What a week it was around the state, with several boys making statements throughout the week, and the girls standing out on Saturday at their respective Semi-State sites. In nine combined games last week, the boys’ honorees posted five double-doubles and one triple-double. While on the girls’ side, six of the eight state finalists have a feline flavor, as Lions, Panthers, Tigers, and Wildcats are ready to take over Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 29.
Washington Township Senior Austin Darnell, Speedway Junior Drew Valentine, Silver Creek Junior Trey Kaufman, Evansville Bosse Senior Kiyron Powell, Pioneer Sophomore Hailey Cripe, Northwestern Senior Kendall Bostic, Frankton Junior Ava Gardner, and Loogootee Junior Kalea Fleming were selected as recipients for the week of Feb. 17-Feb. 22 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Darnell is the boys’ recipient in District-1, while Cripe is the girls’ recipient in District-1. Valentine is the boys’ honoree for district-2, while Bostic and Gardner share girls’ honors for District-2. Kaufman and Powell are boys’ co-winners in District-3, while Fleming is the girls’ winner in District-3.
Washington Township Senior Austin Darnell had a trio of quality performances last week, helping the Senators to three wins in five days. Tuesday night, Washington Township picked up a 73-50 win over Oregon-Davis, as Darnell knocked down 11-18 shots from the field and 10-13 free throws for 32 points. The 6-7 forward added ten rebounds, picked off five passes, and blocked six shots in the effort.
Friday night was very similar, as the Senators won handily over Whiting. Darnell was again strong, with 29 points on 13-19 from the field. He grabbed eight rebounds, handed out three assists, collected a steal, and blocked three more shots. Saturday, the Trinity Christian University commit posted a triple-double in another lopsided win, this time over River Forest. Darnell scored 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked ten shots in the victory.
Pioneer Sophomore Hailey Cripe helped the Panthers to a relatively easy win over Blue River Valley, 56-30, at the Logansport Semi-State, helping Pioneer earn a spot in the Class 1A State Championship game. The 5-6 guard knocked down four 3-pointers and six free throws, en route to her 20-point contribution. She added six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in the big win.
Speedway Junior Drew Valentine might only be 5-7, but he packed a big punch last Friday night in the Sparkplugs’ 84-76, double overtime win against Indianapolis International. Valentine was a stellar 12-15 from the field and 12-13 from the free throw line, as he torched the nets for 37 points in the outing. The Junior guard also contributed seven rebounds, seven assists, and five steals in the contest.
Northwestern Senior Kendall Bostic reached another milestone Saturday, as she surpassed the 2000-point mark in the Tigers’ 56-46 victory over Penn. Earlier this season she eclipsed the 1000-rebound plateau. In the win, the 6-1 post scored 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, handed out three assists, and blocked a pair of shots. The Michigan State University signee was also 8-8 from the free throw line, as she helped Northwestern reach their third consecutive State Finals, this time in Class 4A.
Frankton Junior Ava Gardner was equally impressive in District-2, helping the Eagles to a nail-biting, 62-61 overtime win against South Central (Union Mills), advancing them to the Class 2A State Championship game. Not only did the 5-7 guard score 29 points and bury six 3-point shots, but she collected a steal late in overtime, drew the foul, and knocked down both free throws to put Frankton in the lead for good. Gardner totaled three steals in the game, plus she added three rebounds to the effort.
Silver Creek Junior Trey Kaufman makes his second appearance as a District-3 winner following a pair of nice outings last week for the Dragons. Tuesday evening, Silver Creek traveled to conference rival Austin, winning easily. In limited time, the 6-9 forward still managed to fill up the score sheet, as he was 9-14 from the field and a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line, scoring 30 points in the contest. Kaufman added nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Friday, at conference foe Corydon Central, the Junior forward helped the Dragons to another win, this time by a score of 83-61. Kaufman was spectacular, pouring in 39 points on 14-18 shooting from the field, plus he was 10-12 from the charity stripe. He posted a double-double with his 14 rebounds, plus he contributed three assists, a pair of steals, and a pair of blocked shots in the win.
Evansville Bosse Senior Kiyron Powell also dominated the paint last week. In three games, he put together three double-doubles, helping Bosse to a 3-0 record during that span. Tuesday, in a 72-61 conference win against Evansville Mater Dei, Powell was outstanding. The 6-9 front-liner scored 21 points and matched that total with 21 rebounds as well. He nearly had a triple-double with his eight blocked shots, plus he added five assists and three steals in victory.
Friday evening, at conference rival Evansville Harrison, Powell helped the Bulldogs secure a 76-60 win. He managed just 14 points in the outing, but his ten rebounds, seven blocked shots, and two steals helped change the game defensively. The University of Houston signee added four assists as well. Saturday, in a 74-61 win at Sullivan, Powell again neared a triple-double, as he scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked nine more shots. His defensive prowess has become a site to see this season.
Loogootee Junior Kalea Fleming was entertaining to watch Saturday, as she helped the Lions move on to the Class 1A State Finals. The 5-6 point guard was electric, as she not only scored 26 points in the 57-40 win over Greenwood Christian, but she also created six scoring opportunities for teammates, and she took the ball away from the Cougars on six more occasions. Fleming managed three rebounds as well, and the Lions will now play Pioneer for the Class 1A championship.
This is the 12th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, and the eighth season it is presented by Subway Restaurants of Indiana, a banner sponsor of the IBCA. Subway, in its eighth season as an IBCA sponsor, encourages athletes to “train hard and eat fresh”.
Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.
Other Top Nominees for Week-16 (2019-20)
District-1 Boys: Caedmon Bontrager, Lakewood Park Christian; Johnell Davis, Gary 21st Century; Connor Essegian, Central Noble; Jamie Hodges Jr., Michigan City; Will Larkin, Winamac; Kole McIntire, Knox; Jylen Petty, South Bend Washington; Brett Sickafoose, Whitko; Cole Wireman, Kouts; Charlie Yoder, Westview.
District-1 Girls: Ashlynn Brooke, Pioneer; Trinity Clinton, Penn; Maddy Payne, NorthWood; Kate Rulli, NorthWood; Amber Wolf, South Central (Union Mills).
District-2 Boys: Braxton Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson; Carson Barrett, Lafayette Central Catholic; Luke Brown, Blackford; Dre Davis, Lawrence Central; Maximus Gizzi, New Palestine; Ben Humrichous, Tipton; Sincere McMahon, Crispus Attucks; Justin Moore, Madison-Grant; Zack Todd, Wes-Del; Jordan Walters, West Lafayette Harrison.
District-2 Girls: Lauryn Bates, Frankton; Katie Davidson, Lawrence North; Madison Layden, Northwestern; Audrey Strawsma, Benton Central; Abby Thornburgh, Blue River Valley; Kristian Young, Lawrence North.
District-3 Boys: Tyler Boyer, Columbus East; Jacob Jones, Jeffersonville; Hagen Knepp, Barr-Reeve; Anthony Leal, Bloomington South; Jake Moynihan, Seton Catholic; Logan Rohrbacher, East Central; Kaden Stanton, New Albany; Isaiah Swope, Castle; Andrew Welage, Greensburg; Gavin Yoon, Lawrenceburg.
District-3 Girls: Brooklynn Jones, Loogootee; Natalie Noel, Salem; Abigail Ratts, Salem; Isabella Reed, Greenwood Christian; Haley Rose, Linton-Stockton; Ashley Schroer, Brownstown Central; Vanessa Shafford, Linton-Stockton; Rylie Stephens, Triton Central; Madison Webb, Bedford North Lawrence.
2019-20 Weekly Winners
Nov. 4-Nov. 9
District-1 Girls: Lilliann Frasure, North Judson-San Pierre. District-2 Girls: Madison Layden, Northwestern, and Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville. District-3 Girls: Rebekah Gordon, Heritage Hills.
Nov. 11-Nov. 16
District-1 Girls: Erin Coffel, Bremen. District-2 Girls: Kendall Bostic, Northwestern. District-3 Girls: Natalie Boesing, Our Lady of Providence, and Koryn Greiwe, Columbus East.
Nov. 18-Nov. 23
District-1 Girls: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point. District-2 Girls: Sydney Jacobsen, West Lafayette Harrison. District-3 Girls: Maya Chandler, Triton Central.
Nov. 25-Nov. 30
District-1 Boys: Nick Anderson, Lake Central. District-1 Girls: Brynn Shoup-Hill, Goshen. District-2 Boys: Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights. District-2 Girls: Alana Vinson, Roncalli. District-3 Boys: Trey Kaufman, Silver Creek. District-3 Girls: Kylee Shelton, Bloomfield.
Dec. 2-Dec. 7
District-1 Boys: Jayden Broadnax, Garrett. District-1 Girls: Mercedes Rhodes, Oregon-Davis. District-2 Boys: Tayson Parker, Northwestern. District-2 Girls: Tyra Ford, Anderson. District-3 Boys: Tucker Biven, New Albany. District-3 Girls: Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran.
Dec. 9-Dec. 14
District-1 Boys: Keon Thompson, Merrillville. District-1 Girls: Christina Himelick, Mishawaka Marian. District-2 Boys: Dillon Ware, Danville Community. District-2 Girls: RaShaya Kyle, Marion, and Madeline Lawrence, Winchester Community. District-3 Boys: Jack Townsend, North Daviess. District-3 Girls: Darrian Carmean, Vincennes Lincoln.
Dec. 16-Dec. 21
District-1 Boys: Jake Wadding, Chesterton. District-1 Girls: TiAuna White, Fort Wayne Northrop. District-2 Boys: Luke Brown, Blackford. District-2 Girls: Kenna Kirby, Tri-West. District-3 Boys: Julian Norris, Evansville Bosse. District-3 Girls: Maycee Lange, Vincennes Lincoln.
Dec. 23-Dec. 28
District-1 Boys: Caleb Furst, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian. District-1 Girls: Sydney Graber, Homestead, and Bailey Kelham, Garrett. District-2 Boys: Maximus Gizzi, New Palestine. District-2 Girls: Madison Layden, Northwestern, and Sydney Parrish, Hamilton Southeastern. District-3 Boys: Dominic Walters, South Decatur. District-3 Girls: Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran.
Dec. 30-Jan. 4
District-1 Boys: Johnell Davis, Gary 21st Century. District-1 Girls: Nyla Asad, LaPorte. District-2 Boys: Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn, McCutcheon. District-2 Girls: Anya Pothorski, Indiana School for the Deaf, and Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville. District-3 Boys: Andrew Welage, Greensburg. District-3 Girls: Isabella Reed, Greenwood Christian.
Jan. 6-Jan. 11
District-1 Boys: Charlie Yoder, Westview. District-1 Girls: Hanna Knoll, Angola. District-2 Boys: Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights, and Payton Sparks, Winchester. District-2 Girls: Ella Collier, Danville. District-3 Boys: Lincoln Hale, Linton-Stockton. District-3 Girls: Kaybree Oxley, Tecumseh.
Jan. 13-Jan. 18
District-1 Boys: Cole Wireman, Kouts. District-1 Girls: Trinity Clinton, Penn. District-2 Boys: Luke Brown, Blackford, and Tayson Parker, Northwestern. District-2 Girls: RaShaya Kyle, Marion. District-3 Boys: Kooper Jacobi, Silver Creek. District-3 Girls: Chloe McKnight, Bedford North Lawrence.
Jan. 20-Jan. 25
District-1 Boys: Keon Thompson, Merrillville. District-1 Girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Noll. District-2 Boys: Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson. District-2 Girls: Sydney Jacobsen, West Lafayette Harrison. District-3 Boys: Langdon Hatton, North Harrison. District-3 Girls: Rylie Stephens, Triton Central.
Jan. 27-Feb. 1
District-1 Boys: Will Larkin, Winamac Community. District-1 Girls: Jazmen Watts, South Bend Riley. District-2 Boys: Brody Whitaker, Greencastle. District-2 Girls: Chloe McClain, Kokomo, and Taylor Westgate, Oak Hill. District-3 Boys: Kolten Sanford, Evansville Bosse. District-3 Girls: Natalie Boesing, Our Lady of Providence.
Feb. 3-Feb. 8
District-1 Boys: Connor Essegian, Central Noble. District-1 Girls: Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington. District-2 Boys: Cortez Stoudemire, Western Boone. District-2 Girls: Rachel Loobie, Franklin Central. District-3 Boys: Nicholas Sebastiao, Scottsburg. District-3 Girls: Isabella Reed, Greenwood Christian.
Feb. 10-Feb. 15
District-1 Boys: Johnell Davis, Gary 21st Century. District-1 Girls: Ashlynn Brooke, Pioneer. District-2 Boys: Sincere McMahon, Crispus Attucks. District-2 Girls: Madison Layden, Northwestern. District-3 Boys: Stephen Atkinson, Owen Valley. District-3 Girls: Ashley Schroer, Brownstown Central.
Feb. 17-Feb. 22
District-1 Boys: Austin Darnell, Washington Township. District-1 Girls: Hailey Cripe, Pioneer. District-2 Boys: Drew Valentine, Speedway. District-2 Girls: Kendall Bostic, Northwestern, and Ava Gardner, Frankton. District-3 Boys: Trey Kaufman, Silver Creek, and Kiyron Powell, Evansville Bosse. District-3 Girls: Kalea Fleming, Loogootee.