There were plenty of special performances at this year’s Classic in the Country, the 13th version of the annual girls basketball showcase in Berlin, Ohio. Each day we released our Top 5 Performances and now we are taking it a bit further. Up next, as we continue or Classic wrap-up content, is our 1st and 2nd All-Classic Teams for 2016. We went back-and-forth on several of these selections as it was extremely hard to narrow it down to just 12. That being said, here is the first team. (six players)
Brittleigh Macaulay – West Holmes – Senior
At CitC Ohio Dominican commit Brittleigh Macaulay’s great season kept on rolling. The senior scored 17 points in an overtime loss to Mount Notre Dame and then on Monday poured in another 18 points. Combined in both games, Macaulay had 15 rebounds and nine steals. She shot over 50 percent and was one of the top defenders at the Classic.
Taylor Mikesell – Jackson – Sophomore
Holy cow does this kid have a ton of game. Crazy-strong handles and deadly 3-point shooting were on display when Mikesell took the floor at the Reese Center. Mikesell tied the record for most 3-pointers made in a game at CitC with six. Scariest part is, she’s only a sophomore. In the Polar Bears’ win over Westerville South on Jan. 17, she scored 25 points and doled out six assist. One of her dimes was a full speed, behind-the-back pass that sent the Reese Center into a buzz.
Dee Bekelja – Solon – Junior
In the last 13 Classics, only 14 players have ever scored over 30 points in a game. Solon’s Dee Bekelja did it twice in two days. She went 31 and 30 for a combined 61 points. She had double-doubles in both games and in Solon’s win over Reynoldsburg she had a Classic-high 18 rebounds. Solon was without sophomore talent and post-player Valencia Meyers, but Bekelja was more than capable of handling the scoring load.
Libby Bazelak – Junior – Ketting Archbishop Alter
Other than Dee Bekelja, Libby Bazelak had the most points combined in two games. She put up 26 against Africentric on Saturday and then on Sunday scored 17 more in a Knights’ win over Chippewa. Against the Nubians, Bazelak showed the Reese Center how an off-guard should rebounds, yanking down 10 rebounds against a tall Africentric front line. She also had five assists and four steals against Africentric. When Bazelak went 17 points and six boards in Alter’s second game, the Knights beat Chippewa, who at the time were ranked number one in Div. III
Shai McGruder – Sophomore – Huber Heights Wayne
Huber Heights Wayne is the only team that has beaten Div. I defending state champion Lakota West this year. Wayne is led by sophomore Shai McGruder, who had a pretty special game in her Classic debut. The youngster scored 17 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in Wayne’s 71-51 win over Shaker Heights. Her knack for the glass was on-point as she rose high above everyone else to snare her boards emphatically.
Caitlin Tytler – Senior – Jackson
While Mikesell was draining 3-pointers, Caitlin Tytler was a rebounding fool. Tytler tied Solon’s Dee Bekelja Classic-high with 18 rebounds. She also scored 20 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the floor and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. ohiosportsticket.com’s Dave Mast labeled Tytler the ‘most unheralded’ player of the this year’s Classic in the Country. She owned the glass against Westerville South helping the Polar Bears out-rebound the Wildcats by 12.