(2-7-23) As girls’ Sectional play dominated hoops talk throughout the state last week, a short, buzzer-beating shot stole the show, as the Bloomfield Cardinals won a double overtime thriller against North Daviess in boys’ action, 49-47. In total, Week-14 of the IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week Awards Program saw seven more Hoosier prep players earn honors, including three ladies who led their teams to Sectional titles, each for the first time in 10 or more years for their schools.
Combs, Sims, Moles and Henry
Chesterton Junior Justin Sims, Greenfield-Central Senior Dylan Moles, Bloomfield Senior Peter Combs, South Ripley Sophomore Cole Henry, Valparaiso Freshman Lillian Barnes, Twin Lakes Sophomore Addison Bowsman, and Corydon Central Senior Ava Weber have been selected as winners for Jan. 30-Feb. 4 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Sims and Barnes are the boys’ and girls’ winners, respectively, in District-1. Moles is the boys’ recipient, and Bowsman is the girls’ recipient, for District-2. Combs and Henry share boys’ honors, while Weber is the lone girls’ honoree in District-3.
Barnes, bowsman, and Weber
Following a State Finals appearance a year ago, the Chesterton Trojans are out to a 14-4 record, including a winning streak they extended to nine games last week. Junior Justin Sims has had a major impact on their play, and the 6-6 forward was strong in two performances a week ago. First, in a 59-57 Duneland Athletic Conference win at Michigan City, Sims posted a 24-point, 12-rebound performance, achieving his first double-double of the week. He was a strong 12-14 from the free throw stripe, plus five of his rebounds came at the offensive end, and he blocked three shots. Later in the week, the Trojans went into Warsaw and pulled out a hard-fought, 71-56 win. This time, the Junior forward was a highly efficient 11-14 from the field and 7-9 from the line, scoring 29 points, a career high. He posted another double-double with 10 rebounds, and he erased two more shots with blocks.
Freshman Lillian Barnes has been a highlight show all season for the Valparaiso Lady Vikings, and she came to play last week, helping the green and white to their first Sectional title since 2005. It was their 21st crown, but it didn’t come without some tough wins. The 23-2 Vikings began their week with a close 40-34 triumph against Crown Point. In that game, Barnes scored 16 points, she was 2-2 from deep and 2-2 from the free throw line, plus she posted a double-double with 10 rebounds. She added two assists and three steals in the victory. In the Sectional Semifinal, the 5-11 wing scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, posting yet another double-double, as Valparaiso knocked off Chesterton, 60-46. The Viking rookie also passed out six assists, picked up seven steals, and blocked a pair of shots in the effort. In the finale, Valparaiso took care of Portage by a 47-33 margin, though it was much closer than that for about three quarters. Barnes was again stellar, knocking down 8-13 shots from the floor, she was a perfect 8-8 from the line, as she scored 24 points in total. She posted her third double-double of the week with her 12 rebounds, plus she stole the ball three more times.
The 17-1 Greenfield-Central Cougars are off to a great start, and last week they extended their winning streak to 14 games with a pair of victories. Senior Dylan Moles helped in a big way with two strong outings himself. In a 56-43 Hoosier Heritage Conference win over the Delta Eagles, Moles scored 24 points on 11-17 shooting, including 2-4 from deep. He also grabbed three rebounds and handed out seven assists in the game. Two days later, the 6-2 guard helped the Cougars to a 55-39 win against Greenwood. In this contest, Moles scored 20 points, he was a perfect 5-5 from the charity stripe, plus he added five rebounds, five assists, and three thefts to his stat line.
From the day she stepped foot on campus, Sophomore Addison Bowsman has had the ball in her hands and helped Twin Lakes to 45 wins so far, including a perfect 26-0 record to this point in 2022-2023. Last week, the Lady Indians won their 17th Sectional title, but just their first since 2007. They began their week with a comfortable win over North Montgomery, in which Bowsman scored 21 points, grabbed three caroms, and dished out 10 assists to post a double-double. She was 6-8 from the floor, 3-4 from long range, and she collected five steals as well. In the Sectional Semifinal, a nail-biting 68-61 double overtime win against West Lafayette, the 5-6 point guard was productive again, scoring 25 points, pulling down seven rebounds, assisting on seven more baskets, and picking up three steals. Then in the Sectional Championship, the Sophomore guard went for another 20 points, collected four rebounds, and handed out seven additional assists. She set the single-season Lady Indian record for assists with 186.
Bloomfield Senior Peter Combs and South Ripley Sophomore Cole Henry shared District-3 boys’ honors this week for their equally strong play in huge overtime wins for their teams. Combs helped the Cardinals to a Southwestern Indiana Conference win over North Daviess by knocking down a buzzer-beating jumper from about 10-feet to seal the 49-47 double overtime win. The 6-8 Senior finished with 28 points, eight rebounds, and a pair of blocked shots, plus he was an efficient 10-15 from the field. Cole Henry was instrumental in South Ripley’s 80-72 overtime win against Ohio River Valley Conference opponent, Southwestern (Hanover). In this triumph, the 6-6 forward scored 33 points on 9-16 shooting, he was 3-6 from 3-point range, and he knocked down 12-14 charity tosses. The Sophomore posted a double-double with his 11 rebounds, and he protected the paint with his eight blocked shots.
Senior Ava Weber has helped Corydon Central to a 24-2 record this season, and the Panthers are still rolling, having won their first Sectional title since 2013, their 18th overall. In an impressive 58-39 win against a good Charlestown team, Weber scored 30 points on 10-16 shooting, she was a near-perfect 10-11 from the free throw line, plus she contributed nine rebounds and three steals to the effort. In the Sectional Semifinal, a 53-39 win against North Harrison, the 5-11 forward scored a modest 21 points on 8-12 shooting, plus she chipped in a pair of assists and five steals. But Weber saved her best for the Championship game, as she scored 34 points in the 63-54 success against a strong Scottsburg squad. The Senior forward snagged nine rebounds, five of which were offensive, and she added a pair of assists and five steals.
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.
Dec. 19-Dec. 31: District-1 boys: Austin Cripe, West Noble. District-1 girls: Jessa Troy, Penn. District-2 boys: Azavier Robinson, Lawrence North. District-2 girls: Meredith Tippner, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Luke Ellspermann, Evansville Memorial. District-3 girls: Emily Parker, Boonville.
Jan. 2-Jan. 7: District-1 boys: A.J. Lux, Crown Point. District-1 girls: Madison Vice, Central Noble. District-2 boys: Kanon Catchings, Brownsburg. District-2 girls: Laila Hull, Zionsville Community. District-3 boys: Cole Pride, Batesville. District-3 girls: Chloey Graham, Gibson Southern.
Jan. 9-Jan. 14: District-1 boys: Bauer Maple, Maconaquah. District-1 girls: Ashlynn Brooke, Pioneer. District-2 boys: Devon Woods, Pike. District-2 girls: Reagan Wilson, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Marcus Ankney, Center Grove, and Quade Morton, Pike Central. District-3 girls: Saige Stahl, Columbus East.
Jan. 16-Jan. 21: District-1 boys: Isaiah Malone, Prairie Heights. District-1 girls: Miranda Stoll, Maconaquah. District-2 boys: Sam Orme, Carmel. District-2 girls: Bailey Parham, Tri. District-3 boys: Weston Aigner, Castle. District-3 girls: Ava Wilson, Shelbyville.
Jan. 23-Jan. 28: District-1 boys: Nolan Cumberland, Tippecanoe Valley. District-1 girls: Addison Baxter, Columbia City. District-2 boys: A.J. Dunn, Yorktown. District-2 girls: Adrianne Tolen, West Lafayette. District-3 boys: Jack Benter, Brownstown Central. District-3 girls: Reagan Martin, Owen Valley.
Jan. 30-Feb. 4: District-1 boys: Justin Sims, Chesterton. District-1 girls: Lillian Barnes, Valparaiso. District-2 boys: Dylan Moles, Greenfield-Central. District-2 girls: Addison Bowsman, Twin Lakes. District-3 boys: Peter Combs, Bloomfield, and Cole Henry, South Ripley. District-3 girls: Ava Weber, Corydon Central.
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