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. 10-6.
No. 10: Brea Garber, Fairfield
With almost any player in the top part of the Top 50, the term multi-dimensional can be used. But that term may not apply to anyone more than it does Garber, who has done more than maintain her status, she simply gets better seemingly every game. She is a tempo starter and more importantly, a tempo changer. Garber makes the entire game got the way she wants it to go, showing a bit of a different kind of IQ in the game. She averaged three steals a game last year but it always seemed like more because of the way she hounded opponents as the Falcons lead guard. Oh, and the 77 percent free throw shooter is a bucket too, scoring 15.8 points per game to lead the Falcons to one of their best seasons ever last year.
COACH’S QUOTE ON BREA GARBER
“Brea’s all around game has elevated her team’s play each and every year. Her stats are just a part of what she does for our team. Our defensive scheme starts with her ability to play in multiple spots. She changes the flow of our opponents offense quite often with her wingspan and anticipation. One of her more undervalued assets is her basketball IQ. She has an uncanny ability to set her teammates for a shot with the right pass at the right time.” – Fairfield coach Brodie Garber
No. 9: Johnea Donahue, Snider
Nobody, literally nobody should want to be defended by Donahue, who is a lock down defender that thrives in traps but is arguably the best one-on-one on ball defender in Northeast Indiana. She averaged 1.8 steals per game last season, but that does zero justice to how much of a game changer that she is with that defense, having four steals on three different occasions. As the roster around her has been altered in each of her first two seasons, Donahue too has had to change the type of player she is. So we aren’t worried too much about statistical fluctuation because if you’ve seen Donahue play. you k now she can do. She is a major dribble drive threat and can score from every angle; she averaged 8 points per game last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JOHNEA DONAHUE
“Nae Nae is the heat and soul of the team. She does all the little things to make the team successful. She has also improved her ball handling and shooting over the summer. She is the ultimate team player!” – Snider coach Reggie Tharp
No. 8: Taylor Fordyce, Carroll
There aren’t as many stabilizing forces in the area on Fordyce’s level; she just does everything so well and basically everything right. Fordyce can get out and go but the by the book methods she takes on are actually far more fun to watch. That comes because her ability to play low and slow can lull you into a comfort zone where then she just blows by you or she can get up and down to the point opponents don’t know how to guard her when she pulls it back and slows down. Her IQ in on a high level and it has led Fordyce to became one the area’s best leaders by example. She led Carroll with 15.2 points per game while also pulling down 5.5 rebounds and averaging 2.3 steals and 2.2 assists per game last season while shooting 41 percent from three point range.
COACH’S QUOTE ON TAYLOR FORDYCE
“Taylor is one of those versatile players you can insert at any position and she will excel. Taylor is one of the most explosive players and balance on the offensive end. She can score on the drive, mid-range and three-point area. Taylor is an excellent defensive player on the ball and as well as off the ball with great anticipation in the passing lanes. Taylor moves very well without the ball and she has improved her outside shooting, particular her three-point shooting average (41%). She has the ability to beat her defender off the dribble. Taylor has a great basketball IQ that makes her a valuable asset to any team.” – Carroll coach Mark Redding
No. 7: Taylor Double, Huntington North
If nothing else, an early season game against Snider last year – complete with a Double game winner – showed what kind of impact she can have. She became an absolute monster offensively and became one of the most difficult matchups in the area because of her pure scoring prowess, knocking down as many three pointers (46) and she did free throws and more than her two point shots made (45) while averaging 14.4 points per game. Double does things by the book and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes along the way, racking up more steals (45) than she had total turnovers and fouls defensively.
COACH’S QUOTE ON TAYLOR DOUBLE
“Taylor is the most complete player I have ever coached. She shoots the ball at a high percentage, she sees the court really well, and leads us in rebounding each year. Her size allows her to see over opponents and she is starting to develop an inside game that allows her to be more versatile as an inside/outside threat. Last year I challenged her to be a 40/50/90 player. She responded with 45% 3pt, 64% 2pt, and 80% FT. Her game is still evolving and she will be looked at to carry the load for us this year. The best part about her game may be her court vision. Fortunately for us we have some other players that will be the beneficiary of some of Taylor’s passes. We are looking to put the ball in Taylor’s hands as much as possible this year.” – Huntington North coach Matt Hinds
No. 6: Saniya Jackson, Northrop
Jackson is incredibly fierce and a natural scorer for the Bruins. She averaged 15.4 points per game for Northrop and a resurgent season. She scored in single digits just three times while shooting 52 percent from the field and 77 percent from the foul line. Perhaps better than her scoring – and that is hard to say – Jackson seemed to have found how to use her own length better last year than we had seen her before. She pushed her rebounds to 10.5 per game as one of those rare season long double double performers and used that frame as well to attacking passing lanes and come up with three steals per game. She bounced back from an ACL injury quicker and better than any player we’ve seen in the area in a long time if not ever and she did it tenaciously.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SANIYA JACKSON
“Pure scorer, led the team in scoring and our top returning rebounder. She will be asked to do even more this year on both ends of the floor with her ability to guard positions 1-4. She is our motor, we will go as Saniya goes.” – Northrop coach Katie Jackson
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