Central Noble’s Sydney Freeman and Concordia Lutheran’s Carissa Garcia were named to the Indiana All-Star team on Thursday, March 7. The duo will help represent Northeast Indiana and the state as a whole. They were both Indiana Junior All-Stars a season ago.
“It means the world. This is something you dream of as a little kid and it’s unreal that I could be a part of this,” Freeman told Outside the Huddle.
“Having this opportunity to represent my school and family means the world to me. I have been dreaming of making this team since I was a freshman, and I am so thankful that God has surrounded me with the family, friends and coaches to make this opportunity possible,” Garcia told Outside the Huddle. “Having my hard work pay off in this way is a very rewarding feeling.”
Joining the area duo as Indiana All-Stars for the senior class this season will be Jorie Allen of Bedford North Lawrence, Shaila Beeler of Warren Central, Amaya Hamilton of Hamilton Southeastern, Rikki Harris of North Central, Lilly Hatton of North Harrison, Emma Nolan of Marquette Catholic, Maddie Nolan of Zionsville, Sophia Nolan of Marquette Catholic, Hannah Noveroske of Michigan City, Riley Ott of LaPorte and Cameron Tabor of New Castle.
So what will Freeman and Garcia bring to the table for the Indiana All-Stars? In many ways, they played similar roles for their teams this season as sharpshooting leaders who carry a load of the ball handling.
“I hope to bring my shooting abilities and also contribute heavily on the defensive end. Additionally, it is important to have vocal leaders in these types of games since we have not all played with each other. So, I hope to bring some leadership to this team as well,” Garcia said.
Garcia averaged 19.2 points per game as a senior, shooting a team best 45 percent from the field. She hit 36-of-97 three pointers and averaged 6.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals and a team high 3.1 assists per game. She was fifth in the state in points per 32 minutes according to MaxPreps.
As for Freeman, her shooting touch was second best on the the Cougar’s Regional champion team at 49 percent. She made 72 three pointers at a success rate of 41 percent. She averaged team best numbers in steals (5), assists (4.6), blocks (1.7) and points (18.3) per game.
“I’m hoping to give energy, play good defense and be ready to shoot,” Freeman said.
Indiana Miss Basketball will be announced from within the group of All-Stars on May 5.
The team will play three games together. The first game will be against a set of Junior All-Stars on June 5. Indiana will then play Kentucky in a pair of games: June 7 at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky and June 8 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The events will be a good true ending to the season for both players, both who saw their season end prematurely in their own way.
While Freeman’s Central Noble team lost in semistate play, keeping her just outside of the Class 2A state title game for the second straight season, Garcia’s Concordia Cadets got beat by Angola in Sectional play. It marked the only season of her high school career that she did not win a Sectional title.
“I still feel a little bit of a sting from losing so early in the post season, but this definitely is an awesome way to go out,” Garcia said. “I’ve played with many of the girls that made the All Star team in AAU, and having one last opportunity to play with them is something I am very grateful for.”
Both players were named to the Outside the Huddle All-Area Team for girls basketball.