2022 GIRLS HOOPS PREVIEW: No. 6 Norwell Knights

Norwell coach Eric Thornton. (File Photo)

Norwell was young but successful in 2021-22.

Now, the Knights will still be young but still really good. The roster features no seniors and will be led by its loaded junior class.

Juniors Kennedy Fuelling and Makenzie Fuess both return after averaging double figures and making the All-Northeast 8 Conference first team. Fuess was able to do so while coming off the bench.

Fuelling took a huge step from her freshman season to her sophomore year. She hopes to take her game to another level after being the Knights most consistent player and the team’s leading scorer at 15.3 points per game. She’s also the team’s best perimeter shooter after hitting 59 three-pointers. Fuelling will have the added responsibility of being the one who younger players look to for leadership.

Fuess is also a reliable threat from deep after knocking down 40 triples last year. Her role will change the most after coming off the bench in 2021-22. She’ll have to carry more of the load in all aspects of the game, not just scoring. But her infectious energy will carry her and be present until the final buzzer, as well as spread throughout the rest of the team.

Annabelle Johnson is another guard for the Knights who embraces the grind. She is the team’s leading returning rebounder. This is important for Norwell because Johnson can take the rebound and start the offense the other way. The sooner she can get the Knights in their offense the more dangerous this team can be.

Juniors Lilly Norris and Haley Green were key varsity role players last season and are ready to do more this time around.  Others expected to be in the rotation are juniors Dekota Hubble and Ali Riley, as well as sophomores Ryland Graft and Madison Sonnigsen. The quartet led the Knights’ JV team to a 20-1 record. 

Freshman Vanessa Rosswurm will see significant action for Norwell and is part of a strong incoming class who were eighth grade conference champs.

Success at lower levels doesn’t always translate to wins at the varsity level, but coach Eric Thornton’s ability to mix in the younger talent with the experience that’s already on the roster will determine how far this team will go. This team is talented. It just lacks experienced depth. 

WHY #6?

This roster returns the majority of its rotation that won 19 games last year. They have a top-15 player in the area in Kennedy Fuelling and another player, Mackenzie Fuess, who is in the Top 50. It also helps to have a coach in Eric Thornton who has won over 400 games and hasn’t had a losing season since 2005-06.


There will be a lot of players in new roles this season. The Knights adjusted well last season after losing a lot to graduation, but this team is still young. How does this team handle adversity? Are they ready to compete against the top teams in the area?


Nov. 15 at Homestead

This game returns to schedule after a few years off. It’s two of the top programs in the area, led by two of the top coaches in the state. 

It may be too early to tell where each team will go after this game, but the game will feature a lot of talent, which will make it very entertaining.


Annabelle Johnson, junior

Johnson is the point guard who sets the tone for the Knights. Her toughness and grit is a good starting spot on how this team will play this season. She loves to do the dirty work that it takes to be one of the better defenders in the conference.

If Johnson can also give Norwell another scoring threat, that will greatly increase their odds to challenge the likes of Columbia City for the Northeast 8 title.

1 Comment

  1. Great article – thanks for featuring the team! I am bias of course but, Dekota Hubble is an incredible strength normally gets into the double digits, has had highs of 10 rebounds and averages 2 blocks a game, her 6 foot plus height with her jumping ability is going to set her apart this year as a player to watch!

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