Wrapping up girls basketball season at Outside the Huddle means naming our inaugural All-Area Team featuring the 15 players that we at Outside the Huddle have found to be the best over this past 2018-2019 season.
SYLARE STARKS, HOMESTEAD SENIOR
Starks made the most of her second year at Homestead by being a critical part of her third Sectional title team in her high school career. Averaging 11.2 points, Starks was second on the deep and talented Homestead team in scoring. She added 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals to her senior season and was named to Hoosier Basketball Magazine’s Top 60 Senior showcase. Starks was named First team All-SAC and IBCA All-State Honorable Mention. In addition to their Sectional title, Starks helped lead Homestead to SAC Tournament and regular season titles.
CARISSA GARCIA, CONCORDIA SENIOR
With an abundance of different defensive schemes thrown her way, Garcia became a more multidimensional threat in her senior season. While still averaging 19.2 points, she shot a team best 48.31 percent from two point range, abandoning a three point heavy effort in favor of the higher percentage shot. Garcia led her team in assists with 75, was second in rebounding with 146 and steals with 61. The All-SAC First Team selection ended her career with 1,529 points to become Concordia’s all-time leading scorer. Garcia was named IBCA All-State ‘Supreme 15’ for the senior class and invited to the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Senior showcase.
NAUTICA ROGERS, CONCORDIA SENIOR
One of the top breakout players from the 2018-19 season in the area was Rogers, who played big with an interior need for the Cadets. Rogers shots 43 percent from the field on her way to 12.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Her presence played a major role as teams double and tripled down on Garcia. Rogers added 1.4 steals per game as well, showcasing her ability to prevent passes from entering the post often. She was named All-SAC First Team and IBCA All-State Honorable Mention.
DA’LESHIA DAVIS, SNIDER SENIOR
‘Baby D’ has improved each of her four seasons, but as a senior she stepped up in a big leadership role that saw the Panthers considered a Sectional contender at year’s end. Davis averaged an area second best 17.9 points, while also averaging 9.1 rebounds and 4.1 steals per game. Pushing the pace each night for Snider, Davis had eight games of 20-plus points and became a score first point guard. She was named All-SAC First Team and IBCA All-State Honorable Mention.
GRACE HUNTER, BELLMONT SENIOR
In her senior season, Hunter was the area’s top scorer with 20.1 points per game in leading Bellmont to a Northest 8 Conference title. While the team got over the hump of beating arch rival Norwell, not once but twice, Hunter became one of the toughest players in the area to defend. She added 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.7 assists per game. Hunter was named First Team All-NE8 and IBCA Large School All-State and invited to the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Senior showcase.
SHELBY CALDWELL, JAY COUNTY SENIOR
Only three players in Jay County girls basketball history have scored 1,000 career points and Caldwell became one of them this season. Caldwell averaged 18.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game while scoring a school record 41 points in a win over Blackford. She was named All-ACAC First Team for the ACAC regular season and tournament champion Patriots. Caldwell leaves Jay County first all-time in points scored in a game and career three pointers made. Her shooting puts her tied for 2nd all-time in threes in a single game and alone in second for threes in a season. She also is the program’s third all-time scorer. She also was named IBCA Large School All-State.
SYDNEY FREEMAN, CENTRAL NOBLE SENIOR
Finishing as Central Noble’s all-time leading scorer regardless of gender, Freeman led the Cougars to NECC, NECC Tournament, Sectional and Regional titles in her senior season. Freeman averaged 18.3 points, 5 steals, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists during the 2018-2019 season. She finished with 1,741 total points in her four years at Central Noble, which is third best in the history of Noble County. Her 512 points this season was the ninth best scoring season in Noble County history and the best single season scoring total for females in Noble County history. She was named All-NECC First team and invited to the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Senior showcase and named to the IBCA All-State ‘Supreme 15’ for the senior class.
MELEAH LEATHERMAN, CENTRAL NOBLE SENIOR
Leatherman follows teammate Freeman as being the fourth best scorer in Noble County history and the second best scorer in her team’s history with 1,649 career points. In her senior season, the All-NECC selection averaged 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while also surpassing 1,000 career rebounds to help make her the girls program’s all-time leading rebounder. She also became the Central Noble program’s only player to ever tally over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their career. As Central Noble won NECC, NECC Tournament, Sectional and Regional titles, Leatherman was invited to the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 Senior showcase and named to the IBCA Small School All-State.
MADALYN ROBROCK, HUNTINGTON NORTH SENIOR
Robrock’s Vikings team didn’t have the most team success this year, but she improved strongly again as an individual. The All-Northeast 8 selection, Robrock was named IBCA All-State Honorable Mention. Averaging 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, Robrock was the key fixture for the Vikings the last two seasons and led them to seven wins as a senior. Along the way though, Robrock scored 16 or more points against top teams like Homestead, Marion, Norwell, Bellmont and South Side. She scored a season high 32 on November 9 in a win over North Side.
JACI JONES, SOUTH SIDE JUNIOR
Jaci Jones’ three point shooting shined through at season’s end, setting a school record with 9 three pointers made against Bishop Dwenger on 9-of-11 shooting from deep. That was part of 65 made three pointers for Jones at a 37 percent clip. Jones averaged 12.7 points, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game and helped the Archers to the championship games of the SAC Tournament and Sectional. Jones was named All-SAC First Team.
MEGHAN BUSICK, BELLMONT JUNIOR
Despite an injury that kept her out of the Sectional final game, Busick had a stellar season in helping Bellmont to a Northeast 8 title. She averaged 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds 3 steals and 1.5 assists along the way. Named First Team All-NE8, Busick shot the ball at a 40 percent success rate and a co-team best 35 percent from three point range. Her basket in the closing seconds of a marquee win over Norwell sealed that game as a big point of success for the program. She was named IBCA Underclass All-State Honorable Mention.
SYDNEY GRABER, HOMESTEAD JUNIOR
Graber is the only area player named as an Indiana Junior All-Star, representing our Region as part of the ‘red’ group. Graber committed to Central Michigan before the start of her junior season and then helped lead a deep Homestead team to the SAC Regular season, SAC Tournament and Sectional titles. Graber averaged 10.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 44 percent from the field. The All-SAC First Team pick was also named IBCA Large School Underclass All-State.
MAIAH SHELTON, NORWELL SOPHOMORE
The deep Norwell sophomore class was led by the stone cold approach of Shelton, who was named All-Northeast 8 First Team and IBCA Underclass All-State Honorable Mention. Shelton averaged 13.4 points 5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game and shot the ball at a 47.8 percent success rate. She led the Knights to 19 wins and became the only area team to stay within 10 points of a dominant Homestead team.
HANNA KNOLL, ANGOLA SOPHOMORE
Anyone who was not familiar with Knoll became familiar quickly during the Regional final when she peppered Marion with big shots in the Hornets’ eventual overtime loss. Knoll averaged 13.3 points per game and became one of Northeast Indiana’s most feared shooters. She was named All-NECC First Team and IBCA Underclass All-State Honorable Mention. The hallmark of Knoll, even more than her shooting, became her defensive prowess. The leader of Angola’s pressure defense, she averaged 4.5 steals per game.
AYANNA PATTERSON, HOMESTEAD FRESHMAN
Patterson established herself as the top freshman in the area and one of the top freshmen in the country. She averaged a team high 12.9 points for Homestead as they won SAC regular season, SAC Tournament and Sectional titles. Patterson added 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game while shooting the ball at a 55 percent success rate from the field, becoming Homestead’s most efficient starter. Patterson was named All-SAC First Team, but her biggest honor came in being named IBCA Underclass ‘Supreme 15’ as one of the the top non-seniors in the state.