As the boy's program has risen to the top of the national team rankings, the girl's program in on the way as well, after hiring new Head Coach Jamaal Rhodes to take over the program. In less than a year, Rhodes has brought in loads of top-rated talent and this season the AZ Compass program has made loads of national noise. AZ Compass, like their boy's program, also has a nice Under Armour shoe contract and looks the part.
These two programs gave basketball enthusiasts what they came to see Saturday evening, displaying high-intensity coaching and leadership, and the girls on the floor played exceptionally hard and tough the entire game. They absolutely competed at a high level and showed the dedication to the sport required to play on The Grind Session, and on a national level.
PHH Prep would pull out a nice, but narrow victory - pulling away late from a hard-nosed AZ Compass Prep team, 59-53. Both teams new the importance of the contest locally, and both teams made for a game to remember - there was definitely no loser in this amazing affair.
Girl's basketball in the state has officially arrived, and will only continue to develop and improve. Saturday evening gave us a glimpse into what it could be like, and what it will soon be like in Arizona girl's basketball. Just wait.
Notes: PHH Prep received excellent performances in the contest from 5-foot-7 star junior guard Trayanna Crisp. Crisp (pictured) finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in the win. Crisp made some big shots in the victory, and played tough all game. Crisp is one of the top overall 2022 prospects in the country. She advised me that she has a nice list of high-major Division-I programs that are currently in pursuit of her services.
PHH Prep also got another strong performance from 5-foot-10 senior guard Ally Steadman (Pepperdine signee). Steadman has been terrific all season for the PHH Prep program - playing big in big games. Stedman finished with a game-high 16 points, 6 rebounds 4 assists and 3 steals in the win. Steadman is an absolute steal for Pepperdine, as she gave an early verbal commitment to the college program.
AZ Compass Prep's gifted and skilled junior guard Kam'ren Rhodes had an excellent performance on the evening - scoring a game-high 16 points and 8 rebounds in the loss. Rhodes, the daughter of AZ Compass Head Coach, Jamaal Rhodes, recently overcame an injury and, is not yet fully recovered, but she was terrific Saturday evening. Rhodes has given a verbal commitment to the University of Dayton.
Both programs have had big losses to their programs during the season, as two top-rated prospects moved on to the collegiate ranks. PHH Prep terrific senior guard Jess Finney moved on to the University of Washington, while AZ Compass Prep star guard Madison Conner moved on to the University of Arizona. Both elite prospects will look to compete for their respective college programs this season.