The purpose for women basketball groups at Greenwood Christian is at all times set one stage larger than what obtained achieved the earlier season.
Two years in the past, the Cougars received their first-ever sectional championship, so final 12 months’s crew was lifeless set on successful a regional. Mission completed.
That leaves solely a lot extra ladder to climb, and the rungs that stay lead straight to the Class A state championship recreation at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Feb. 27.
“Something lower than enjoying within the state championship this 12 months goes to be a disappointment to them,” GCA coach Alan Weems stated.
That’s a excessive bar that the Cougars are setting, to make certain. However it’s additionally cheap for them to anticipate to clear it.
GCA graduated only one participant, Alexis Mead, from final 12 months’s semistate qualifier — and whereas the sharpshooting 1,000-point scorer leaves a void, the Cougars are assured that the enhancements made by the returning gamers — plus the addition of senior switch Brooklyn Stubblefield, a three-year starter at Greenwood — might be greater than sufficient to make up the distinction.
The consensus from the holdovers is that it’ll be much better to play with Stubblefield than in opposition to her.
“All of us work so properly collectively as a crew, so her coming into that was like one other puzzle piece,” stated senior Savvanah Frye, who performed along with Stubblefield at Greenwood when the 2 had been freshmen. “Her coming in simply provides a little bit extra spice to our beginning lineup.”
Becoming a member of Frye once more in that lineup might be a pair of juniors, guard Ellie Bigelow and put up participant Dory O’Dell — together with probably the most well-known puzzle piece of all in senior Izzy Reed, the Each day Journal’s Participant of the Yr final winter after averaging 23.8 factors and a state-best 15.3 rebounds.
The Indiana Wesleyan commit, who Weems has stated “performs with an power that the majority children don’t play with,” units the tone for the remainder of the crew together with her continuous motor — one which has pushed her to place up video-game numbers the previous few seasons.
On the tempo she’s set, Reed may surpass the state’s profession rebounding document of 1,308 held by Ta’Shia Phillips, who performed at Brebeuf earlier than doing on to Xavier after which the WNBA. She can be on monitor to interrupt the county women scoring document of 1,944 factors, set by Indian Creek’s Kylee Hamilton.
Reed admits that these particular person milestones cross her thoughts, however she received’t chase them on the expense of crew objectives.
“If I’m enjoying onerous, if I’m giving 100%, a few of these are going to occur,” she stated. “I’m probably not considering a ton about it, aside from hold working onerous on a regular basis, do what this crew wants — and I’m at all times making an attempt to get higher. And I feel if I hold doing that, with that being the place my mindset is at, I feel these objectives might be met.”
The hope for Reed and the remainder of the Cougars is that the final word purpose would come together with these as properly.
“Clearly, we are able to’t overlook issues,” Frye stated. “We will’t overlook the tiny video games, we are able to’t overlook sectionals. We’ve got to sit up for these issues, however our essential purpose is Bankers Life, and that’s the one factor our eyes are on proper now.”
“Pushing previous what we’ve already finished is our purpose,” Bigelow added, “so going previous regionals is certainly a sure, after which going previous semistate is certainly a sure.
“So yeah, Bankers Life.”
Scouting the Cougars
Head coach: Alan Weems
Final season: 23-6, received sectional and regional championships; misplaced to Loogootee in Class A semistate
Prime returnees: Savvanah Frye and Izzy Reed, seniors; Ellie Bigelow, Kirsten Carlson, Chloe Grider and Dory O’Dell, juniors; Addie Jolley, sophomore
Key newcomers: Brooklyn Stubblefield, senior; Adgie Doria, sophomore
Outlook: Final season, the Cougars received the primary regional title in class historical past in any sport. Simply doing the identical will possible be thought-about a disappointment for GCA, which misplaced sharpshooter Alexis Mead however added a well-rounded alternative in Stubblefield, a starter at Greenwood the final two seasons. Reed is on monitor to change into the state’s profession rebounding chief in addition to the primary lady in county historical past to attain 2,000 profession factors — however particular person accomplishments are trivial within the grand scheme of issues; the Cougars desire a state championship, and with a lead foursome of Reed, Frye, Bigelow and Stubblefield, they will positively get it.
3 factors with Savvanah Frye
1. Which nonconference opponent are you most trying ahead to going through?
I’m going to need to say Greenwood. Greenwood’s sort of the 4A faculty within the county, and we’re clearly the 1A, so we’re sort of the underdog in that state of affairs, and me and Brooklyn (Stubblefield) have each transferred from there. … They’re sort of at all times the one the place we’re like, “Okay, let’s beat Greenwood.” It’s simply a type of issues, so I’m actually excited to play them.
2. Which unknown participant on this crew will change into a family identify this winter?
Individuals find out about Ellie, however … I’ve not seen an individual work more durable, and he or she exceeded all my expectations. After which Dory O’Dell is generally our fifth man, however I feel she will be able to sort of be our particular person this 12 months. Each of them have simply exceeded my expectations and they’re working more durable than I may have probably imagined.
3. Given the continuing pandemic, how involved are you concerning the season being interrupted indirectly?
Clearly it’s my senior 12 months, and I would like nothing greater than to be at Bankers Life and to play my final video games. At this level, I’m simply sort of giving it as much as God. … We’re sort of simply all placing our belief in him and dealing as onerous as we are able to to ensure we’re prepared.