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High school girls basketball: Lauren Hassell, Micah Ojo among Class of 2027 stars making an impact

These fabulous freshmen will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming years.

Each year, a new crop of high school girl basketball players enters the scene ready to call next. Though the varsity level is largely dominated by seniors and juniors, there are plenty of freshmen making an impact.

Today, we are spotlighting 10 players from the Class of 2027 creating a buzz this winter.

Some are contributing for teams in the MaxPreps Top 25 while others have been statistically productive. A few entered high school with strong reputations coming out of the middle school and club scene.

Read on for a look at 10 fab frosh that have grabbed our attention this season.

Haylen Ayers, University School of Jackson (Jackson, Tenn.)
6-0 | Wing

A standout on the hardwood and the softball field, Ayers is averaging 20.5 points per game for the 10-4 Bruins. Her mother Ashley (McElhiney) Ayers was a 1999 state champion and played at Vanderbilt. On the diamond as an eighth-grader, she hit .681 with 21 RBI and six home runs.

Jezelle Banks, Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Del.)
5-7 | Point guard

Explosive on the offensive end and tenacious defensively, Banks is averaging 22.2 points per game for the 10-2 Raiders. She already holds more than 20 Division I offers and has dropped 20-plus in each of her last nine games.

C’India Dennis, Creekside (Fairburn, Ga.)
5-5 | Point guard

Don’t judge Dennis by her height warns Creekside coach Akennia Ellis, who said her court general will not back down from a challenge. She is averaging a team-high 25.8 points, 7.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds.

Lauren Hassell, Clarksville Christian (Clarksville, Tenn.)
6-3 | Forward

Hassell has already reached the 1,000-point plateau and is averaging a team-best 17.3 points per game along with 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals for her 12-9 squad. Her father and coach Trenton Hassell played nine seasons in the NBA so the pedigree is already there.

Jemini Mitchell, Cypress Springs (Cypress, Texas)
6-2 | Forward

Second on her team in scoring at 16.4 points per game, she also grabs 6.8 boards with 2.4 assists per contest. Mitchell dropped a high of 28 in November against North Shore. Cypress Springs is 22-2 on the season.

Micah Ojo, Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.)
6-0 | Forward

The Cavaliers are 13-2 and Ojo is a big reason why averaging 19.9 points, 11.7 rebounds, 5.9 steals, 5.7 blocks, and 3.5 assists per game. She has posted eight double-doubles, two triple-doubles and a quadruple-double already this season.

Qandace Samuels, Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.)
6-2 | Wing

The younger sister of UConn freshman Qadence Samuels is making major contributions for nationally-ranked Bishop McNamara. Qandace is a sharpshooter who loves to spot up and bury the 3-pointer.

Kaleena Smith, Ontario Christian (Ontario, Calif.)
5-6 | Guard

The point guard has been a viral sensation for a few years. She is averaging 35.1 points, 6.3 assists, 3.9 steals and 3.4 rebounds per game. Ontario Christian is 20-3 and she shined on the big stage at the Nike TOC in Phoenix.

Jordan Speller, North Pitt (Bethel, N.C.)
5-7 | Guard

The lefty is averaging 16.1 points per game, second on the team behind McDonald’s All American Zamareya Jones. Speller adds 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 4.1 steals per night for the 12-3 Panthers.

Ivanna Wilson-Manyacka, Bullis (Potomac, Md.)
6-2 | Post

Wilson-Manyacka is averaging a double-double — 15.0 points, 10.2 rebounds — as the 12-4 Bulldogs have played a challenging national schedule thus far. She has great footwork along with the frame to compete at the Division I level.

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