Outside the Huddle and Bounce are counting down who it feels are the top 50 individual girls basketball players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2020-21 season.
Today, we unveil five of the best in the area at positions No. 50-46.
No. 50 – Kristen Wynn, South Adams
When it comes to tough guards who play with a chip on their shoulder, Wynn pushes out in front in the ACAC. A name that has become synonymous with South Adams basketball, Wynn will take on her third straight season as the primary ball handler as a junior and you will never have to guess watching her how focused she is. Despite being undersized on the inside, Wynn was third on the Starfires in rebounding last year and is willing to work her way to the rim for scoring opportunities.
Wynn averaged a team-best 2.8 assists and 2.7 steals last season and being a lead guard is something she is clearly comfortable with. The question for Wynn will be if she is capable of picking up her scoring after averaging 7.9 points per game, third on the team last year. South Adams graduated just one senior, but that senior was the go-to player in a lot of regards so Wynn is going to be expected to pick up a lot of that slack.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KRISTEN WYNN
“Kristen has been our starting point guard since she was a freshman. Her experience being the floor leader should be a big asset for us. She does a nice job finding teammates and creating shot chances for them. She’s improved her outside shot to make it tougher to guard her. She’s a great teammate and will be one of our captains this season.” – South Adams coach Brett Freeman
No. 49 Shabrea O’Quinn, Wayne
One the strongest freshmen in the area during the 2019-20 season, O’Quinn became a force in the post for a Wayne team still under construction for a program that has long been at the bottom of the SAC.
O’Quinn is a big part of that because she plays with an enhanced aggression and works to get her team extra looks at the rim. Some of her double-doubles in 2019-20 were among the most impressive in the area, including a 20-point, 17-rebound outing against Lakewood Park and 16 points/16 rebounds against Blackhawk Christian. She finished the season with team highs in points (10.8) and rebounds (9.1) per game.
As O’Quinn gets more comfortable with her shot at the rim, she will become a bigger test for opponents as a sophomore. Aggression and effort clearly come naturally to her. Because of that, she gets up and down the court well and is willing to run with the guards to try and make plays. She has years to grow still, but O’Quinn is already one of the best posts in the SAC.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SHABREA O’QUINN
“Shabrea is a true big and the sky is the limit for her. This year with solid guards around her, there is no reason why she cannot average a double double.” – Wayne coach Lacia Gorman
No. 48 Kenzie Fuelling, Bellmont
There has never been a bigger time for Fuelling to shine and she has shown, at every step, that she can do so. The Squaws have needed her to step up in various ways over the last two seasons and have thrown some expectations at her for a game here or a stretch there and she has never wavered. One of the most impressive things about her is that she is willing to take on ever-changing roles and expectations as Bellmont looked to either win a game or prepare for the future.
Defensively, Fuelling is one of the top players to watch in the Northeast 8. She proved time and again last season that she can be a ball hawk, getting into passing lanes smoothly and setting up transition scores for her and teammates. She is the top returner in steals with 2.6 per game, including a highly impressive four-steal night in beating Columbia City, where she was also able to consistently power to the rim through contact. Fuelling’s 36 total assists will also be a high among returners. Her 5.9 points per game is going to be expected to rise as she does need to improve on her shooting percentages from a season ago.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KENZIE FUELLING
“Kenzie is a natural athlete and is the perfect person to run our team on the court. She went from running point in a sectional championship game her freshman year, to running the point her entire sophomore year, now to hopefully one of the leaders on our team. When you have a great point guard you are always in games, and that is what Kenzie brings to our team. If Kenzie welcomes the pressure and recognizes her full athletic ability, she is going to be one of the toughest point guards to guard this year.” – Bellmont coach Andy Heim
No. 47 Reece Colclesser, Huntington North
It was expected for the rebuild at Huntington North to take a couple of years when a coaching change was made before last season. Yet the Vikings were in the thick of the Northeast 8 race and Colclesser’s experience and effort was at the forefront of a surprisingly immediate turnaround. The Vikings needed someone to grow off of and Colclesser immediately stepped into that role as a leader.
Colclesser led the Vikings in three-point percentage and was one of the top players in the league when all was said and done. Colclesser’s 41 percent shooting from behind the arc was just as much a testament of her shot I.Q. as it was her skill. She was second on the team with 7.9 points per game and her defense was on another level with 30 steals as the Vikings were able to drag teams deep into the weeds of a low-scoring game where every basket mattered.
COACH’S QUOTE ON REECE COLCLESSER
“Nobody has worked harder than Reece this off-season…The work she has put in on her own over the off-season has been remarkable. She is in great shape we will look to her to do more than just shoot the three. She will be one of our leaders on and off the court. She has also earned the right to make decisions on the court. It’s nice to have two players out there each night that you can trust to be an extension of the head coach.” – Huntington North coach Matt Hinds
No. 46 Avarcia Nard, New Haven
While New Haven is another team fighting to get out of the bottom of its conference, Nard has been the most consistent piece to the program and has stood out out because of it. She was second on the team with 12.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, but the reality is that she stood out most to many when the Bulldogs took the court because she just doesn’t quit moving…ever. New Haven coach MyQueisha Bratton talks this preseason about how Nard rarely, if ever, asks to come out of a game. Her motor is just on another level.
Nard did finish fourth in the NE8 in scoring a year ago even though New Haven’s finish partially led to her only getting an All-NE8 Second Team nod. There is a lot of diversity in the 5-foot-7 senior’s game with her ready, willing and, most importantly, able to play all five spots on the floor. That isn’t something as common as you would think.
Because of her ability to move around the floor offensively, she can have some really high-percentage scoring games, including shooting 72 percent on a 19-point night against Leo and 58 percent shooting on a 23-point, eight-rebound night against co-conference champion Norwell.
COACH’S QUOTE ON AVARCIA NARD
“Nard is one of the toughest kids in the league/area. Her ability to play hard through adversity gives her an edge to compete with anyone and any team on any given night. Nard is crafty and aggressive. She is what I call a game changer, when she is on, the entire team is firing on all cylinders. Her defense sets the tone for us.” – New Haven coach MyQueisha Bratton
She can play point guard or center on defense or offense. She plays almost every second and never asks to come out of the game. Nard had a great season last year, she finished 4th overall in the conference in scoring, NE8 All-Conference 2nd team, and All-Area Honorable Mention. As a senior, Nard is coming into this season determined and motivated to make this her best year yet and I am excited I get front row seats.
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