Posted On: 01/14/22 9:13 AM
The featured image is of Abigail Tomblin Abigail Tomblin 5'8" | CG South Central (Union Mills) | 2022 State IN (2022) of South Central High School (Union Mills).
We have crossed into the new year, and the IHSAA girls’ basketball season is winding down. With 2 1/2 weeks remaining before Sectional play begins, I wanted to take a late-season look at who the better teams are in each Class 2A Sectional field. A lot can be decided in terms of conference races over these final 17 regular season days, but once we get to the tournament, it’s a wide-open race. Still, though, here are our picks for who we anticipate having the most success once we hit February. Below I have highlighted Sectionals #33-#40.
Sectional #33 - Lake Station Edison
- Likely Favorite: Andrean
- Upset Candidate: Lake Station Edison
- Comments: Andrean graduated a great deal of production, but somehow, they’ve managed to continue their stellar play with a host of new starters/contributors. Junior guard Tori Allen Tori Allen 5'9" | CG Andrean | 2023 State IN (16.3p, 3.2r, 4.1a) is the mainstay who just continues to get better and better. She is a threat as a shooter/scorer, but she can also manage the offense and find teammates. Junior guard Abigail Tomblin Abigail Tomblin 5'8" | CG South Central (Union Mills) | 2022 State IN (2022) of South Central High School (Union Mills). We have crossed into the new year, and the IHSAA girls’ basketball season is winding down. With 2 1/2 weeks remaining before Sectional play begins, I wanted to take a late-season look at who the better teams are in each Class 2A Sectional field. A lot can be decided in terms of conference races over these final 17 regular season days, but once we get to the tournament, it’s a wide-open race. Still, though, here are our picks for who we anticipate having the most success once we hit February. Below I have highlighted Sectionals #33-#40. Sectional #33 - Lake Station Edison - Likely Favorite: Andrean - Upset Candidate: Lake Station Edison - Comments: Andrean graduated a great deal of production, but somehow, they’ve managed to continue their stellar play with a host of new starters/contributors. Junior guard Tori Allen Tori Allen 5'9" | CG Andrean | 2023 State IN (16.3p, 3.2r, 4.1a) is the mainstay who just continues to get better and better. She is a threat as a shooter/scorer, but she can also manage the offense and find teammates. Junior guard Lauren Colon Lauren Colon 5'6" | CG Andrean | 2023 State IN (9.5p, 3.6r, 2.6a) has put together a nice season as well, plus she can also slide over and initiate the offense. Freshman wing Lindsay Arcella Lindsay Arcella 5'9" | SG Andrean | 2025 IN (7.7p, 6.1r, 2.1a) has been a nice addition to the lineup, and the rookie has some exciting years ahead of her. And Senior wing Lauryn Swain Lauryn Swain 5'7" | SF Andrean | 2022 State IN (6.3p, 4.6r) returned with solid experience and gives them a nice, athletic presence on the perimeter. The Fighting Eagles of Lake Station have about as much talent and depth as anyone else in Sectional #33, and they don’t have a Senior in the starting lineup. Junior guard Nasiya Gause Nasiya Gause 5'7" | SG Lake Station Edison | 2023 State IN is a strong, aggressive scorer who can make shots at all levels. Sophomore wing Kayla Wilkerson Kayla Wilkerson 5'9" | SF Lake Station Edison | 2024 State IN has some height, nice length, and she’s a versatile athlete. Junior guard Darne Toney is another athlete, though smaller, but she can really defend, while Sophomore point guard Nevaeh Mosley has returned to the area and gives them a dynamic little point guard. Sectional #34 - Rensselaer Central - Likely Favorite: South Central (Union Mills) - Upset Candidate: Rensselaer Central - Comments: South Central (18-0) has just been mowing down opponents this year, with their closest win being a nine-point margin as the guests at Class 4A Valparaiso. The Satellites have been doing it with balance throughout their lineup, but a trio of Seniors and a pair of Juniors at the top of that list doesn’t hurt either. Senior guard Abigail Tomblin Abigail Tomblin 5'8" | CG South Central (Union Mills) | 2022 State IN (16.4p, 2.1r, 3.4a, 3.5s) is the unquestioned leader this time around. She is strong, tough-nosed, and versatile skillfully. Senior wing Delanie Gale (13.1p, 2.9r) also has big-game experience, and she can play a variety of roles for the Satellites. Junior forward Olivia Marks Olivia Marks 5'9" | SF South Central (Union Mills) | 2023 State IN (11.5p, 7.3r) is a nice athlete with inside-out skill, but she has done a nice job of patrolling the paint at times for them this year. Honestly, probably the only thing that South Central could do wrong right now is get in their own way. Rensselaer Central, on the other hand, has their own aspirations of winning the Sectional #34 crown. They’ve had a very nice year, and with a number of returning upperclassmen, they look to make their own mark. Senior wing Jessie Ringen Jessie Ringen 5'9" | SF Rensselaer Central | 2022 State IN is one of Northwest Indiana’s best talents. Fellow Seniors Morgan Van Meter, Abby Ahler, and Avree Cain have multiple years of experience as well. If they can match South Central’s balance, they could give them a run for their money in a couple of weeks. Sectional #35 - Fairfield - Likely Favorite: Fairfield - Upset Candidates: Bremen/Prairie Heights - Comments: Fairfield (14-3) rattled off 12 wins to begin their year, but they are just 2-3 over their last five games. They are still a favorite in Sectional #35, and they have already knocked off Prairie Heights earlier this season, 38-30. The Lady Falcons lean heavily on 6-0 inside-out Junior forward Brea Garber Brea Garber 6'0" | PF Fairfield | 2023 State IN , but they have nice balance throughout much of the rest of their roster. Juniors Bailey Willard and Morgan Gawthrop have multiple years of Varsity experience, as does Senior point guard Brooke Sanchez. Bremen looks to Senior wing Ellia Foster Ellia Foster 5'8" | SF Bremen | 2022 State IN (17.9p, 5.3r, 3.4a) for energy and leadership, but Junior front-liner Katie Moyer (12.1p, 7.7r, 2.6s) has had a nice season thus far as well. Freshman guard Kila Foster (6.8p) continues to improve and could be a wildcard for the Lady Lions come Sectional time. Prairie Heights returns a ton of experience, with four Seniors and three Juniors playing a majority of the minutes for the Panthers. Senior Kennedy Kugler (11.8p, 8.4r, 2.1a) and Junior Trevyn Terry (10.1p, 5.5r) both stand around 6-feet, and they control the interior most nights, while Senior Alayna Boots Alayna Boots 5'7" | PG Prairie Heights | 2022 State IN (8.5p, 2.7r, 2.1a) handles the ball for Prairie Heights. Sectional #36 - Bluffton - Likely Favorite: Eastside - Upset Candidates: Central Noble/South Adams - Comments: Eastside (11-8) has had a somewhat roller-coaster year, as they’ve won some big games and lost a couple of tough ones. Still, though, the Blazers are my favorite for Sectional #36 because of where their ceiling is. Senior guard Skyelar Kessler and Senior forward Mataya Bireley returned with multiple years of Varsity experience, but Junior do-everything forward Grace Kreischer is also a big contributor in many aspects of the game. Keep an eye on Freshman guard Sydnee Kessler, who can play on or off the ball and has a veteran savvy about her. Central Noble is scary because of their success over the last six seasons. The Lady Cougars now have a program expectation and kids who’ve grown up winning consistently. Junior Madison Vice Madison Vice 5'5" | CG Central Noble | 2023 State IN (15.2p, 5.5r, 3.3a, 3.1s) plays on the ball and can score or create, while Junior Meghan Kiebel Meghan Kiebel 5'7" | SG Central Noble | 2023 State IN (13.2p, 6.1r, 2.8s) is a capable wing scorer who will also defend and rebound from the perimeter. From there, they will need another player or two to step up each game and help offer more scoring options. South Adams is led by the sister duo of Junior wing Peyton Pries Peyton Pries 5'5" | SG South Adams | 2023 IN (11.2p, 4.1r, 2.2a, 2.5s) and Sophomore guard Macy Pries (10.2p, 2.1r, 2.2a, 2.1s). They are gym rats who both play with nice versatility and a high IQ for the game. Senior guard Kristen Wynn (6.9p, 2.4r, 2.2s) has a lot of experience and the potential for big nights herself, and the Starfires could use that third option come state tournament time. Sectional #37 - Lewis Cass - Likely Favorites: Carroll (Flora)/Pioneer - Upset Candidate: Rochester - Comments: This is a toss-up for me right now between Carroll and Pioneer, and what’s even stranger is that two schools who sit just 30 minutes apart haven’t played each other since the 2014-2015 season. Carroll is on the upswing right now, following three seasons without a winning record. The Cougars were 18-5 a year ago, and they currently sit at 14-5 this season. Sophomore guard Alli Harness Alli Harness 5'8" | CG Carroll (Flora) | 2024 State IN (24.8p, 5.9r, 5.5a, 3.2s) is a huge reason for that success. She has the ability to play point guard, but she’s a talented deep-shooter who can also get by defenders and score at the basket. Sophomore wing Madison Wagner Madison Wagner 5'9" | SF Carroll (Flora) | 2024 State IN (15.0p, 7.1r, 3.7a, 2.5s) has also made a big mark on the program, and she plays with an outstanding motor and nice versatility. Senior Maryn Worl (8.6p, 5.9r) and Sophomore Laney Johnson (8.5p, 4.8r) offer two more capable scorers, giving the Lady Cougars multiple options. Pioneer is coming off of two Class 1A State Finals appearances, with a State Championship in 2021, and they might have the toughest backcourt in Class 2A. Junior guard Ashlynn Brooke Ashlynn Brooke 5'6" | PG Pioneer | 2023 State IN (25.3p, 4.4r, 6.0a, 3.6s) has been outstanding all year, and while people focus on her ability to shoot/score from all levels, I still think her creativity and ability to pass the ball are even better. Senior guard Hailey Cripe Hailey Cripe 5'6" | SG Pioneer | 2022 State IN (18.8p, 9.5r, 3.1a, 2.8s) has been big-time over the years for the Panthers, and she passed the 1500-point scoring mark in Tuesday’s game against Maconaquah. Sophomore forwards Kylie Attinger (5.5p, 5.7r) and Brooklyn Borges (3.9p, 4.6r) offer at least a little size, and both have stepped up at times this year. And don’t forget about Rochester. They are a veteran group and have had a fine season as well, posting a 13-6 record to date. The Zebras unfortunately lost Junior Emma Howdeshell to a knee injury in their second game, but they’ve bounced back nicely. Senior forward Alexus Thomas (11.5p, 8.8r, 2.4s) is tough-nosed working the baseline and low-block. She is a strong athlete and plays with a tremendous motor. Junior forward Kennedy Jackson (8.4p, 4.2r) is built like a post, but she has ball skill and often initiates the offense for Rochester. 6-1 post Amelia Scorsone (7.9p, 5.5r) rounds out a sizeable frontline and offers a traditional post option off the bench. Junior guard Rily Holloway (7.4p) has also played well of late, as she has started to heat up from the perimeter. Sectional #38 - Clinton Prairie - Likely Favorite: Clinton Prairie - Upset Candidates: Sheridan/Seeger - Comments: After a rocky 3-5 start to the season, the Clinton Prairie Gophers have seemed to hit their stride under their first-year coach, winning eight of their last 10 to push their record to 11-7 on the year. They play a much tougher schedule than their Sectional #38 counterparts, plus they are hosting this year. Senior guard Tynlie Neal Tynlie Neal 5'6" | CG Clinton Prairie | 2022 State IN (17.1p, 4.3r, 2.4a, 2.3s) is a tough, physical, high-motor player who can score at all three levels or distribute. Junior forward Sydney Swan (9.4p, 4.4r) is another hard-working kid who gets out and runs in transition, plus she can score it in the mid-post or at the basket. Juniors Claire Ecenbarger (7.8p, 2.8r, 2.9a, 2.5s) and Kaitlyn Beck (7.8p, 4.2r) round out a balanced and experienced lineup. The Sheridan Blackhawks have had a fine season, but they might be a year away from sustained success, seeing as they have three Freshmen in their top four scorers. 6-0 forward Kenzie Garner Kenzie Garner 5'11" | SF Sheridan | 2025 State IN (18.9p, 9.1r, 3.1a, 4.0s) has a sweet touch and has been spectacular at times for them. Ashley Webel (9.1p, 2.1r) and Cecilia Timme (8.6p, 6.0r, 2.0a, 3.1s) have been nice compliments as rookie classmates of Garner. Senior Taylor Bates (8.8p, 5.2r, 2.2s) and Junior Chaney Smith (6.1p, 2.7r, 2.1a, 2.2s) offer experience and leadership to the youngsters. Seeger is sitting at 14-4 as well, and they shouldn’t be overlooked. They haven’t won a Sectional since 2013, but they’ve advanced to the final game a few times since then. Senior Riley Shrader, Junior Aubrey Cole, and Sophomore Addison Shrader form a skillful and versatile backcourt that can control games from time to time. Sectional #39 - Eastbrook - Likely Favorite: Winchester - Upset Candidates: Tipton/Eastbrook - Comments: With Winchester’s move back to Class 2A, Tipton’s continued success, and Eastbrook improving year after year, Sectional #39 has now become one of the most intriguing this season. The Golden Falcons are 17-1 this year, losing only to a competitive Class 3A opponent in Madison Consolidated. They have beaten Lawrence Central, Jay County, Wapahani, and Union City (twice) along the way. Junior wing Caitlyn Campbell Caitlyn Campbell 5'11" | SF Winchester Community | 2023 State IN is their do-everything this year, as she is a long, fluid, and smooth point forward type who can create off the dribble or make shots from all three levels consistently. She is a triple-double threat each time she takes the floor. Fellow Junior Morgan Lawrence Morgan Lawrence 5'9" | SF Winchester | 2023 State IN is a strong, hard-working forward who can play in the mid-post or around the perimeter comfortably. Seniors Gena Moore, Taylor Baker, and Taylor Hicks offer more experience and stability to an already veteran lineup. The Tipton Lady Blue Devils were state finalists a season ago, and they also return a highly experienced group, seeing as they didn’t have a single Senior on the roster last year. 6-3 Junior post Ashlee Schram Ashlee Schram 6'3" | C Tipton | 2023 State IN (16.3p, 10.9r, 3.0s, 2.1b) is a mismatch for most opponents because of her size and skill around the paint. If she can stay out of foul trouble, the Blue Devils have a decisive advantage. Senior guard Ella Wolfe Ella Wolfe 5'8" | SG Tipton | 2022 State IN (13.8p, 3.7r, 2.7a, 3.6s) is closing in on 1000 points, despite missing most of her Freshman year due to injury. She is an athletic playmaker who also defends at a high level. Senior forwards Abigail Parker Abigail Parker 5'9" | SF Tipton | 2022 State IN (9.0p, 3.5r, 2.2s) and Olivia Spidel (7.5p, 3.1r) are both versatile, hard-working kids with multiple years of big-game experience. Then there is Eastbrook, and the Lady Panthers will cause problems for someone. Two years ago they won the Sectional by a total of eight points over three games, then gave state finalist Frankton a run for their money for a little while in the morning Regional game. Last year the Panthers were problematic most of the game against Tipton in the Sectional final. This year they are as strong as they’ve been, and they just play well together. Sophomore guard Sophia Morrison Sophia Morrison 5'5" | CG Eastbrook | 2024 State IN (12.5p, 2.3r, 2.1a, 2.1s) is one of the better players in Class 2A few people know about. She is creative off the dribble, she’s strong, plus she has an accurate shot with deep range. Fellow Sophomore Olivia Howell (8.4p, 4.4r) has really stepped up her production this year, as have Seniors Lily McLaughlin (8.1p, 3.8r) and Kristin Goff (6.9p, 5.3r). And Senior guard Johwen McKim Johwen McKim 5'3" | CG Eastbrook | 2022 State IN (5.1p, 2.5r, 3.5a, 3.3s) is an absolute blur on the court. Sectional #40 - Lapel - Likely Favorite: Frankton - Upset Candidates: Lapel/Wapahani/Alexandria-Monroe - Comments: Sectional #40 will offer another competitive field. The Frankton Eagles are 13-4, and they picked up a huge overtime win against Tipton just last night. Senior wing Lauryn Bates Lauryn Bates 5'8" | SF Frankton | 2022 State IN (11.8p, 6.3r, 2.7a, 2.3s) has been a staple in the lineup over the years. She plays with great versatility, as she can handle it and run offense, she can play in the mid-post, and she can defend multiple types of players. Sophomore Emma Sperry (10.6p, 6.9r) has always flashed great potential, but she just needed to finish growing and gaining strength. She is a tall, long, fluid wing who can play multiple roles/positions. Senior guard Cagney Utterback Cagney Utterback 5'3" | PG Frankton | 2022 State IN (6.3p, 2.1r, 2.5a, 2.3s) and Senior forward Bailee Webb (6.3p, 3.1r) are a little undersized, but they play as big as anyone with their motors and toughness. Lapel is a natural rival of Frankton, hailing from the same school corporation. The Bulldogs have a nice mix of experience and young talent to turn to. Senior forward Ashlynn Allman Ashlynn Allman 5'10" | PF Lapel | 2022 State IN (12.8p, 9.6r, 2.1s) is a force around the paint. She has touch to about 15-feet, but she’s strong and plays with a lot of energy. Junior Deannaya Haseman (9.8p, 3.6r, 2.5a) is a versatile forward who can handle it a little, she has some touch, but she’s also a strong athlete who can play some inside. Sophomore wing Madelyn Poynter Madelyn Poynter 5'10" | SF Lapel | 2024 IN (7.8p, 2.7r) transferred in this year, and she has made an immediate impact for Lapel. She is a long, slashing athlete, who will only get better with more reps. Wapahani is a veteran group, led by a strong Junior class. Junior wing Camryn Wise Camryn Wise 5'10" | SF Wapahani | 2023 State IN (19.5p, 7.1r, 3.3a, 3.7s) is a tough matchup because of her ability to play inside or out. She can exploit different defenders with skill or strength. Juniors Reece Baker (13.0p, 2.1r, 2.1a, 2.8s), Kendyl Thrasher (6.1p, 2.8r, 2.3a, 2.4s), and Lauren Luce (5.7p, 5.5r) show off the depth of Wapahani’s 2023 class. Senior Lala Lee (10.1p, 5.3r, 2.2a) rounds out the lineup for the Lady Raiders. Alexandria-Monroe graduated a lot of production in 2021, but they still have a dynamic backcourt that can cause problems. Senior point guard Jada Stansberry (15.3p, 2.1r, 2.8a, 6.3s) is one of the state’s best pickpockets, and she is approaching the top of the career steals list for the state. She is extremely quick, and she has tremendous length at just 5-3. Freshman Jacklynn Hosier (13.5p, 5.1r, 4.4s) has really impressed this year. She is a nice shooter/scorer, but she has also been effective defensively and on the boards. Senior guard Ally Honeycutt (7.0p, 2.8r) is always a threat to knock down shots outside, and she can score 20 at any moment, giving the Tigers a legitimate third scoring threat.