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. 25-21.
No. 25 – Dakotah Krohn, Woodlan
After being the No. 2 player on the ACAC’s best team last season, Krohn is going to be pushed to the front to keep Woodlan in conference contention this year.
Krohn’s work starts on the defensive end, where she has been used the previous two years as a stopper on some of the best opposing players. She is long-limbed and active with her body, causing general chaos for opponents both on and off ball. She has a keen ability to make adjustments defensively while breaking down opposing plays. Her 2.9 steal per game average doesn’t do justice to some of her games, including nine steals against New Haven and six in the first matchup with Adams Central. Her defense often leads to instant offense for the Warriors and there is no reason to think that will not continue.
Krohn shot 42 percent from the field while scoring 9.6 points per game and those are both likely to spread like wildfire this season. The ball is going to be in Krohn’s hands much more both out of trust and necessity. Highlights of her 2019-20 season included a 19 point/six rebound effort against Prairie Heights and a 21-point game against South Adams. The Warriors were 10-1 when Krohn scored in double digits.
COACH’S QUOTE ON DAKOTAH KROHN
“Dakotah will be one of the top players in the ACAC this season. Coming off a 1st team All Conference performance last season, look for this junior’s scoring average to increase this year and she has always been a great defender.” – Woodlan coach Gary Cobb
No. 24 – J’Asia Scott, Northrop
Scott is a consistently scrappy presence that makes a real effort on being a game changer. She is one of the quickest players in the entire area and sparked initial interest because of her defensive pressure. Scott plays all out all of the time and that is why she is the No. 2 returner in playing minutes for new coach Kevin Clopton.
The Bruins are significantly stronger when Scott is on the court. She averaged a team best 2.8 steals and had more than a single steal 17 different times, led by seven steals in a win over Wayne. Scott will be crucial in defending any team’s best offensive guard.
Her numbers improved offensively last season too as she was relied on more as a ball handler. Expect that to improve significantly as this team is really building back up. Scott gets to the rim well and doesn’t settle for low percentage shots. She averaged 8.8 points while shooting 39 percent from the field a season ago while also getting to the free throw line the second most of any Bruin, but she is going to need to greatly improve on her 37 percent success rate from the line.
COACH’S QUOTE ON J’ASIA SCOTT
“J’Asia is lighting fast, with her proven ability to finish at basket, her outside shot is much improved and again leadership!” – Northrop coach Kevin Clopton
No. 23 – Hailee Kline, Blackhawk Christian
One of the breakout stars of 2019-20 was Kline, who took the Braves from afterthought to sectional champions. Her 18 points per game was the highest scoring average in the area and she found a lot of unique ways to score throughout that push during her sophomore campaign. Kline is a consistently hard worker on both ends of the floor. There is no time where you see her standing still. Her offensive movement off the ball really makes teams second and third guess how to defend her when she has the ball in her hands.
Kline does have a good deal of ability as a shot creator and despite her high scoring ability, also can play under the radar at times. Kline is a more than capable shooter who really looks like she has a strong feel for the game and with that comes a certain finesse. She is a steady decision-maker that averaged two assists per game. On the other end, she is a crafty defender who showed the ability to make defenders comfortable with a laid back approach initially before leaping in to take the ball away; she averaged 3.4 steals per contest.
COACH’S QUOTE ON HAILEE KLINE
“Hailee is a true student of the game. She is always striving to be better by putting in extra work on the court and by watching countless hours of film. Her desire to be the best has set a standard for the younger girls in the program to strive for. Her work ethic is contagious. The best part about Hailee is that she is an incredible teammate and that she is using her talents to the best of her ability to glorify God.” – Blackhawk Christian coach Steph Gongaware
No. 22 – Grace Sullivan, Homestead
A guard which Homestead needs to have on the court, Sullivan played between 25-30 minutes almost every night with the exception of severe blowout wins. She is a fire starter for the Spartans, locking up opposing defenders at mid court, which really hurts other offenses and also creates transition opportunities for a team that thrives on fast-break points. Sullivan has always provided these things for the Spartans, as she did as a freshman at Canterbury. The frantic defensive presence of Sullivan will continue to be crucial as Homestead adjusts to a mostly new starting lineup around her.
Last year brought back out the strong scoring Sullivan that she was before her Homestead debut. While you will see an average of just 3.7 points per game, it was a big uptick from her sophomore season and she will continue to grow this year because of her ability to get to the rim. She can run the baseline well and finds gaps in opposing defenses. That ability to attack and opponents knowing she can score at a good level makes her a more efficient passer, where she averaged 4.7 assists per game last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON GRACE SULLIVAN
“Grace is a hard nosed point guard who will be a steady scorer and playmaker for us this year. She is also an incredible on-ball defender who plays with tremendous intensity every play of the game.” – Homestead coach Rod Parker
No. 21 – Lauren Leach, Angola
The confidence of Leach grew by leaps and bounds last year as a sophomore. Now a junior, she is really going to have to take on a much bigger role and her confidence is already shining during the start of practices for the season.
Leach is a changer defensively in every way because of her active hands and long reach and frame. If Leach comes out to guard you on the perimeter, you better hope that she sags off because if she is in your face, good luck getting a pass or shot off. If you take the ball to the basket, Leach is likely to alter and/or shut down your attempt at the rim.
Her eight points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season saw her numbers rise. She played the second-most minutes on the Hornets’ NECC champion roster because of how valuable she is. Leach is able to defend spots 1-5 on the floor and then turn around and play each of those positions as needed offensively. She shoots 36 percent from three-point range, 61 percent inside the arc and 58 percent from the free throw line. The Hornets were 9-2 in games where Leach scored 10 points or higher or grabbed eight or more rebounds.
COACH’S QUOTE ON LAUREN LEACH
“Lauren is a very strong overall player. She can play inside and she can play on the perimeter. We look for her to be a great leader for us. She will play a big role and will be a great compliment to Hanna.” – Angola coach Nick Burlingame