Tuesday throughout the season was reserved for a girls hoops power poll. But now that the season is over for all but six teams in the area, we will instead jump in with our sporadic ‘five things’ features, but focusing on the six teams still left.
There are plenty of stars left playing this weekend, but let us touch on the players who may not be the go-to force on each of the six teams that are remaining.
These are some of the most underrated players on each of our six area girls basketball Sectional champions as they prepare for Regional play this Saturday.
DELANE SHEETS, CARROLL
While Sheets can score, that isn’t what she is most known for. She has a a few 10-plus point games this season, but it is all the other stuff that matters. There may be no better girls player in the area at making intangible plays. Sheets is incredibly tough defensively and will be the first to dive after a ball or create turnovers. Just as impressive is her facilitating with passing, which she showed with a highlight play last Saturday against Northrop in the Sectional title game.
GRACE SULLIVAN, HOMESTEAD
Can you call any of the starters on Homestead underrated? We will go ahead and say it here because Sullivan isn’t the top focus on this team. As she has become one of the area’s best point guards, what has been lost about here is what a high level scorer she can be. Her speed gets her to the basket, but Sullivan’s craftiness once she gets there makes her a difficult scorer/slasher to stop for anyone who may be defending the rim. If you are Homestead, your comfort level with her has become huge.
ABBY WEAVER, GARRETT
The fourth of a huge sophomore core for the Railroaders, you can understand why Weaver isn’t given the attention of her classmates. As the fifth starter for Garrett, Weaver showed parts of her value on Friday and Saturday in close wins that gave Garrett a Sectional crown. Weaver creates space well and reads the ball off the rim, able to grab quality rebounds in important moments while teams focus on fellow post Morgan Ostrowski or just create space in general with her boxing out and screens.
MACKINZIE TOLIVER, NORWELL
Despite the fact that her shooting didn’t come into much play last week against Mississinewa or Bellmont, Tolliver can be a major weapon when she shoots the ball well with consistency. Last Tuesday in a monster comeback win over Bishop Luers, she scored 11 points, hitting a team high three three-pointers and also grabbed nine rebounds. Her ability to spread the floor has been critical many times as she fits in perfectly with the gritty Norwell gameplay.
ALIVIA DALRYMPLE, ADAMS CENTRAL
The sophomore had a great week in Sectional play and really added to the Flying Jets as a third comfortable scorer. She actually led the team in scoring with 10 points in the title game win over Bluffton. She can score from multiple levels, but her three point shooting has been solid down the stretch, including a recent four three-pointer game in a win over Lakewood Park. She moves well without the ball to set up her scoring.
AUBREE VANDER DUSSEN, BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
She plays an aggressive game on both ends of the floor. Vander Dussen (pictured) spots up well in the Blackhawk Christian offense, often using the baselines as a guide to slide behind the defense and get positioning around the basket. But she also isn’t afraid to attack the basket, but the other team in a bad place and get to the free throw line. Aggression is certainly something she will bring to their Regional appearance.