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 continue on the girls hoops side with positions No. 10-6.
No. 10 – Swynn Jackson, Northrop
A breakout freshman a season ago, Jackson is following in the high end footsteps of her mother, brother and sisters as one of Fort Wayne’s top talents. Could she be the best of them when all is said and done? That has been discussed widely but for now she is blazing her own trail and averaged 6.7 points and a team high 3.8 assist per game last season to go along with 2.9 steals and 1.9 blocks per game showing how she is constantly involved in every facet of the game. Jackson is very talented in transition with or without the ball in her hands, spaces the floor well and always finds ways to create for others when she isn’t doing so for herself including four games of seven or more assists.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JACKSON:
“A true coach’s kid. She plays the game the right way. She is one of the most unselfish players I have ever coached, but also one of the most talented. She has an elite mindset and we expect this to be a breakout year for her. She led us in assists last year, but we hope to see her shoot some more this year!” – Northrop coach Katie Jackson
No. 9 – Addie Shank, Bishop Luers
Need a rebound and a bucket? Call on Shank, who averaged a near double double with 13.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last season. the 6-foot forward posted 12 double doubles last season in 24 games and went for 20 and 20 in the seasoning ending loss to Lafayette Central Catholic, which is what she enters this season to build off. Something that doesn’t get talked about enough is Shank’s ability to put the ball on the floor, drive and kick as her size and toughness opens up almost any floor she is on. She did averages 1.3 assists, 1.4 steals and one block per game last season.All of that said, Shank is just the area’s most dominant presence inside most nights and stopping her near or at the rim is practically impossible as she shot 51 percent from the field.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SHANK:
“Double Double Machine.” – Bishop Luers coach Mark Pixley
No. 8 – Myah Epps, Homestead
Epps is Homestead’s top returning scorer at 12.2 points per game and if you watched her before high school, you shouldn’t be surprised at her immediate success during her freshman season. She is a lights out shooter and has the ability to make defenses look silly with the way she can create her shot. Her moments down the stretch of last season, including in postseason play against Columbia City, showcased some ice-in-the-veins moments that complimented how Epps is a poised, confident and complete player. Epps also averaged 4.6 points, 3 assists and 1.7 steals per game last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON EPPS:
“Dynamic player who continues to improve each time she enters the gym. Myah has the ability to score at all three levels and to make her teammates better with court awareness. Defensively, Myah can lock down prolific perimeter scorers, defend the post, and rebounds well for her size. She is a special player and is quickly becoming one of the best players in the state.” – Homestead coach Rod Parker
No. 7 – Lexi Castator, Northrop
Castator was already in the front of many minds before really establishing herself as a three level offensive threat most nights last season. The Valpo commit is a big guard at 6-foot-2 and it helps her establish her game on those levels, though is a really talented distributor that may not get enough credit, averaging 3.1 assists per game last season. When she is not bringing the ball up though, Castator’s ability to constantly be moving on the court makes her so dangerous for defenses who are not honed in on her. She averaged 5.4 points and 4.3 rebounds last season on a loaded offense but don’t let numbers fool you as she has constantly shown the ability to step up on a high level when required including a 12 point, 6 rebound, 3 steal, 4 block performance opposite Carroll.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CASTATOR:
“She is a match-up nightmare. Her 6’2″ frame with ballhandling skills makes her almost impossible to guard. She can score at all three levels and her ability to pass makes her that much harder to defend! Her IQ is what is most scary about her game and we are going to rely on her to do all of the aforementioned for the BRUINS this year!” – Northrop coach Katie Jackson
No. 6 – Destini Craig, Northrop
Craig will return to the Bruins lineup after an ACL injury took her out of a heavy chunk of last season and it shouldn’t take long for the IUPUI commit to remind everyone just how dynamic she is on the court. Craig is someone who was IBCA All-State as a sophomore. Last season she was averaging 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game pre injury. Her time off the court probably made her a better leader too as she was always engaged from the sidelines during games. Craig is incredibly strong and skilled physically and mentally, which makes her another big matchup issue for Bruin opponents.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CRAIG:
“She is the best there is in the state going downhill and her comeback is going to be personal. She has nose for the ball on defense and a natural pursuit when rebounding. WE cannot explain how excited we are at BRUIN nation to have this one back on the court! She is a difference maker- her impact was felt at the first practice. She is ready to make some noise!’ – Northrop coach Katie Jackson