Westviews’s Charlie Yoder, Angola’s Hanna Knoll named IBCA Players of the Week ahead of NECC Tournament

The District 1 Player of the Week honors for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association again went to a pair of area players. Westview’s Charlie Yoder and Angola’s Hanna Knoll took home the honors for the week of January 6-11.

Other District 1 nominees from the area included Churubusco’s Landen Jordan, Bishop Luers’ Naylon Thompson, Central Noble’s Connor Essegian, Whitko’s Brett Sickafoose and Northrop’s TiAuna White.

Here is the complete release from the IBCA:

With school back in session, and several county tournaments taking place, there were many opportunities for players from all over the state to stand out. Week-10 provided as many quality performances as any week so far this season, and 2020 seems to have gotten off to a great start.

Westview Senior Charlie Yoder, Hamilton Heights Junior Gus Etchison, Winchester Junior Payton Sparks, Linton-Stockton Junior Lincoln Hale, Angola Junior Hanna Knoll, Danville Senior Ella Collier, and Tecumseh Sophomore Kaybree Oxley were selected as recipients for the week of Jan. 6-Jan. 11 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

Yoder is the boys’ winner in District-1, while Knoll is the girls’ winner in District-1. Etchison and Sparks share District-2 honors for the boys, while Collier is the District-2 girls’ representative. Hale is the boys’ recipient in District-3, while Oxley is the girls’ recipient in District-3.

Records continue to be set this season, and Charlie Yoder can be added to that list. Tuesday night, the Westview Senior helped his team to a hard-fought 57-51 win against a tough East Noble squad. Yoder finished the night with 27 points, 16 rebounds, and six blocked shots from the guard position.

Friday, though, was when the 6-4 Yoder made history. In an easy 85-43 victory over Hamilton Community High School, Yoder became the all-time leading scorer in school history, surpassing a 46-year old record. He finished the night with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals. In the win, he also moved into a tie for 2nd Place on the LaGrange County scoring list.

Angola’s Hanna Knoll continues to have a consistently productive Junior season. In three games last week, Knoll helped the Hornets to a pair of road conference wins. Wednesday, though, Angola traveled to non-conference foe East Noble, knocking off the Knights 54-45. The 5-9 guard paced the Hornets with 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, and six steals.

Friday night, Angola visited an improved Prairie Heights team, grinding out a 40-32 win. In this game, Knoll managed 20 points, eight rebounds, and six steals in the effort. The Hornets returned to the floor the very next day, this time travelling to Fremont, where they defeated the Eagles 51-39. Knoll once again was steady, contributing 19 points and five steals to the Hornets’ third road win of the week.

Gus Etchison of Hamilton Heights makes his second appearance as a recipient, as he once again performed at a high level. Friday night, against a very good Northwestern team, Etchison went for 26 points, four rebounds, and three assists, helping the Huskies to a 76-58 conference win.

Saturday, the 5-11 Junior guard returned to action against another quality opponent in Fort Wayne Luers. Etchison was stellar in this game, exploding for 41 points on 13-21 from the field and 14-19 from the charity stripe. He also added four rebounds and four assists, but the Huskies came up just short, falling 78-72 to the Knights.

Winchester big man Payton Sparks helped lead the Golden Falcons to the Randolph County Championship. Thursday, in their opening round matchup against Union (Modoc), the 6-8 Junior post provided the Golden Falcons with an impressive double-double of 31 points and 14 rebounds, helping them to an 85-45 win and advancement to the final game.

Saturday, Sparks was again up to the challenge, as the Junior contributed 24 points, an impressive 19 rebounds, and three assists in their 67-61 victory over a good Monroe Central team to win the Randolph County Championship for the second year in a row.

Danville Senior Ella Collier made her way into the record books last week while participating in the Hendricks County Tournament. Wednesday, however, in their opening round game, the Warriors fell to Plainfield 63-58. Collier did what she could for Danville, scoring 18 points, grabbing five rebounds, and handing out three assists.

But it was the Saturday 5th Place game against Avon that really stands out. The 6-0 Senior wing erupted for 41 points in the Warriors’ 65-58 overtime victory over the Orioles. Collier, a Marian University signee, was 13-20 from the field, 6-9 from 3-point range, and 9-10 from the free throw line. In addition, she became the all-time leading scorer in Hendricks County, boy or girl, passing Tri-West’s Tyler Watson’s 1,999 points. Collier also eclipsed the 2,000-point plateau and now sits at 2,033 career points.

Linton-Stockton’s Lincoln Hale helped the Miners to three wins and the Championship in the Greene County Invitational last week. The 6-4 wing was great in each game, and he has the Miners at 12-2 on the season. In their opening round contest against Eminence Tuesday night, Hale poured in 33 points on 11-17 shooting. He also knocked down five 3-pointers and was 6-9 from the free throw line, as they prevailed 75-61 over the Eels.

Friday night, in the Semi-Finals, Linton-Stockton took care of Shakamak with ease. Hale, an Indiana State University commit, managed 25 points on 10-17 shooting in limited minutes. Saturday, in the Championship game, Hale was on target, knocking down 11-14 shots, a pair of 3-pointers, and 7-9 from the free throw line. He finished the game with 31 points, as they claimed their sixth title in a row with a tough 75-67 overtime win against Bloomfield.

Tecumseh Sophomore Kaybree Oxley has had a strong start to her career over the last season and a half. Last week, the Braves managed three more wins, moving their record to 11-4 on the year. Tuesday against Boonville, Oxley posted her first double-double of the week, scoring 25 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, while also handing out two assists, collecting four steals, and blocking a pair of shots. Tecumseh knocked off Boonville 56-47.

Thursday evening, the Braves were back in action, posting an easy conference victory over North Posey. Oxley, a versatile 5-10 forward, was again superb with her second double-double of the week. She paced Tecumseh with 29 points and 10 rebounds, while adding four assists, five steals, and a blocked shot. The Braves then took care of Springs Valley 58-49 on Saturday.

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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