Outside the Huddle and Bounce are counting down who it feels are the top 50 individual boys 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: Trey Hiteshew, Leo
Hiteshew became one of the top players of the Class of 2024 last season as a role player and occasional breakout star during Leo’s run back to the semistate round. At times, his offense was a catalyst for a senior heavy Lion team as he constantly works and gets to the basket strong, a threat to score on that drive from seven feet and in with a variety of moves. When he wasn’t in a big role, he was constantly involved, pesky against opposing offenses and making life hard on some of the better guards in the the NE8 because of it. Hiteshew averaged seven points and 2.4 rebounds per game during the 2021-22 season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON TREY HITESHEW
“Trey is an excellent competitor. He is a good penetrator and defender. Trey is the player who comes up with all the 50-50 balls. He played really well in some big moments last year but will also need to step into a much larger role as a player and leader.” – Leo coach Cary Cogdell
No. 14: Chase Barnes, Wayne
The next in one of the great bloodlines of athletes in Fort Wayne, Barnes was one of the most varsity ready freshmen we have seen in some time in the SAC last season. Barnes just knows the game, its written all over his face, and he makes things happen because of it. Barnes spaces the floor extremely well and knows how to alter the offense with or without the ball. He averaged 11 points per game last season, scoring in double figures 12 times including 20 or more point games against Elkhart and Canterbury. Barnes is already one of the smoothest playing players in the SAC.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CHASE BARNES
“Chase was asked to do a lot as a freshman. He welcomed the pressure with open arms and grew because it. Chase has prepared to have an amazing sophomore season. we have seen progression in his strength, ability to finish in the paint and leadership.” – Wayne coach Byron Pickens
No. 13: Grant Leeper, Homestead
As Leeper has gotten better patrolling the post, the match with his athleticism has made him one of the most difficult matchups in the area. He is often too strong and quick for traditional posts and too big for quicker wings to handle. Leeper is efficient from 15 feet in as he works to the rim, making him a huge threat no matter how Homestead uses him on the interior. He may not be what we consider a big shot blocker, yet he alters many of them and does a good job staying pretty vertical when he contests. Leeper averaged 9.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON GRANT LEEPER
“Strong physical player. Brings us the size and inside presence needed to be successful.” – Homestead coach Chris Johnson
No. 12: Luke Saylor, Heritage
Saylor is absolutely one of the most underrated scorers in the area and shows that more attention should be paid to the ACAC. He can score at all three levels and is absolutely one of the best three point shooters in the area. That said, Saylor is more than the three ball. He moves the ball on offense, can get into the lane with hesitation moves from the perimeter and is great at drawing contact from overzealous defenders. When it comes to shooting the three, Saylor moves to and around the three point line with purpose, ready to attack. He averaged 18.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season. He shot 34 percent from the three point line, hitting five or more triples on four occasions.
COACH’S QUOTE ON LUKE SAYLOR
“Luke is a nearly 20 point per game scorer over the last 2 seasons. Last year he was coming off a broken/ dislocated wrist, and had to adjust how he shot the ball. He has been all conference all 3 of his high school years thus far, and will be a 3 year captain. We are excited to see what his senior year has in store for him.” – Heritage coach Adam Gray
No. 11: Cole Hayworth, Concordia Lutheran
Hayworth’s over the top athleticism pushed him to the forefront of a lot of peoples minds last season as a sophomore, when he averaged 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Hayworth can be incredible efficient, including going 9-for-11 during his career high 25 point game against Bellmont last season. He works hard around the basket, battling for rebounds and good at drawing second or third opportunities for his team on the offensive glass because of his toughness and desire to get any 50-50 ball. What is underrated in his game is his shooting prowess, hitting multiple three pointers seven times last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON COLE HAYWORTH
“Cole Hayworth is a great player. He has worked so hard on developing his game and his body over the past 2 seasons. He really opened some eyes last year with his athleticism, but he has really worked hard to become a more complete player. Cole does a lot of the hard nose, gritty things. Whether that is guarding the other team’s top scorer or matching up with an opponent that is bigger, Cole doesn’t back down to challenges. Cole continues to show his confidence with the basketball and is a threat inside and outside. Cole became our #2 punch last year and caught the area by surprise as a sophomore, which led to a lot of our success last season. He is so fun to coach because he is a great student-athlete, works his butt off every day, and competes on both ends of the floor.” – Concordia Lutheran coach Phil Brackmann
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