IBCA releases Week 9 Players of the Week; area players earn nominations

In week nine, four area players were nominees for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association’s Player of the Week honors. All from the IBCA’s District 1, South Side’s Alaya Chapman, Norwell’s Maiah Shelton, Central Noble’s Connor Essegian and Columbia City’s Mitchell Wilson were all nominated.

Winners from District 1 were Gary 21st Century’s Johnell Davis and LaPorte’s Nyla Asad.


While holiday tournaments and single-day showcases wrapped up last week around the state, our Week-9 IBCA/Subway Player of the Week winners posted double-doubles, triple-doubles, and two ladies even surpassed the 20-rebound plateau in their games.

Gary 21st Century Senior Johnell Davis, McCutcheon Freshman Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn, Greensburg Senior Andrew Welage, LaPorte Senior Nyla Asad, Indiana School for the Deaf Senior Anya Pothorski, Noblesville Freshman Ashlynn Shade, and Greenwood Christian Junior Isabella Reed were selected as recipients for the week of Dec. 30-Jan. 4 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

Davis is the boys’ recipient in District-1, while Asad is the girls’ recipient in District-1. Gibbs-Lawhorn is the boys’ winner in District-2, while Pothorski and Shade are girls’ co-winners in District-2. Welage is the boys’ honoree in District-3, while Reed is the girls’ honoree in District-3.

In his only game of the week, Johnell Davis took advantage, posting an impressive triple-double in a 70-59 win over Danville High School from Illinois. The 6-3 Senior guard scored 25 points, grabbed ten caroms, and made ten thefts in 21st Century’s victory. Davis added a pair of assists and a blocked shot in the effort. He has committed to play at Florida Atlantic University next year.

Nyla Asad has put together a nice string of games recently, but her play last week helped LaPorte to a pair of impressive wins in the Valparaiso Tournament. In the Friday morning matchup with Fort Wayne South Side, the Slicers needed Asad’s 31 points to defeat the Archers 66-58. In the win, the 5-5 guard buried six of 11 3-point attempts, plus she grabbed six rebounds.

The Senior returned Friday night, leading LaPorte to a 50-40 win against host Valparaiso. Asad contributed 18 points, five rebounds, four steals, and three assists, as the Slicers won their fifth game in a row. She was a consistent 19-37 from the field on the day.

There have already been a handful of Freshmen honored this year, and McCutcheon’s Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn adds to that list. In their only game last week, the Mavericks took out Indianapolis Tech 63-60 in a North Central Conference game. The 5-11 guard was a scorching 12-18 from the field and 4-6 from 3-point range, leading all scorers with 29 points. He added five rebounds and a steal in the big win.

Anya Pothorski has had quite the career for the Deaf Hoosiers, as she is approaching the 1000-point and 800-rebound plateaus. Last week she nearly helped her team to a championship at the Speedway Tournament. In the morning game, a 43-35 win over Rising Sun, Pothorski scored 27 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and blocked four shots.

In the championship game against host Speedway, the 6-1 Senior post did everything in her power to help her team, but the Sparkplugs ended up victorious, 52-46. Pothorski scored 16 points, grabbed an impressive 20 rebounds, and nearly reached a triple-double with her eight blocked shots.

Noblesville Freshman Ashlynn Shade makes her second appearance of the year as a District-2 winner. Shade continued her outstanding rookie season, posting big numbers against two worthy opponents last week. On Monday, in limited minutes, Shade scored 27 points, grabbed four rebounds, handed out four assists, and collected seven steals in a lopsided 84-34 win against Indianapolis Roncalli.

The 5-9 guard returned to action Saturday, but the Millers fell 68-56 at the hands of Martinsville. The youngster put up another 28 points, grabbed seven more rebounds, and chipped in an assist and a pair of steals. In the two games combined, she was 20-40 from the field, 8-14 from 3-point range, and 7-10 from the free throw line.

There likely weren’t many people who shot it as well as Andrew Welage did last week. The Greensburg Senior was 22-31 from the field, 4-7 from 3-point range, and 5-6 from the free throw line in a pair of wins last week. On Friday, the Pirates visited Hauser, winning easily, 94-49. In that game, Welage scored 27 points and added four rebounds, six assists, five steals, and an assist in shortened time.

The Wright State University signee returned the next day to help Greensburg post a 65-49 home win against the Columbus East Olympians. Welage scored an additional 26 points. He also added nine rebounds in the win. The 6-7 wing is shooting a stellar 90% from the free throw line this season.

Isabella Reed rounds out the Week-9 winners having posted one of the most impressive double-doubles we’ve seen this season. The 5-9 forward scored 27 points on 9-13 field goal shooting and 7-8 free throw shooting, helping Greenwood Christian to a strong 72-42 victory over Park Tudor. The Junior was all over the floor, grabbing a spectacular 23 rebounds as well in the effort. She added six assists and made a steal.

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.

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