Ali Meyer may not have been playing in her home gym last weekend, but she sure made herself at home at the Colby Kansas Tournament.
The 6-foot-1 junior led Palmer Ridge to the tournament title with a dominant three days against solid out-of-state competition.
In the three wins, Meyer totaled 40 points, 43 rebounds and nine assists, including pulling down 23 boards in the tournament championship game in a 62-50 win over McCook (Neb.).
“It was the third time we’d been out there for that tournament, and the team we beat in the finals is ranked No. 7 in 4A in Nebraska,” Palmer Ridge coach Dennis Coates said. “That game against McCook, Ali had a dominating performance, but she’s always been a consistent rebounder.”
The Bears played a zone trap defense, which allowed Meyer to roam close to the basket and assure the opponent didn’t get any second-chance points on offense. Her rebounding allowed Palmer Ridge to get out in transition and get easy baskets.
“We are a team that does really well when we can run the ball, and when we can rebound it helps get easy points,” Meyer said. “A strong defense is the best offense, and it all flows really well.”
The Bears are out to a 13-2 start and are one of the favorites to win the 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference. Meyer – who is averaging 12.5 points and 12.4 rebounds – may be the catalyst and co-captain, but the core of the team is the junior class.
“We’re very lucky to have Ali, and that whole junior class has been together for a while,” Coates said of his roster, which includes seven juniors. “Ali works as hard in practice as she does in games. She never has an attitude and is very coachable and has been a captain for the last couple of years.”
While Coates says he has had some contact with colleges about Meyer already, things are only going to get more interesting for her with each dominant game.
Meyer has talked to Division I Binghamton (N.Y.) University and hopes to catch the eye of schools both in Colorado and out of state. Those watching in Colby, Kan., last weekend certainly were impressed.
“We had contacted some college coaches and asked them to come watch us play, and my goal was to go play as hard as I could and show whoever was sitting in the stands what I could do and my love for the game,” said Meyer, who hopes to study communications, journalism or youth ministry.