Girls Basketball: Lyons’ Sara Beck, Ashanti Davis ready for AAU circuit

Updated: June 25, 2012 5:20PM

July will be a pretty busy month for Lyons seniors Ashanti Davis and Sara Beck.

Two of the top returnees for Lyons will play for the same AAU organization, the Chicago-based Illinois X-citement. But the high school teammates will play for different teams. Davis, Lyons’ top returning scorer, will play for the program’s top team in the 17U division at AAU tournaments. One of Davis’ teammates on the top X-citement team is Trinity senior guard Taylor Nazon.

Beck will play for the X-citement Joi, the club’s No. 2 team which will play in both the 16U and 17U divisions.

Lyons ends the high school portion of its summer season by participating in the Trinity Summer League tournament Monday and Wednesday.

The first major AAU tournament for Davis and Beck is the FILA Nationals July 7-8 in Atlanta. X-citement returns home for a shootout in Schaumburg July 11 before hitting the road again for the Battle of the Boro July 13-16 in Franklin, Tenn.

“This summer it has been basketball 24/7,” said Beck, a 6-foot forward. “It has been stressful. The team bonding gets to be a lot of fun. It has been incredible.”

X-citement teams will compete in one more out-of-state tournament in July in the FILA Summer Derby July 22-24 in Bloomington, Ind. The end of the July AAU recruiting period will bring the team closer to home with the Lady Fire Summer Jam July 25-28 in Schaumburg and then the U.S. Junior Nationals Summer Finale July 29-31 in Waukegan.

Beck, who has competed in AAU tournaments since the eighth grade, has noticed the difference between being a junior to this year’s transition as a senior.

“This year there is much more pressure up being a senior than last year,” Beck said. “Last year, we used to look up to the seniors.”

Lyons ended the eight-team York Shootout Saturday by finishing in third place. Lyons lost to the host Dukes in the semifinals and then beat Batavia for third place. Palatine won the tournament, despite suffering a loss to Lyons earlier in the tournament on Friday.

Both Davis and Beck will be trying to gain attention from college recruiters next month.

“This is really important,” Davis said.

Davis plans on taking college visits after the AAU season. Davis, a 5-11 guard, was one of the team’s top scorers last season, along with sophomore guard Victoria Swift.

Beck said many of the players from X-citement hail from the Chicago Public League. The clue’s president and general manager is Xaver Walton, who formerly coached at Bogan.

Two players from Nazareth, which also played at York Friday and Saturday, will join the Chicago Bulls Elite Silver 16 next month on the AAU circuit. The Bulls Elite team will include senior guard Kayla Freeman and junior guard Eileen Kennedy from Nazareth. Freeman said the team will travel to Tennessee, Iowa and Waukegan.

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