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. 25-21.
No. 25: Annika Davis, Bishop Luers
Davis will. quickly be jockeying for position higher on this list after a season spent not on the varsity level after a transfer to Bishop Luers. She has showcased this past summer how high her level of play can be, but for our purposes it is wait and see with her high school team in the season. What we know of Davis when we last saw her on the varsity level as a freshman at South Side is that she is a swiss army knife offensively. She has all of the tools and is capable of making a lot of things happen. She was far above average when we last saw her on the varsity level and every indication is that she can make a lot of things happen as a lead guard at Luers.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ANNIKA DAVIS
“Annika is one of the top SG/PG in the state. She will bring scoring to our offense with her smooth stroke from three point land, pull up jumper, ability to get to the basket and finish and is one of the best FT shooters around. She will also bring defensive pressure back to Luers that we have been missing for the past couple of years. Annika will be a floor general for this year’s Luers Basketball team.” – Bishop Luers coach Mark Pixley
No. 24: Leah May, Leo
Leo has been a program looking to rise up the ranks of a tough NE8 and May is getting them there more and more thanks to her grit and intensity. She led the Lions at 12 points per game a season while also averaging 4.5 rebounds and career highs with 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals per contest. When the pressure is on, May is incredibly efficient, posting some of her best shooting percentages last season in some of her biggest scoring games, including 63% in a 27 point effort opposite Churubusco and 67% when she scored 18 against Concordia.
COACH’S QUOTE ON LEAH MAY
“Leah May is a versatile player who can shoot from the outside and get to the rim. She has done a great job of leading this team since summer and has worked on her defensive intensity. Leah will make everyone around her better this season.” – Leo coach Carrie Shappell
No. 23: Bailey Willard, Fairfield
Willard’s tenacity was a big push for Fairfield to have a championship season a year ago. Now as a senior, the expectations rise for her as once of the better ‘three and D’ guards in all of Northeast Indiana. She shot 37 percent from deep a year ago and averaged 4.2 rebounds while being a tough out on the defensive glass, helping often in limiting opposing offenses to one shot per possession. Willard stepped up big time in the face of injuries last year, finishing the year with 9.6 points per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON BAILEY WILLARD
“Bailey is a dynamic three point shooter. Each year she has increased her three point percentage and has helped stretch the opponents defense tremendously. Bailey is a very physical player and rebounds really well for someone her size (5’4). We are expecting big things from Bailey her senior year.” – Fairfield coach Brodie Garber
No. 22: Peyton Hartsough, Lakeland
As Hartsough goes, so does Lakeland and the Lakers have gone good ways under her leadership once she became an upperclassman. Now as a senior, Hartsough can push and move this offense into a position where they can really contend for a conference title and perhaps beyond. She is a score first option at point guard, averaging 14.1 points last season, but she also averaged 2.5 assists per game and opens the floor up because of her ability to get to the rim, pass out and even spot up. She also averaged 4.7 rebounds per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON PEYTON HARTSOUGH
“[She] will run our offense and is another one of our consistent three point shooters, great defender and plans on playing at Huntington University. Will be expected to score a lot, defend, handle the ball, and run the offense.” – Lakeland coach Dale Gearheart
No. 21: Sydney Keane, Bellmont
When you talk about girls that can absolutely go, you have to look at Keane, who coach Andy Heim calls a “coaches dream” on the court. She can pass well and score better as a true combo guard that Bellmont can slot in to a variety of roles depending on the need game to game. She averaged 11.2 points per game (along with 3.5 rebounds) and 2.8 assists when she had to play. some point guard through the thick of the season. What needs to be paid most attention to is her defense and how she can really fight and pressure in the ways that Bellmont really has excelled in over the years once they became a NE8 power. Keane averaged 3.1 steals per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SYDNEY KEANE
“I know I am biased, but Sydney is awesome. To start, Sydney does everything on the basketball floor at a high level: defend, rebound, push the pace, shoot, slashing to the rim, etc. Last year really showed why Sydney is so great. Last year, Kenzie Fuelling ran point for 17 games then went down with an ACL tear. Sydney stepped in to run point for us in a very difficult spot and thrived. Her determination and leadership really brought the team together, and she was a real catalyst during our sectional championship run.” – Bellmont coach Andy Heim
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