We have reached the top 5 in our countdown of Outside the Huddle’s Top 50 girls basketball players. This is No. 3 in our annual preseason crowning of the top 5 players in northeast Indiana that we call the ‘First Five;’ our highest individual preseason honor.
The ‘First Five’ was started in 2018, following in the 35-plus year tradition of naming the top five area basketball players, started by a now defunct prep sports department in Fort Wayne. It is our honor to pick up and carry on that tradition with the ‘First Five,’ including our fourth group of honorees coming this season at the top of our Top 50 countdown.
No. 3 Bailey Kelham, Garrett
When Kelham made it to the varsity level, her impact was immediately felt as one of the top pure scorers in Northeast Indiana, regardless of conference or class. She is a poised and confident scorer who has no issue taking games over. When the ball needs to be in her hands, Kelham recognizes it and can control entire games single handily. To her credit, when she doesn’t need the ball in her hands, she is a cooperative teammate who uses her own skill set to help get everyone else involved. Kelham is such a danger on all three levels offensively, she has learned when to be a good decoy to open up teammates. That said, she is a danger and she does score just about any way that she chooses to. There is something of a comfort for her in being able to do so and while she plays with passion, you can see on her fact any given game that she isn’t shrunken by the moment.
Kelham is a tireless scorer, who put up double digits 22 times in 23 games last season in route to being the third leading scorer in the NECC, where she was also ranked 10th in steals at 2.5 per game. She finished the year averaging 16.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest. She put up a season high 31 points on 71 percent shooting in a win over Prairie Heights and finished the year shooting 42 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line (83-111). Already in her two year career at Garrett, Kelham ranks 11th all-time in scoring in program history with 786 points and closing in quickly on that 1,000 point mark.
COACH’S QUOTE ON BAILEY KELHAM
“Bay is as a good of a player as we have had at Garrett. She scores from all 3 levels and is a 75% career free throw shooter. She has shown growth and improvement each year she has been with us and I expect to see even more of that this year. Her defense last year was big a component to our success.” – Garrett coach Bob Lapadot
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