BRIAN PARRISH & JOEL KNOX, ANGOLA
Angola’s run to the NECC Tournament final was highlighted by Parrish’s high quality shooting. He has come a long way from the gritty young performer that you leaned on for tempo and defense with an occasional bucket to being one of the area’s most feared shooters when he gets rolling. Angola’s best games are when they are shooting the long ball well and it has to be Parrish to get that started more often than not because of his read of the game.
Knox is someone who has been through the grinder over the years with Angola and sometimes gets forgotten about as a scorer because he does so much. Yeah, Knox is an intangible guy that provides a little bit of everything night in and night out, but he is capable of scoring bursts too. He plays fearlessly in the midrange and around the basket and it helps when he can clean up missed shots and get second chance points.
BRIDGETTE GRAY & LYDIA ANDREWS, CENTRAL NOBLE
I almost think people forget how Gray and Andrews came up, following closely behind the greatest scoring duo in Central Noble history and maybe in NECC history in Meleah Leatherman and Sydney Freeman. These two have had to play at and score at a high level their entire careers. Their spot scoring, as freshmen, was crucial in the Cougars’ run to a state title in 2018 and then they had to step up even bigger later in their careers as juniors. There is another scoring duo behind them at Central Noble to pass the baton on too, but Gray and Andrews have done so well with it in their hands.
As their senior season winds down, these two are averaging almost half of Central Noble’s points and have learned to play off each other as well as duo in the area on the girls side. Gray (11.7 ppg) has 25 and 26 point games to her name this season and Andrews (10.5 ppg) had twelve games in double figures where Central Noble in 9-3. Gray recently became the fourth leading scorer in program history.
ASHTON JOHNSON & AUSTIN JORDAN, SOUTH SIDE
There may be no better person for an unofficial “most improved” award in the SAC than Johnson, who has clearly worked so hard (and early if you follow him on social media) to get stronger, slimmer and faster into his junior season. Averaging 17.8 points per game, Johnson has really been able to show off his full arsenal of ways that he can score where in the past he was pigeonholed a bit into post play and true point guard action. With a field goal percentage above 50 percent inside the arc, Johnson keeps teams guessing now as if he is going to attack or pull up, where he has long been a three point threat.
Speaking of three point threats, how impressive is it that Austin Jordan came back from an ACL injury in less than a year and is playing better than when he left. Did they put some bounce in him because Jordan has a spring his step, also a more dynamic scorer than the past. But at 14.9 points per game, he continues to be a willing and quality shooter, hitting three or more three pointers in South Side’s first 11 games.
EMME BOOTS & ZOE BARGER, BLUFFTON
Boots falls in line with the aforementioned Central Noble players as someone who has had to continue to develop her scoring on the varsity court since her freshman season. She is averaging 15.9 points per game as a senior who has never finished a season before the Sectional title game. Her career best season in points per game is highlighted by her second best season in field goal percentage.
Barger burst onto the scene last season as a high volume inside scorer when she gets the chance. She is averaging 8.7 points per game this season but is shooting 57 percent along the way with seven different games shooting up 70 percent from the field.
DOMINIC CARDWELL & ZACH HUBARTT, HUNTINGTON NORTH
Save for a tough loss last week to Bellmont, Huntington North had been playing some really enviable basketball this season. Unlike previous seasons, they aren’t headlined by one or two star players, but have a deep rotation of capable guys who know how to put the ball in the basket. You can throw senior Sam Thompson in the group too, but lets look at this junior duo who will still have another season to mesh even better into the future.
In the way Teagle ball goes, you don’t have to be scoring a lot to be effective but these two are both in double figures with Hubartt at 14.4 points per game and Cardwell at 10.4. When Hubartt is on his game, this team wins; well pretty much. He has been in double figure scoring seven times and the Vikings are 6-1 in those games. Every time he has scored 14 or more points, he is shooting over 50 percent from the field. Cardwell’s percentage game is even stronger as he shoots 63% from the field, 66% from three point range and 82 percent from the foul line.
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