Since both the girls and boys basketball seasons have wrapped, I have been asked countless times about what my player rankings would be if I could go back to the fall.
For those of you who don’t know, in the fall I started counting down who I saw as the Top 50 girls basketball players in the area. We went with a player each day down to our second annual ‘First Five.’
So was I right? Was I wrong? Here is some postseason evaluation of my preseason evaluation. By no means am I taking back my Top 50 from the preseason. Based on all evaluation and analysis to that point, I maintain that my top 50 was on point for that time. A lot can change over a few months.
So these aren’t changes to what I said then, just looking and where you could argue players should be today. This is by no means a comprehensive list of the changes that I would make today. Everything is easier in retrospect.
THE SENSATIONAL SIXTH
Aka the player you could most claim was left out of the ‘First Five’
TiAuna White, Northrop: Ranked 25th, she went on to have the best scoring season in the area for any girl. She was incredibly tough to slow and although Northrop didn’t play contender, she made it a threat every night.
Bailey Kelham, Garrett: Consider this an honorable mention. Kelham, by our standards, was not a candidate for the Top 50. That was reserved only for sophomores, juniors and seniors who had proven varsity experience. Kelham didn’t have that, but looking at it now, she could be close to top 5 in the area if we did include freshmen.
TOP 15 SNUBS
Aka players that were outside of the Top 15 that could have been in it
Bree Dossen, Heritage: We knew what she was capable of at No. 26 but she put up one of the strongest seasons in the ACAC in recent memory. As a dominating force inside, she could be ranked higher today.
Olivia Shearer, Columbia City: While Shearer does rank outside of our postseason Top 15, it is a fair argument that Shearer hovers right around that Top 15 area. It was difficult to rank the balanced the Columbia City girls preseason, but a little easier today.
TOP 25 SNUBS
Aka players that were outside of the Top 25 that could have been in it
Carly Mabie, Columbia City: The feisty point guard for co-NE8 champion Columbia City was a pace setter across the conference. Few could handle her tenacity and at #36, she may have been ranked too low.
McKenna Dietsch, Adams Central: As part of an Adams Central team that won a Sectional and was a Woodlan away from being the darlings of the ACAC, Dietsch put on quite a show. We had her ranked at #33. It is fair to say she could have been higher.
TOP 50 SNUBS
Aka players that were outside of the Top 50 that could have been in it. Are there more? Sure. Here are the glaring omissions.
Carly Holley, Adams Central: She had a great year for the Flying Jets in an underrated ACAC. As a member of our Outside the Huddle All-Area team, Holley wasn’t even in our Top 50. We’ll call that a mistake.
Morgan Ostrowski, Garrett: We had one Garrett player listed in Faith Owen at #43 and you could argue that there could have been four (if Bailey Kelham would have counted) with Owen being the bottom of those. Ostrowski really spaced herself apart as one the area’s best post players this season.
Ally Lorntz, Angola: We didn’t know what to expect with Lorntz coming back from a year off but she was a major piece in Angola going unbeaten in the NECC. She added fire and tenacity along with enhanced senior leadership.
Reece Colclesser, Huntington North: The Vikings really developed a lot and Colclesser was the strongest holdover from the previous coach. She was a name we had to consider when it came time to look at All-Area possibilities. That is a big leap from not being in the Top 50.
Morgan Shifferly, Bellmont: Bellmont needed a third player to step up into a big role and Shifferly probably didn’t get as much love outside of the program for what she did she is another one that you have to say could have been Top 50.
WOULDN’T MAKE THE CUT POSTSEASON
Aka players that were in the Top 50 in the preseason that wouldn’t make the cut today. Are there more? Sure. Here are the ones that stand out.
#31 Bekah Marshall, Columbia City
#38 Emma Lyons, Bishop Dwenger – Did not play
#49 Maggie Cheever, Bishop Dwenger
#50 Niesha Anderson, Snider – Did not play
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