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. 15-11.
No. 15 – McKenna Dietsch, Adams Central
The drive and energy in Dietsch pushed the Flying Jet to the cusp of ACAC conference and tournament titles and ultimately paid off with a Sectional crown in the 2019-20 season. Dietsch is always pushing herself and her teammates and her drive is basically unrivaled in the ACAC, which is no knock on anyone else. Dietsch just puts every part of her being into every play and has the Flying Jets as one of the favorites in the conference again. She scored 11.2 points per game while shooting 32 percent from deep and 77 percent from the free throw line.
Dietsch leads both by example and vocally. The Flying Jets are better off because of the way that Dietsch pushes. She is one of the strongest defensive stars of the conference too, averaging 3.3 steals per game because she never stops moving and pressures the ball well.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MCKENNA DIETSCH
“McKenna is definitely our leader at both ends of the floor and has helped us become a solid program the past two seasons. This season she again will be a dangerous multidimensional player on a very good Adams Central team.” – Adams Central coach Doug Curtis
No. 14 – Renna Schwieterman
Would anyone have guessed that a freshman would bring Jay County so quickly back into the ACAC title picture? That is what happened with Schwieterman last season after showcasing signs of her strengths during the summer of 2019. But those peaks did little to no justice to what she was able to accomplish as a freshman in 2019-20 that made her not just one of the best players in her class, but in the area no matter the grade level. Schwieterman posted 15.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per contest and again has the Patriots on the cusp of ACAC dominance.
The Patriots already avoided an ACAC backslide, but now they have high expectations and Schwieterman isn’t going to catch anyone off guard. But every indication is that she can handle that pressure with the best of them. She kicked off her high school career with one of her best games (so far) of 23 points and nine rebounds. It was an instant emphasis on Schwieterman’s ability to brush off the sometimes mind numbing pressure of big moments. She want on to score 20-plus points seven more times and scored in single digits just four times. Schwieterman can fill up a stat sheet and not many could do it as well as her as a sophomore.
No. 13 – Lamyia Woodson, South Side
Most often, you see the post players with maximum aggression earn the highest praise. Here is Lamyia Woodson to change that dynamic. Yes, she can absolutely turn into a beast, especially on the glass where her offensive rebound prowess can frustrate opponents hoping to alter tempo or make a comeback in a game. Last season, Woodson was one of two Archers who averaged more offensive rebounds than defensive. Her 4.2 offensive rebounds per game leads all returners, as will her 7.1 total rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game from the 2019-20 season.
But what separates Woodson is not the aggression, it is how soft of a touch she has around the rim. She shot the ball at a 49 percent success rate from two point range, which was number two on the team among players who spent 100 or more minute on the court. She also shot 48 percent overall on 61 of 128 shooting, which is the best returning Archer number for those who took more than 52 shots on the year. Woodson helps herself consistently in getting better shooting opportunities and really plays calm in moments that seem like they would be too tense for many others. Every single major skill category has seen Woodson’s numbers rise in her first three seasons; expect that to keep moving as a senior.
COACH’S QUOTE ON LAMYIA WOODSON
“Lamyia Woodson has had a great summer where she has developed a strong inside game. She has worked to have lighter feet giving her more movement on the inside. Lamyia needed to work on her defensive efforts and has made great improvement.” – South Side coach Juanita Goodwell
No. 12 – Morgan Ostrowski, Garrett
The mind of Morgan Ostrowski is constantly working and you can see it in her eyes as she patrols the paint. She rose through the ranks of area posts quickly last year showing that she had improved so much more significantly from her freshman season than many of us ever saw. She averaged 8.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and saw some of her peak play in the final three games of the season. In that time, Ostrowski hit the game winner to topple Woodlan on a 14 point night in Sectional play, grabbed 11 rebounds in the Sectional title win and then was Garrett’s biggest bright spot in a Regional loss to Benton Central with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Ostrowski is getting so much better nightly at reading the game and picking her spots to change it.
One of the better areas of progression for Ostrowski is her rim protection. You can also attribute that to her reading the game better. She had 35 blocks last season including five against Wawasee. She is making it more difficult all of the time for opponents to get close to the basket and that improved this summer. It also improved this fall with the highest kill percentage on Garrett’s high quality volleyball team with her leaping and athleticism constantly impressing as they will this winter.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MORGAN OSTROWSKI
“Morgan continues to evolve as a player and really understands the game. She was able to play this summer and continue to develop her inside/outside. Her versatility is so important to our team both offensively and defensively. She will be the key to us rebounding the ball and getting into our transition.” – Garrett coach Bob Lapadot
No. 11 – Chanteese Craig, Concordia Lutheran
There was really no way to know what Craig would be like during the 2019-20 season after missing her sophomore campaign. But she did not miss a beat. One of the things that was so special about Craig as a freshman was how much of a bully she was defensively in the post and somehow, after a serious knee injury, she just got better at doing that as a junior. Craig was a wall at the rim and opened her junior year with seven blocks in a significant two-point win over Bellmont after missing a full year of high school basketball. She went on to average 2.1 blocks per game, including five against NE8 co-champion Columbia City and six in a Sectional semifinal upset against Angola.
Craig has improved her agility and also her stamina, playing a team fourth-best minutes per game, coming in at just under 20 per contest. It allowed Craig to be a game changer longer and while her defense was always so strong, there wasn’t much of a way for opposing teams to slow her either. The more that Craig can be on the court this season, the better off the Cadets will keep being. She is coming off a 10.6 point and 7.2 rebound per game season where she shot 53 percent from the field. She is the model of what you want a high school post player to be.
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