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. 15-11.
No. 15: Kennedy Fuelling, Norwell
Fuelling has found her role increase yearly and last season she really took on a major role to be a top player in the Northeast 8 Conference. It led her as far as to be named IBCA Underclass All-State Honorable Mention. When coach Eric Thornton says that she had one of the best sophomore seasons in program history, that isn’t an understatement but it also is a tremendous endorsement. Fuelling knocked down 59 three pointers last season at a 40 percent success rate on her way to 15.3 points per game and its long been known what a long range threat she was even straight out of middle school. Fuelling added 1.6 steals per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KENNEDY FUELLING
“Last season, Kennedy played at a level beyond what you would typically expect from a sophomore. Kennedy went from coming off the bench without pressure during her freshman season to becoming our most consistent and reliable player a year later. Kennedy is highly skilled and has such good instincts that allow her to be multidimensional on both ends of the floor. She’s earned the respect of her teammates and coaches as a great teammate and leader because of the “work” she puts in and the character that she has. Kennedy is a huge piece to the strong chemistry that our team has and really values the right things that lead to winning championships. She’s humble but hungry and has set the bar pretty high for expectations for this team.” – Norwell coach Eric Thornton
No. 14: Kyndra Sheets, Columbia City
Few players have jumped onto the radar and excelled as quickly as Sheets has, becoming one of the top scoring threats in the area because of her abilities around the scoring. She creates for herself offensively with and without the ball and is perfectly capable and willing to battle for defensive rebounds and then get out and go to turn up the transition offense for the Eagles because she has razor sharp focus across all areas of the court. When leading the Eagles to a tremendous start last year, Sheets was a must have on the floor type of player. She ended the season averaging 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KYNDRA SHEETS
“Point guard who sees the floor exceptionally well, great passer, can score off the dribble and off the pass, hard working, plays great on the ball defense, excellent rebounder at the guard spot.” – Columbia City coach Amy Shearer
No. 13: Avah Smith, Woodlan
Smith has become like a wrecking ball for the Warriors over the past two seasons, a key cog in keeping the Warriors in the conversation nightly. Smith was one of few area players to average a double double last season with 13.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while also averaging two steals per contest. The Warriors were at their best when Smith was in the game because she really did control the rebounding game almost every night. She had 11 games of double digit rebounding with Woodlan going 9-2 in those contests, although her top game of 17 came in a loss. She put up a 23 point/16 rebound/5 block effort against Blackhawk Christian and logged nine total double doubles and four or more steals six times.
COACH’S QUOTE ON AVAH SMITH
“Avah is our go to person. She is a great rebounder and excellent defender insider. Most of time she is guarding players bigger than her. Offensively Avah is very quick for her size and finishes well at the basket. In the off season she has worked hard on her ball handling and perimeter shooting. Looking for Avah to have a big as Woodlan looks to compete for conference and sectional honors.” – Woodlan coach Gary Cobb
No. 12: Alison Stephens, Homestead
Stephens had zero issue carrying a heavier load last season, which means good things for the season ahead because her lift will be tremendous after the graduation of OTH Player of the Year and McDonalds All-American Ayanna Patterson. Stephens is now the go to scoring threat for the Spartans, which seems great because she is far more than the long range threat she kind of started her career as. Stephens isn’t really one to backdown aggressively and her physicality will help spread out her own game quite a bit as she fills in a primary leadership role. She averaged 13 points and five rebounds per game last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ALISON STEPHENS
“Ali is a dynamic scorer who can score from all three levels on the floor. We will look to her for leadership, game experience, and consistency on the floor this season.” – Homestead coach Rod Parker
No. 11: Nevaeh Jackson, Northrop
Jackson had zero issue finding her niche and strengths with a new team and new coach last season, becoming the player you could just expect to do a lot of intangible things for the Bruins. She became a better offensive player, scoring 20 or more three times while averring 13.4 points per game and being in double digits most nights. But that wasn’t her biggest strength. Jackson became much feistier as the season progressed. She never had a game with less than two steals; totally five steals on six occasions with a seven steal game as well. She averaged 3.6 steals and 2.8 blocks per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON NEVAEH JACKSON
“Lockdown defender; led our team in steals and blocks last year. She is absolutely tenacious on the defensive side of the ball and it turns into points in transition. Second leading scorer last year and led us in assists. She can do it all.”
These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH
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