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 2022-23 season.
Today, we unveil five of the best in the area at positions No. 40-36.
No. 40: Claire Bickel, Heritage
The success of Heritage in games over the past two seasons has relied on quality control and Bickel has been a major part of that. She is a strong all around player who just does the right things nearly every trip up and down the court. Consistency plays a big role in how Bickel has played and it has made her a very balanced player. She led the Patriots in assists (2.4) and steals (1.9) last season and this year will be the top returner in points (9.9) and rebounds (4.2), showcasing how she can just do a bit of everything well.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CLAIRE BICKEL
“Claire is a team leader who plays with great energy and enthusiasm. She is a smart player who is a consistent contributor on both ends of the court. Claire has worked hard over the past couple seasons to expand her game and I believe that hard work will greatly benefit her this season.” – Heritage coach Nicole Sisson
No. 39: Meghan Kiebel, Central Noble
Kiebel is a highly underrated shooter considering that the toughness she shows for the Cougars is usually in the front of people’s minds when they watch her play. She puts herself in commanding positions and has shown how well she can rebound, averaging 5.5 last season to go along with 12 points and 2.7 steals per game. That said, again she just doesn’t get enough credit for how well she shoots the ball a lot of the time, hitting at a 35 percent success rate over her entire career while being a cornerstone at Central Noble. Last season, she also shot 72 percent from the free throw line.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MEGHAN KIEBEL
“Meghan is an ultra competitor who plays to win at everything. She can shoot it with the best of them. I am expecting her to do whatever it takes to have her final season at CN be her and the team’s best.” – Central Noble coach Sam Malcolm
No. 38: Emma Reust, Homestead
Reust is a name that you should get to know if you do not yet. She had a really good sophomore season and is the next one of those Homestead players that will really break out when she gets her turn. She did in areas last season and proved how strong she could be while averaging 4.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Reust, like many a Homestead Spartan, just does all of the intangible things right and it has elevated her game. She will be asked to step it up again this season and there is every indication that she could be the biggest breakout star in the SAC.
COACH’S QUOTE ON EMMA REUST
“Emma is the most underrated player in the Fort Wayne area. Emma has a very high basketball IQ and great instincts for the game. She truly makes her teammates better and will be a big key to our success this year on both ends of the court.” – Homestead coach Rod Parker
No. 37: Macy Pries, South Adams
Pries has changed the way that South Adams has played since she stepped onto the varsity court as a freshman. Now, as a junior, the All-ACAC Second Team player has the chance to establish South Adams as a legit contender in the conference. She averaged 10.7 points per game last season and while she has been looked at a good shooter, she made a living getting to the rim and getting to the line. Pries got to the charity stripe 111 times, hitting 82 of those shots and making opposing posts really work hard.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MACY PRIES
“Macy is an outstanding defender who also can deliver at the offensive end of the court as well. Double digit scorer last year.” – South Adams coach Wayne Kreiger
No. 36: Alivia Rasler, Lakeland
As Lakeland continues to make strides, Rasler’s consistent development has been crucial. She will be a varsity starter for the fourth straight season and is coming off a campaign where she had five or more rebounds in 16 of the Lakers games, on her way to 5.5 per game. She wasn’t dominant offensively, averaging 8.3 points and 2.7 assists per game, but she was consistent and got better almost every game. Defensively, she shined while having four games with four or more steals including eight against East Noble and 7 against Fremont; Lakeland was 8-2 when Rasler had three or more steals in a game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ALIVIA RASLER
“Aa leader, three year starter, runs the floor well. [We] will expect her to score more and continue to be a great defensive player. She is a great team player. Will be expected to score more, continue to defend, handle the ball, and run the floor.” – Lakeland coach Dale Gearheart
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