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. 30-26
No. 30: Sydney Gorman, Wayne
Don’t be surprised when someone named Gorman inserts themselves in the mix of being a game changer. Sydney did that last year as a sophomore, become one of the more intense players on the court for a rising Wayne team. Averaging 8.8 points per game, Gorman put up three different 20 point games because of her fantastic shot. In each of those 20 or more point games, she hit either 6 or 7 three pointers, all games shooting over 38 percent from deep. She is a long ball threat and moves well without the ball to set her shot up; in her eight games with three or more triples, she never shot worse than 33 percent from deep.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SYDNEY GORMAN
“As she goes our team goes. She can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor and I will bet it has a chance of going in.” – Wayne coach Lacia Gorman
No. 29: Mackensy Mabie, West Noble
Her breakout two years ago led Mabie to face a lot of different defenses last season as she helped lead West Noble. That focus from opponents on Mabie won’t change, so it will continue to be interesting to see how she works around it to continue to raise her level of play. She averaged 10.3 points and three rebounds per game, but her strength last season came on the defensive end with a team high three steals per contest. Mabie is a hawk on defense and posted at least one steal in every game but one and had as many as eight steals in a win over NorthWood.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MACKENZY MABIE
“Mack is the kind of player every coach wants on their team! She’s a great leader on and off the court, does everything you could ask of her and more, and is a talented ball player. She knows the focus will be on her this season more than ever, but she is ready to accept that challenge.” – West Noble coach Jeff Burns
No. 28: Molly Stock, Homestead
Stock has been a consistent presence for the Spartans her entire career. Used spark plug a lot, she has been able to take advantage of her minutes whether the lineup was loaded in front of her or she was one of the main faces of the program. Her consistent play means that the ball can be trusted in her hands quite a bit, even if she isn’t the main ball handler. If she does have the ball in her hand, the 4.5 assists per game she averaged last season showcased a continually enhanced court vision. Stock can shoot the ball very well, averaging 8.8 points a year ago, but where the Spartans should lean on her most is in creating turnovers that will lead to instant offense.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MOLLY STOCK
“Molly is a very good shooter and on ball defender. She will look to be more active in our offense this year with the graduation of Ayanna Patterson and will draw many tough defensive assignments.” – Homestead coach Rod Parker
No. 27: Lexi Castator, Northrop
Castator is another one of those utility type of players that can do a little bit of everything well. Last season at Carroll, she was utilized some for her underrated length and she has continued to show she can be good in that area while excelling more on the wing as a combo guard. She averaged 9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals as she now brings her game to Northrop as a well rounded matchup nightmare. That nightmare gets deeper because Castator can guard almost anyone on the floor, meaning don’t expect to body her just because she is a guard. Last season she shot 42 percent from deep and 47 percent inside the arc.
COACH’S QUOTE ON LEXI CASTATOR
“A natural headache for most to try to guard. she will run the point guard for us, but will also get looks at the shooting guard spot. She has sped up her game and playing defense is where you will her growth this season.” – Northrop coach Katie Jackson
No. 26: Molly Baker, Columbia City
One of the more head turning breakout players last season, Baker really knows how to patrol all areas of the court. She averaged 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, working inside-out and helping the Eagles stretch the floor quite a bit when she was getting touches and even when she wasn’t on her way to All-NE8 second team honors. She positions herself well within all areas of the paint and is one of the best rebounders in the conference. That doesn’t take away from her scoring at all as she doesn’t shy away from being able to knock down shots almost anywhere on the court, especially in that painted area.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MOLLY BAKER
“Inside threat for us and can move outside to shoot the 15 foot shot, runs the floor unbelievably well for a forward, has hit the weight room hard to get stronger, looks to be an inside and outside threat for us and key rebounder.” – Columbia City coach Amy Shearer
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