GIRLS BASKETBALL

Scouting the 2013-14 Times All-Area Girls Basketball Team

2014-03-20T22:00:00Z 2014-03-25T14:49:07Z Scouting the 2013-14 Times All-Area Girls Basketball Team nwitimes.com
March 20, 2014 10:00 pm

FIRST TEAM

Dana Evans | West Side

Position: Guard

Year: Freshman

Height: 5-9

Stats: 20.4 ppg (21 3s), 2.5 rpg, 3.9 apg, 3.5 spg

Analysis: The freshman phenom is going to keep West Side on everyone's radar for the next three years. Evans proved this season that she deserved to be watched by every college team that entered a gym. She scored 30 or more points three different times, including a season-best 35 in the regional semifinal. She carried her team through the postseason, and that's just the appetizer for the player who will only improve until her 2017 graduation.

Quote: "(She) is the reason Purdue and Ohio State are here watching her." — Lake Central coach Marc Urban, after Evans scored 22 points in the sectional semifinal.

Victoria Gaines | Merrillville

Position: Guard/Forward

Year: Junior

Height: 6-1

Stats: 15.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, 2.4 bpg, 4.0 apg

Analysis: Gaines grabbed area attention two years ago as a freshman, and with a young team around her this year worked harder for her points. Before the season started she committed to Michigan State.

Quote: "I heard from just about every Big Ten school, Nebraska was the only one I didn't hear from. ... This is awesome for her, it shows how much her hard work has paid off." — Merrillville coach Amy Govert, when Gaines committed to MSU

Jaclyn Heath | LaPorte

Position: Guard

Year: Senior

Height: 5-4

Stats: 13.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 spg, 4.3-1 assist/turnover ratio.

Analysis: The North Alabama recruit spearheaded the Slicers' undefeated Duneland Athletic Conference regular-season run. She was also named the DAC MVP. The four-year starter finished her career first in assists (632) 3-pointers (161) plus second in points (1,019) and steals (268).

Quote: "Heath would make you pay for any defensive mistake. She did a great job of spreading the floor and finding the open person. Many times her teammates had wide-open looks because of the attention she would receive from the defense. Her passes were spot on for her teammates to catch and shoot in rhythm." — Merrillivlle coach Amy Govert.

Naomi House | Bishop Noll

Position: Guard

Year: Sophomore

Height: 5-9

Stats: 14.8 ppg, 64 percent free-throw shooter

Analysis: On her way to 1,000 points in a Warriors uniform, House has 699 already through two seasons at Bishop Noll. She helped her team to its first sectional title in 17 years and even though she's no longer a secret, she's still difficult to defend.

Quote: "Naomi did exactly what we need her to do in the postseason: to keep the energy high and make shots for us." — Bishop Noll coach Vanita Gary after House scored 20 points in the sectional opener.

Nicole Konieczny | LaPorte

Position: Guard

Year: Freshman

Height: 5-8

Stats: 14.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.4 spg

Analysis: Konieczny became the team's leading scorer. She gives LaPorte fans something to look forward to in the future.

Quote: "We wouldn't be where we're at without the year she had. She feels the way she does because of how dedicated she is. I know she'll use this in the offseason to get better and I know she will." —LaPorte coach Skeeter Heath after the sectional final loss to Merrillville.

Abby Kvachkoff | Crown Point

Position: Guard/Forward

Year: Senior

Height: 6-1

Stats: 12.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.6 apg

Analysis: In addition to scoring 55 3-pointers for the Bulldogs, Kvackoff had the fewest personal fouls and fewest turnovers of any player with significant minutes on her team. At 6-1, it's tough to expect she'd shoot like a guard, but the forward was talented inside and outside. She's done with basketball, taking her tennis talents to Purdue Calumet.

Quote: "A lot of good teams will put a really quick person on her so she doesn't get a shot off. Abby's really good at catching and sees an offer and firing." — Crown Point coach Anne Equihua

Michal Miller | Michigan City

Position: Guard

Year: Junior

Height: 5-7

Stats: 20.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.5 spg, 2.1 apg.

Analysis: Had to pick up the slack due to graduation losses, and the junior picked up her play. She scored 30-plus points three times this season.

Quote: "She is the complete package. She can shoot the three, pull up, drive and finish. She can create her own shot anytime. She is a phenomenal player." — Merrillville coach Amy Govert

Caroline Puntillo | Chesterton

Position: Guard

Year: Senior

Height: 5-9

Stats: 20.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 spg, Top 100 and top 60 workout. Fourth leading scorer in school history.

Analysis: Even though she was the No. 1 scoring option from the season's first game, defenses still found a hard time limiting her offensive output.

Quote: "She’s what I would call a true scorer. She finds many different ways of scoring points. She’s not just a standing shooter; she can take it to the basket it, she can dribble (into a) jump shot, she’ll post up. She can score about any way that you give her an opportunity to score.” -- Chesterton coach Jack Campbell

Riley Popplewell | South Central

Position: Forward

Year: Sophomore

Height: 5-10

Stats: 13.1 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 2.8 spg, 2.0 apg

Analysis: Became the school's second player to be named PCC MVP. She's very active around the glass, with 18 double-doubles this season.

Quote: “Stats don’t mean anything to her; it’s how hard she works on the floor." — South Central coach Rick Budka after Popplewell's 24-point, 11-rebound effort in a season-ending loss to Class A No. 1 Oregon-Davis.

Grayce Roach | Hobart

Position: Guard

Year: Senior

Height: 5-8

Stats: 14.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.9 spg.

Analysis: The Hobart guard played out of her natural position and was still difficult to defend. Her athletic talent makes her among the more prolific guards in the area, and she wanted to make sure that her teammates scored as many points as she did.

Quote: "Going back to middle school, she was always the player you wanted to look for her shot more, but she's always been a facilitator. She's passed up a lot of good looks to get her teammates involved." — Hobart coach Mike Hamacher

Gina Rubino | Lake Central

Position: Guard

Year: Junior

Height: 5-5

Stats: 13.3 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 2.0 rpg

Analysis: Outside the arc, Rubino was almost impossible to guard. Tenacious, athletic and determined, Rubino hit 65 3s, good for 43 percent. Another year of pestering opponents is all right with Rubino, who doesn't back down from competition of any size.

Quote: "I think the key is that she has identified what her weaknesses were right after the season last year and then did everything she could to work so that her overall game has improved." —Lake Central coach Marc Urban

Tara Zlotkowski | Lake Central

Position: Guard

Year: Junior

Height: 5-6

Stats: 12.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.3 spg

Analysis: A hard-working guard, Zlotkowski was quick and a spark plug. Unafraid to battle for every possession made her difficult to defend, and her quick first step made her difficult to catch. A leader in the making, Zlotkowski's outside shot gives the Indians more fire power at nearly every position.

Quote: "She is a fearless kid that loves challenges and loves to compete. She shoots the ball really well when her feet are set and she is quick enough to get by people which makes her really hard to guard." —Lake Central coach Marc Urban

 

SECOND TEAM

Brianna Blackwell | Whiting | Sr. | G/F

Stats: 15.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 5.0 apg

Analysis: The senior was hampered by injury this season, but it didn't stop her from contributing in every game. Her mark on the Whiting program will be long lasting, as will her leadership and athleticism.

Trina Coleman | Morgan Twp. | Sr. | G

Stats: 12.9 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.5 spg, 3.7 rpg

Analysis: A key reason behind three straight Class A regional trips. Finished third on school's all-time scoring list with 1,182 points. Between points and assists, she accounted for 48 percent of the team's offensive output this year.

AJ Downs | Merrillville | Sr. | G

Stats: 11.5 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.4 spg

Analysis: Asked to take over a tough role as a point guard for the Pirates, Downs didn't back away. She made sure her younger teammates were involved and kept the pressure on opponents, reminding them that Merrillville is still guard-oriented.

Amari Ferguson | West Side | Jr. | G

Stats: 6.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.6 spg

Analysis: A former star became a role player with aplomb and a quick laugh. Without the junior who had huge games for the Cougars in the postseason, West Side's postseason could have been short.

Bethany Jansma | Kankakee Valley | Sr. | G

Stats: 14.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.3 spg, 3.9 apg

Analysis: Leading the team with a second half of her season that anyone would envy, Jansma helped the Kougars to the success that fans had waited for.

Hunter Jusevitch | Lowell | Jr. | G

Stats: 14.5 ppg, 1.9 spg, 1.4 apg

Analysis: The multi-sport guard doesn't let size slow her. She's quick and athletic, full of tenacity and heart and is hard to defend. She's a big reason that the Red Devils earned their share of the Northwest Crossroads Conference title.

Lindsay Kusbel | Lake Central | Jr. | F

Stats: 10.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Analysis: The post player was an inside option that opponents couldn't ignore. As much as she fought for points and rebounds inside, she wasn't afraid to step out and shoot the 3.

Kyleigh Kubik | LaPorte | So. | G

Stats: 13.8 ppg, 3 apg, 2..9 rpg, 1 spg.

Analysis: Missed most of last season due to injury. Responded this season, and was one of the team's main scoring options.

Citlali Lopez | Whiting | Sr. | G

Stats: 16.0 ppg, 5.2 spg, 6.5 apg, 6.5 rpg

Analysis: The guard improved all of her numbers — and her leadership — in her senior season. Asked to take the team and put it on her back for several games, Lopez didn't flinch.

Jill Rosenbaum | South Central | Sr. | F

Stats: 15.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.0 spg

Analysis: A Top 60 Workout invitee, she is the program's first player to be all-conference all four years. The IU-Northwest recruit was a key component on the floor all four seasons for the Satellites. She's one reason the team won its first PCC tourney title.

Lauren Stokes | Kankakee Valley | Sr. | G

Stats: 13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.3 spg, 3.3 apg

Analysis: An athletic leader, Stokes was a key element to the Kougars' success. Every time she stepped on the court, her calm and presence made her team better.

Katija Tarailo | Crown Point | Sr. | F

Stats: 13.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg,

Analysis: The senior forward exerted her presence offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. Her 6-1 frame made her tough in the post.

HONORABLE MENTION

Duneland Athletic Conference

CROWN POINT: Hannah Albrecht. LAKE CENTRAL: Rolanda Curington, Megan Krol. MERRILLVILLE: Jaz Talley, Riana Todd. PORTAGE: Kaitlin Doud, Kaitlyn Steers. VALPARAISO: Grace Withrow.

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

CLARK: Dulce Garcia. GAVIT: Shanika Thornton. HAMMOND: Diamond Fields. MORTON: Timiya Ray.

Greater South Shore Conference

BISHOP NOLL: Brenda Pennington, Elena Sobilo, Asya Hobbs. CALUMET: Jaireh Ratliff. HANOVER CENTRAL: Brooke Sterkowitz, Kristen Roper. LAKE STATION: Joanna Dwyer, Desiree Parrillo. MARQUETTE CATHOLIC -- Colleen Falk. NORTH NEWTON: Skyler Belt. RIVER FOREST: Colleen Cary. WHEELER: Shannon Eden, Allie Stevenson.

Northwest Crossroads Conference

ANDREAN: Haley Hrosik, Lauren Stazinski. GRIFFITH: Courtney Bell. HIGHLAND: Alyssa Kikalos, Aleysha Slaven. HOBART: Morgan Flaharty, Zoe Wilson. KANKAKEE VALLEY: Breanna Toppen. LOWELL: Nicole Sharkey. MUNSTER: Jordan Cole, Megan Zabrecky.

Northwestern Conference

LEW WALLACE: Ashanti Mays. ROOSEVELT: Iyanna Turner. WEST SIDE: DeJah Joshua, Lexus Fox, Tinon Hunter.

Porter County Conference

BOONE GROVE: Rachel Cantwell. HEBRON: Madison Bell, Katie Clemens. KOUTS: Jayla Crump, Megan Heinold, Bella Wireman. LACROSSE: Katie Vance. MORGAN TWP.: Brianna Leuck. WASHINGTON TWP.: Heather Burton, Sammie Higgins.

Others

21ST CENTURY: Ophelia Palmer. BOWMAN ACADEMY: Joshlynn King, Kailynn Steele. COVENANT CHRISTIAN: Calli Beezhold, Jennifer Heerema. E.C. CENTRAL: Tiajaney Hawkins, Cheyenne White. LIGHTHOUSE: Kennesha Trambles. RENSSELAER: Aimee Mattocks.

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