(2-28-23) Saturday marked the conclusion of the 2022-2023 IHSAA girls’ basketball season, as four State Champions were crowned in Bedford North Lawrence, Fairfield, Forest Park, and Lanesville. In addition, three young men had standout performances last week worthy of highlighting. This week, we will uniquely honor one player from each of the girls’ State Championship teams instead of the traditional player from each district. All-in-all, we would like to call attention to seven Hoosier high-schoolers this week as IBCA/Franciscan Health Players of the Week in each of their respective classes and districts.
Bedford North Lawrence Junior Chloe Spreen, Fairfield Senior Morgan Gawthrop, Forest Park Senior Amber Tretter, Lanesville Senior Linzie Wernert, East Chicago Central Sophomore Dominique Murphy, Greenfield-Central Senior Dylan Moles, and South Knox Senior Dakota Candler are being honored as recipients for Feb. 20-Feb. 25 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Spreen (Class 4A), Gawthrop (Class 3A), Tretter (Class 2A), and Wernert (Class 1A) each helped lead their teams to girls’ titles on Saturday. Murphy is the boys’ winner for District-1, Moles is the boys’ winner for District-2, and Candler is the boys’ winner for District-3.
Murphy, Moles and Candler
Saturday, Senior Chloe Spreen helped the Bedford North Lawrence Lady Stars to their fifth State Championship, in a 46-42 win over an outstanding Fishers squad. The 5-9 guard was instrumental in the win, scoring 14 of her 20 points after halftime, including eight points in the fourth quarter. Overall, she was
9-14 from the field and 2-3 from the charity stripe, plus she managed to contribute five rebounds to the effort. It was the Stars’ first trip to Indianapolis since their title repeat in 2013 and 2014.
Fairfield Senior Morgan Gawthrop helped deliver the first girls’ basketball title to the Falcon faithful Saturday, as she posted a double-double in their hard-fought, 49-42 win against a strong Corydon Central outfit. The game was tight throughout, but Fairfield used a 7-2 third quarter to separate, and Gawthrop grabbed five of her team-high 12 rebounds in that stanza. Overall, the 5-8 wing was 4-11 from the floor, 2-5 from deep, and 3-4 from the free throw line. She scored 13 points in total, grabbed 12 caroms, and stole the ball twice.
The Forest Park Lady Rangers repeated as Class 2A State Champions on Saturday, as they knocked off the Lapel Lady Bulldogs in a tight, 38-37 triumph. Senior Amber Tretter has been key to their success the last four years, and she came up big against Lapel again on Saturday. The 6-1 forward posted a double-double with her 13 points and 12 rebounds, but nine of those rebounds allowed them more shot opportunities, as they came at the offensive end of the floor. The Miami University (OH) commit added three assists, three steals, and three blocked shots in her return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Senior Linzie Wernert has been a vital part of Lanesville’s success these last four seasons, and she topped it off by helping the Lady Eagles to their first-ever State Championship. Lanesville defeated Bethany Christian, 60-41, and the 5-8 forward contributed in a number of different ways. She was a solid 6-10 from the floor, she scored 13 points, and she nearly posted a double-double with her nine rebounds. Additionally, she handed out four assists and collected a pair of steals. Wernert was then named the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award winner for Class 1A girls’ basketball.
East Chicago Central fans have to be excited for the future, as Sophomore Dominique Murphy has been outstanding in his second season. The 6-5 wing helped the Cardinals to a pair of wins last week over Andrean (76-58) and Griffith (84-57), but they are also 12-9 after starting the season 2-8. Murphy was incredibly efficient in the game against Andrean, making 13-19 shots, knocking down 2-4 from deep, and going 6-7 from the line, scoring 34 points. He also managed six rebounds and a pair of steals in the win. The Cardinals are now guaranteed their first winning record since the 2018-2019 season.
Greenfield-Central Senior Dylan Moles has been steady throughout his career, and last Wednesday at Plainfield, he helped the Cougars finish the regular season 21-1 with a 69-53 win over the Quakers. The 6-3 guard was on target, knocking down 9-13 shots from the field. He was also perfect from beyond the arc (2-2) and from the charity stripe (9-9). In total, the Marian University commit scored 29 points, collected four rebounds, dished out five assists, and stole the ball three times.
Senior Dakota Candler put together a pair of nice performances last week, as he helped the South Knox Spartans to a pair of victories. In a Tuesday matchup at Pike Central, the 6-5 forward made the game-winning 3-point play with just five seconds remaining, as the Spartans knocked off the Chargers, 60-58. Candler finished 12-17 shooting, plus he was 4-5 from the line, scoring 28 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds and handed out three assists. Then on Thursday, South Knox took care of Wood Memorial, 69-39, to finish second at 7-1 in the Blue Chip Conference. The Senior forward was again strong, knocking down 11-14 shots while making a pair of free throws, scoring 24 points in this contest. He added six rebounds and three steals in the regular season finale.
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. This is the last week for girls’ winners to be chosen, following this past Saturday’s 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.
Feb. 6-Feb. 11: District-1 boys: Jamie Hodges Jr., Michigan City. District-1 girls: Madison Vice, Central Noble. District-2 boys: Dezmon Briscoe, Crispus Attucks. District-2 girls: Camryn Runner, Hamilton Heights. District-3 boys: Blake Neill, Bloomfield. District-3 girls: Lauren Foster, Indian Creek.
Feb. 13-Feb. 18: District-1 boys: Markus Burton, Penn, and Brandon Trilli, Munster. District-1 girls: Mariah Stoltzfus, Bethany Christian. District-2 boys: Flory Bidunga, Kokomo. District-2 girls: Laniah Wills, Lapel. District-3 boys: Cole Thomas, South Central (Elizabeth). District-3 girls: Amber Tretter, Forest Park.
Feb. 20-Feb. 25: Class 4A Champion girls: Chloe Spreen, Bedford North Lawrence. Class 3A Champion girls: Morgan Gawthrop, Fairfield. Class 2A Champion girls: Amber Tretter, Forest Park. Class 1A Champion girls: Linzie Wernert, Lanesville. District-1 boys: Dominique Murphy, East Chicago Central. District-2 boys: Dylan Moles, Greenfield-Central. District-3 boys: Dakota Candler, South Knox. District-3 girls: Chloe Spreen, Bedford North Lawrence.