But the St. Louis Surge of the Global Women’s Basketball Association closed another successful season.
The GWBA cancelled its season in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the Surge came back in 2021 with another stellar campaign that culminated in another appearance in the league’s championship game.
The Surge’s bid for its third GWB championship was spoiled by the Wisconsin Glo, who took a 93-77 victory over the Surge in the title game Aug. 15 at Fontbonne University. It was the Surge’s only loss of the season in 11 games. The Glo also captured the GWBA championship in 2019.
The Surge won titles in 2014 and 2016 while finishing as league runners-up in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The Surge lit up the scoreboard on a nightly basis, averaging more than 100 points a game with six players averaging in double figures.
The squad’s top player was veteran guard Rebecca Harris, who has been a staple of the franchise. A former Mascoutah High standout that also played at the University of Illinois, Harris is a scoring machine who has also piled up the rebounds and assists. She is a former GWBA Most Valuable Player award winner.
Along with Harris, the Surge again maintained a healthy dose of players from the St. Louis metro area. Included on this year’s talented team were Jaleesa Butler (Alton/Georgetown), Brittany Carter (Incarnate Word Academy/Illinois) and Mikala McGee (Pattonville/Florida Gulf Coast). The remaining members of the team are Kristi Bellock (Texas A&M), Leah Cotton (Minnesota), Erin Bollmann (SEMO), Alexa Hart (Ohio State), Alesha Jenkins (South Florida) and Brianna Rollerson (Creighton).
Senior Tarris Reed, Jr., the top high school basketball player in the St. Louis area, will be taking his talent to the Big Ten Conference next season. The 6’10” Reed recently gave a verbal commitment to the University of Michigan, where he will play for head coach Juwan Howard. Howard was a star at Michigan as part of the famed “Fab Five” in the early 1990’s.
Reed will be spending his senior season at Link Year Prep in Branson, MO., after three standout years at Chaminade College Prep. He led the Red Devils to consecutive Final Four appearances in the state tournament in 2020 and 2021, respectively. As a junior, Reed averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in leading Chaminade to a third-place finish in the Class 6 state tournament. He was named the St. Louis American Player of the Year for his efforts.
During the summer grassroots season, Reed played for the MoKan Elite 17U squad, which played in the prestigious Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. He was one of the top players in the league, averaging 13 points and seven rebounds a game. He was named third-team All-EYBL.
A pair of standout football prospects in the Class of 2022 have recently given their verbal commitments. Chris Brooks of St. Louis University High has committed to Yale University while Caleb Merritt of John Burroughs has given a verbal pledge to Wyoming.
Merritt, a 5’11” 170-pound receiver, will be entering his fourth year as a starter for the Bombers. In five games last season, Merritt had five receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 219 yards and two more TDs as a junior.
Brooks is a 6’2” 205-pound receiver who had a big junior season for the Jr. Billikens. In five games, Brooks had 20 receptions for 400 yards – a robust 20 yards per reception. He also scored six touchdowns.
On the girls’ basketball front, Westminster Christian standout Carlie Vick has given a commitment to Florida Atlantic. A 6’2” forward, Vick averaged 9.7 points and 6.9 rebounds to help the Wildcats to the Class 4 state quarterfinals.
Forward Azaria Moore of Vashon has given a commitment to SIU-Edwardsville. A 6’0” forward, Moore averaged six points and four rebounds to help the Wolverines to a third-place finish in the Class 4 state tournament.