(12-20-22) The Holiday Season is upon us, and as schools head into their Winter breaks, the basketball season continues on. Six Hoosier hoopers were selected as Week-7 recipients for the IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week award. The gentlemen posted four double-doubles and a triple-double, with one of them eclipsing the 1000-point mark. Each of the ladies topped 40 points in a game last week, while also breaking school records in those contests.
Capouch, Harness and Trabel
Valparaiso Senior Mason Jones, Kokomo Junior Flory Bidunga, Linton-Stockton Senior Joey Hart, Kouts Senior Ally Capouch, Carroll (Flora) Junior Alli Harness, and East Central Senior Josie Trabel have been selected as winner for Dec. 12-Dec. 17 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Jones is the boys’ winner, while Capouch is the girls’ winner, in District-1. Bidunga and Harness receive boys’ and girls’ honors, respectively, in District-2. Hart is the boys’ honoree and Trabel is the girls’ honoree in District-3.
Hart, Bidunga and Jones
The Vikings of Valparaiso put together a 2-1 record last week, while Senior Mason Jones was strong each time out. Tuesday, they hosted one of the top Class 2A teams in the state in Gary 21st Century, but the Cougars came out on top, 71-59. In defeat, Jones was productive, knocking down 11 shots, including a 3-pointer, on his way to 23 points in the outing. The 6-7 forward also grabbed 10 rebounds in the game to post his first double-double of the week, plus he handed out six assists.
Over the weekend, Valparaiso bounced back with a pair of nice road wins. Friday night they were at East Chicago Central, winning by a 66-51 margin. Jones was 12-20 from the field, 2-4 from deep, and scored 29 points in the win. The Ball State University commit added 11 rebounds and a pair of steals in victory. The next day, at Elkhart, the Vikings won a convincing 64-32 effort. The Senior forward posted his third double-double of the week and fifth in six games, as he scored 25 points on 12-19 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds, plus he added a pair of assists and five steals.
The Kouts Fillies began their season 0-3, but they’ve responded by winning 10 of their last 11 matchups, showing their mettle as one of the top Class 1A teams again this season. Senior wing Ally Capouch continues to pour in the points, and last Tuesday against Lowell, she was torching the nets. The 5-11 Senior buried 16-21 shots from the floor, including a school record 10-14 from 3-point range, for a career high of 42 points in the 65-35 win. She added six rebounds and a pair of assists in the outing.
Saturday, Kouts returned to the floor at Hebron in a Porter County Conference matchup, and the Fillies again won comfortably, 65-28. In this game, Capouch was again solid in limited minutes, scoring 17 points, grabbing three rebounds, while also handing out seven assists and collecting seven steals in the success. Capouch is committed to play at Trine University next season. The win moved Kouts to 4-1 in the conference.
Kokomo Junior Flory Bidunga has created quite the buzz this season, and he put together a pair of nice games last week, as #6 Kokomo moved to 5-2 on the year. Friday night, the Wildkats handed Marion its first loss of the season in a North Central Conference matchup, winning 90-72. Bidunga posted the impressive triple-double, scoring 25 points, pulling down 15 caroms, and protecting the rim with his 11 blocked shots. He also made 10-12 shots from the field in the big win.
Saturday, the Wildkats faced #8 Carmel. In a defensive-minded battle with the Greyhounds, Kokomo pulled out the narrow 41-39 win. With Carmel’s defense suffocating the 6-10 Bidunga, he still managed 10 points on 5-6 shooting, but he contributed greatly in other ways, snagging 14 rebounds, collecting four steals, and blocking another six shots. In the two impressive wins, the Junior front-liner averaged 17.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 8.5 blocked shots per outing.
The Carroll (Flora) Lady Cougars are one of the top Class 2A teams in the state this year, and they boast a 12-1 record to this point. Last week, Junior Alli Harness helped them to a pair of wins in a big way. Monday night, they hosted Maconaquah, winning easy over the Lady Braves. In this game, Harness was 12-19 from the floor, 4-9 from outside, and she made a free throw, scoring 29 points in limited minutes. She added six rebounds, three assists, six steals, and three blocked shots in victory.
Friday evening, the Lady Cougars hosted Rossville in a Hoosier Heartland Conference game, defeating the Hornets, 63-33. Harness was again on fire, knocking down 14-20 shots, including 9-13 from 3-point range and five from the charity stripe, scoring a program record 42 points. The 5-8 Junior guard also chipped in seven rebounds, handed out three assists, and stole the ball three times in the win, helping Carroll (Flora) to a 5-0 conference record to date.
The Linton-Stockton Miners took care of business over the weekend, winning a pair of games. Senior Joey Hart came up big in both outings. Friday night, they took on Southwestern Indiana Conference rival Shakamak, comfortably taking care of the Lakers in Jasonville, Indiana. Hart made 11 field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers, as he scored 24 points in limited minutes. He added four rebounds, three assists, four steals, and a pair of blocked shots to his stat line.
Saturday, the Miners went toe to toe with the Warriors of Evansville Harrison. In a nail-biter, Linton-Stockton pulled out the 67-64, double overtime win. Hart, a 6-6 guard committed to the University of Central Florida, was outstanding in this matchup, scoring 36 points on 13-23 shooting, plus he was 7-13 from outside, and he made three free throws. The Senior guard added five rebounds, three assists, and four more steals in his team’s success, and he now ranks fourth on the Miners career scoring list.
With two huge performances last week, East Central Senior Josie Trabel eclipsed the 1600-point plateau. The Lady Trojans hosted the Indianapolis Homeschool Wildcats Tuesday night, and in an easy 68-35 win, Trabel scored a school record 40 points on 15-21 shooting. She also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and was a near-perfect 8-9 from the charity stripe. The 6-0 forward added eight rebounds, four assists, and six steals in her time on the floor.
Saturday, the Trojans travelled to Eastern Indiana Conference foe Batesville, moving to 10-4 on the year after accumulating another win, 60-38. Trabel was nearly as good in her second game of the week, this time scoring 37 points in victory. She was again solid from the field (14-22), buried a pair of treys, and repeated her stellar performance from the free throw line (7-8). Committed to Wofford College, the Senior forward chipped in another seven rebounds and a pair of assists.
This is the 15th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but just the third season it is being presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.
2022-23 Weekly Winners
Oct. 31-Nov. 5: District-1 girls: Nevaeh Foster, Mishawaka Marian. District-2 girls: Olivia Nickerson, Twin Lakes. District–3 girls: Kylee Edwards, Shelbyville.
Nov. 7-Nov. 12: District-1 girls: Asia Donald, Hobart. District-2 girls: Gloria Brewer, Greencastle. District–3 girls: Juliann Woodard, Jennings County.
Nov. 14-Nov. 19: District-1 girls: Ashlynn Brooke, Pioneer. District-2 girls: Renna Schwieterman, Jay County. District–3 girls: Lauren Foster, Indian Creek.
Nov. 21-Nov. 26: District-1 boys: Jamie Hodges, Michigan City. District-1 girls: Kennedy Fuelling, Norwell. District-2 boys: Elhadj Diallo, Brownsburg. District-2 girls: Laila Hull, Zionsville Community. District-3 boys: Cam Craig, Switzerland County. District–3 girls: Keylee Hudson, Eastern Greene.
Nov. 28-Dec. 3: District-1 boys: Markus Burton, Penn. District-1 girls: Ava Ziolkowski, Crown Point. District-2 boys: Divine Adeyanju, West Lafayette. District-2 girls: Adrianne Tolen, West Lafayette. District-3 boys: Jack Benter, Brownstown Central. District–3 girls: Saige Stahl, Columbus East.
Dec. 5-Dec.10: District-1 boys: Luke McBride, Norwell. District-1 girls: Amiyah Reynolds, South Bend Washington. District-2 boys: Landon Biegel, Oak Hill. District-2 girls: Cristen Carter, Ben Davis. District-3 boys: Trent Sisley, Heritage Hills. District-3 girls: Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran.
Dec. 12-Dec.17: District-1 boys: Mason Jones, Valparaiso. District-1 girls: Ally Capouch, Kouts. District-2 boys: Flory Bidunga, Kokomo. District-2 girls: Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora). District-3 boys: Joey Hart, Linton-Stockton. District-3 girls: Josie Trabel, East Central