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Fairfax Stars 2023 EYBL/North Tartan 2023 EYBL

07/10/2022, 6:45pm CDT
By Chuck Thompson

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Fairfax Stars 2023 EYBL Starting Lineup

2 Kennedy Harris 5'7" 2023 Hampton (VA)
4 Riley Nelson 6'1" 2023 Clarksburg (MD)
5 Fadima Tall 6'1" 2023 Georgetown Visitation Prep School (MD)
24 Laura Williams 6'2" 2024 St Paul Catholic (VA)
25 Louis Volker 6'2" 2023 St Paul VI Catholic (VA)

North Tartan 2023 EYBL Starting Lineup

3 Molly Lenz 5'8" 2023 Lakeville North (MN)
10 Tessa Johnson 5'11" 2023 St Michael-Albertville (MN)
15 Reese Ross 6'1" 2023 St Thomas More (SD)
21 Taylor Woodson 6'0" 2023 Hopkins (MN)
23 Kennedy Klick 6'0" 2023 Maple Grove (MN)

Game Summary

     In the weeks opening EYBL game for both teams, Fairfax Stars 2023 EYBL was able to fend off North Tartan 48-44. Fairfax was paced by Fadima Tall with 16 points and Joi Williams followed with 9.

     Fairfax open the scoring with the first two buckets, an offensive rebound finish from Tall, one of her 5 boards in the game, and a step-back jumper from Riley Nelson. North Tartan's first two scores were from their leading scorer Tessa Johnson, who would finish with 19. She had a lay-up off a back-cut, and a curl cut for another score, sandwiched around a Fairfax drive by Tall, making it 6-4 Fairfax.

     Two free throws from Tall made it 8-4 and a drive with a spin finish from Louis Volker made it 10-4 before North Tartan cut it to 10-6 with the last bucket of the 1st quarter, a dive to the rim and finish from Taylor Woodson.

     Woodson would snipe a free throw line jumper to open the 2nd, as North Tartan had scored four points of what would be a 15-0 run. Another Woodson free throw line jumper tied it, and Reese Ross put North Tartan up 12-10 with her jumper in the lane. Three free throws, two from Johnson and two more from Ross made it 16-10, and Ross cashed in from the top of the key for a three to cap the run at 19-10 North Tartan.

     A free throw for Fairfax's Tall was answered by a lay-in from North Tartan's Ella Johnson (6'2" 2023, Elk River HS, MN) for what would be their biggest lead of the game at 21-11 and their final score of the 1st half.

     Stars would answer with the final four points of the half, and some much needed momentum with two free throws from Yanniah Boyd (5'11" 2023, Riverdale Baptist HS, MD). Boyd would cap the half with a transition hoop drawing Fairfax within 21-15.

     What ended as a 4-0 run to complete the half would stretch to a 13-0 run during the 3rd quarter. The 2nd half started with two Fairfax free throws from Kennedy Harris. A pair of scores by Joi Williams (5'7" 2023, Virginia Academy HS, VA), first a left corner three, then a transition bucket propelled Stars into the lead at 22-21. The run would finally end on a pair of free throws from Tall and a 24-21 Fairfax advantage.

     A transition hoop by Johnson ended the run for North Tartan. Johnson is the region's top non-verballed player in the 2023 class. The Stars run would balloon to 19-2 with the next five points. A baseline jumper by Nelson made it 28-23 and a transition bucket from Laura Williams extended it to 30-23.

     The teams would swap some scores essentially the rest of the way. Woodson, who has a strong game flashing her mid-range touch, brought North Tartan with 30-25, Two free throws by Nelson left it 32-25. A tough and 1 finish by Johnson brought North Tartan back within 32-28, before but Fairfax answered with a pair of scores, including an offensive rebound from Laura Williams made it 36-28 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

     Despite several challenges to the Fairfax Stars lead, North Tartan couldn't overtake them in the final stanza.

     North Tartan opened the quarter with a transition bucket from Kennedy Klick, a Minnesota commit. A single free throw for Fairfax from Zoe Osby (6'0" 2026, MD) made it 37-30, but North Tartan bounced tacked on a free throw from Ross. The lead would extend to 8, the biggest of the quarter, on two free throws by Joi Williams.

     North Tartan would mount their comeback at this point. A short cut resulted in a hoop and an and 1 finish for Johnson to cut it to 39-34. Johnson, who has takeover ability as a scorer, would then hit in transition to make it 39-36 and a free throw by Woodson drew North Tartan with 39-37.

     Four big points from Fairfax would follow. An offensive rebound shifted momentum with a big score by Tall. Two free throws by Laura Williams would make it 43-37 Stars before North Tartan would once again battle back.

     The next five went to North Tartan. Three free throws from Johnson in four attempts and a long left wing two from Woodson made it a one point game at 43-42.

     A jumper by Joi Williams made it 45-42, but North Tartan responded with two freebies from Molly Lenz.

     Fairfax would hold on with two big stops and some key free throws from Tall. She hit one of two to make it 46-44 and connected on both to ice the game away for the 48-44 Fairfax Stars win.

Prospect Notes

Tessa Johnson, North Tartan 2023 EYBL

-Generally regarded as the best non-verballed 2023 in the region. Had game-high 19 points and tallied 5 rebounds in game. Usually does a fair amount of her damage from beyond the arc, but in this one driving the rock in the half-court and transition games and off a series of finishes off great cuts. Scored three times off cutting without the ball and gaining space for open lay-ups. She knows how to get open without the ball in her hand as a shooter or slipping defenders to the rim. Scored twice in transition game and had another drive result in an and 1. As smooth an offensive weapon as you'll find in the region.


Reese Ross, North Tartan 2023 EYBL

-Near double-double from Ross, who recorded 8 points and 8 boards. Has some of the best hops in the Midwest, elite on the offensive glass. Will generally do most of her work in the lane and with short jumpers and drives, but stepped out for a big three from the top of the key. Still open in the recruiting process, and one of the best regional posts on the board. She will consistently post double-double level production without having to have plays run for her. Brings energy on both ends of the floor. Division I talent.


Fadima Tall, Fairfax Stars 2023 EYBL

-Big Guard, who, to the best of my knowledge, is still open in the recruiting process. Finished with a team-high 16 points and added 5 boards in the win. Was very destructive offensively inside. She got into the paint, took on contact all game long and delivered with 10 made free throws. She also did damage on the glass, where two of her three field goals were off of offensive boards. Added a two-dribble drive for another finish. She's got great size from the Guard position and can create mis-matches against smaller defenders by overpowering on drives.


Laura Williams, Fairfax Stars 2023 EYBL

-Williams is a 2024 playing up an age level. She is still open in recruiting, but holds a ton of offers. She can control the paint on both ends of the court. Doesn't give up anything to opponents inside defensively and bodies up on the glass, where she finished with 7 boards. She can post offensively, but did her scoring facing the hoop against North Tartan, where she had a little step-back jumper and another short jumper off the baseline. Easy to see why she's able to play older competition in a physical EYBL with her build and ability to bring physicality to the blocks.


Taylor Woodson, North Tartan 2023 EYBL

-Michigan commit reached double-figures in scoring with 11 and ripped down 5 boards. Was able to find space in a physical battle and cashed in four times with mid-range jumpers from the free throw line and off the wings. She is a physical presence on the offensive end who can create enough space with her strength to get clean looks on the move. Tough defender who will compete on the glass from her Forward spot and can defend both bigger opponents and quicker wings. Takes pride in being a two-way player. Proven big-time winner at High School & Club levels.


Fairfax Stars 2023 EYBL Scoring/Rebounding

Fadima Tall 16 5
Joi Williams 9 1
Laura Williams 6 7
Riley Nelson 6 4
Yanniah Boyd 4 3
Louis Volker 2 3
Kennedy Harris 2 1
Zoe Ostby 1 2
Destinee Salgado 0 2
Keira Scott 0 1

North Tartan 2023 EYBL Scoring/Rebounding

Tessa Johnson 19 1
Taylor Woodson 10 5
Reese Ross 7 8
Kennedy Klick 2 4
Ella Johnson 2 2
Molly Lenz 2 1
Drew Johnston 2 0
Clara Glad 0 3
Taylor Johnson 0 1

Three Pointers Made

Fairfax Stars 2023 EYBL (1): Joi Williams 1

North Tartan 2023 EYBL (1): Reese Ross 1

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