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 2021-22 season.
Today, we unveil five of the best in the area at positions No. 40-36.
No. 40 Jasmine Anderson, Carroll
Carroll will look to Anderson more consistently this season as they need high level rebounders, something she has been able to do very on and off over the past two seasons. The Chargers were 19-1 when Anderson appeared in a game last season, while averaging 3.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. Anderson competes at a solid level inside where she is a physical presence that can really clean up around the rim, something that she hasn’t had to do as much in the past two seasons as she will need to in 2021-22. Expect her to play a huge role for Carroll as they look to repeat as SAC champions this season.
Not many players can match up with her size and physicality wise inside. To add to that, Anderson has a very crafty game that has to be considered underrated as the Chargers have been working through schemes offensively that see a heavy rotation of players and therefore, not significant time for Anderson consistently in the past. As a senior, she is going to be able to showcase a lot of diversity in her game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JASMINE ANDERSON
“Jasmine is a solid post player and has improved on driving to the basket. She is also a very good outside shooter. She has improved her foot work on defense and becoming a solid defensive player.” – Carroll coach Mark Redding
No. 39 Jazmyn Smith, West Noble
When you talk about pace setters in the area, Smith has to be in the conversations, especially in the NECC where it is hard to find a player of her size, strength and speed all rolled into one. She can do a little bit of everything and has proven that over previous seasons but her role will grow – notice a top 50 trend? – as her scoring is going too need to grow as the Chargers want to stay in the conference conversation. Last season, Smith averaged 7.9 points per game and will now head into her fourth year getting varsity time. She shot 53 percent from inside the arc in 2020-21.
Smith really can provide a boost inside even if she is a solid shooter from the mid range on occasion. She plays much bigger than 5-foot-10 and when she gets downhill to the rim, that is hard to step in front of and stop. Her 13 rebounds against Lakeland, where 12 came on the offensive end, is a big eye opener to the fact she can just make West Noble go with her motor. Defensively, she had 10 games of four or more steals, including 7 steals against Concord.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JAZMYN SMITH
“Jazmyn had a great year last year as well. She too traveled all summer playing ball and has improved in many areas. With the loss of all the seniors last year, things are lining up for Jazmyn to put up some big numbers this year in multiple categories.” – West Noble coach Jeff Burns
No. 38 Meghan Kiebel, Central Noble
Kiebel is crucial to the Cougars going forward as they are now without any player that was part of their state championship team. Talking about the team is for another time, but Kiebel playing with players from that team has helped her become part of the legacy of the program and that will help Central Noble and herself not fall off into the 2021-22 season. She was the fourth leading scorer for a balanced team last season at 10.2 points per game while playing 26.7 minutes per game. What she did do also is shoot well, with a team third-best 44 percent from the field.
Is she a post as a junior or another wing? Or does she even need a designation? She shot 44 percent from the field, but 54 percent from inside the arc while also having six games where she hit multiple three point shots. As her offensive role grows, she probably doesn’t need to pigeonhole herself as a certain type of player. Her. 17 points in a season ending loss to Lakeland may have been her best performance of the season, so that is a lot to grow on coming into this year.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MEGHAN KIEBEL
“Her ability to shoot the three point shot combined with her improvement of putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket she should have a good year.” – Central Noble coach Josh Treesh
No. 37 Peyton Pries, South Adams
Pries broke out as a freshman and didn’t regress as a sophomore even as another Pries started to shine. Peyton Pries now goes into her junior season with loads of experience to build on. She scored in double figures 14 of her 20 appearances last season, led by 18 points in a loss to Winchester. To expand her game and stretch out defenses around her more, she will need to be a much more consistent three point threat but she is great on the drive. Other than shooting over 80 percent of her shots inside the arc, Pries is great at getting to the line where she made 125 appearances and hit seven free throws in a game twice.
While South Adams’ offense mutated again last season, Pries did an excellent job inserting herself in other facts of the game. At just 5-foot-4, she is a scrappy and motivated rebounder, where she averaged 6.5 per game with a season high 12 against Southern Wells. She also was able to push opposing offenses with six games of four or more steals, where the Starfires were 3-3; she had 10 steals against Canterbury.
No. 36 Jada Rhonehouse, Fremont
It is wild sometimes how people forget about or underrate Rhonehouse, who has been one of the most consistent higher end players in the NECC her entire career. Fremont isn’t known for scoring a lot of points, but Rhonehouse has almost always led them, putting up 10.2 last year as a junior. Just last season, some of her best games were against OTH All-Area players including 21 against Lakewood Park Christian, 14 against Angola and 18 against Blackhawk Christian.
Rhonehouse gets lost in the NECC shuffle but we are here to tell you that even the best p layers in the conference have a hard time handling her because of how well she uses her length as a true combo guard/forward. She uses that length well to maneuver her way to the rim at a successful level in the always physical NECC.
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