For the fifth season in a row, Bounce and Outside the Huddle are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2023-2024 season.
Today, we get things started on the girls hoops side with positions No. 50-46.
No. 50 – Khalise Collins, Wayne
Collins has consistently been an underrated piece on a Wayne program who’s rebuild has been impressive. Collins has been a steady hand that will move into a more pivotal role now for a Generals team looking to maintain consistency after reaching 15 wins last season. Collins averaged 8.6 points and five rebounds per game last season.
No. 49 – Lexi Stillman, Angola
Stillman missed last season with a torn ACL but will return to the Angola lineup with a chance be a difference maker in the NECC. She played in just one game as a sophomore but averaged a team third best 6.5 points per game in 2021-22 as a freshman, while adding almost four rebounds and almost three steals per contest and is a very versatile guard.
COACH’S QUOTE ON STILLMAN:
“Lexi has great potential.She works very hard and loves the game. She is long and quick and sees the floor well. She is a great defender and a great teammate.She will be a vital part of our success.” – Angola coach Dave Panning
No. 48 – Athena Schwartz, Adams Central
Schwartz was a real problem in the ACAC last season and has the Flying Jets as a contender to watch in the conference this season. Last year, she broke the school’s single game steals record with 13 steals and averaged 3.7 steals per game overall while also adding 7.6 points and 2.9 assists per game
COACH’S QUOTE ON SCHWARTZ:
“Athena is a quick, aggressive competitor. She has endless energy and causes opposing guards a lot of frustration. She has the ability to create for others while scoring herself. We look for her to set the defensive tone again this year.” – Adams Central coach Kyle Roe
No. 47 – Alivia Bolinger, Concordia
As a 6-foot-1 guard, Bolinger has been able to display a multitude of attributes in her young high school career. Last season as a freshman, Bolinger led Concordia in scoring at 12.2 points per game. She was a consistent scorer but really put herself on the map with a 24 point (10 of 13 shooting) and nine rebound outing opposite Columbia City. She also hit 39 percent of her three pointers last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON BOLINGER
“Alivia is a versatile player who creates a presence wherever we need her, whether that be inside or outside. She was able to surprise teams last season but will need to use more tools this year to help create opportunities for herself and her teammates. With the loss of Annaka [Nelson], many teams will key in on Alivia, but her ability to distribute the ball and play unselfishly will keep us well-rounded and present multiple threats offensively. We need her to step up in a bigger way defensively this season – show more tenacity and better communication.” – Concordia coach Nicole Bolinger
No. 46 – Kaylee Dillon, Fairfield
Dillon has seen the grind of things for Fairfield over the past two seasons and was an important cog for last year’s state champion team. She was a defender that made big plays throughout the season but was even more clutch with those moves in the postseason including two timely steals in the state title game and she also had a 5 steal regular season game opposite Central Noble. Her shooting improves all fo the time too as she will be relied on heavily on both ends for the Falcons.
COACH’S QUOTE ON DILLON:
“Kaylee Dillion is our most experienced player back this year. She is a cool, calm, collective type of player. Her role for us this year will be the same but adding more scoring to her resume. Along with being a great player, she’s a great kid as well. Always on time, respectful, funny. I am super happy Kaylee was only a sophomore two years ago. Her experience and leadership will be a huge help to us this year.” – Fairfield coach Kyle Hartman