Jessica Givens, Western
A all-arounder on a guard-heavy team, Givens averaged 9.3 points and 5.4 rebounds while offering an outside threat with 31 triples.
“She brought to us 3-point shooting,” Keisling said. “She did a heck of a job rebounding, in conference play she had multiple games where she was 10 or 11 rebounds per game.
“She just had some really big games. In our victories over Lebanon and BC, she had a huge night defensively and rebounding-wise, and had some big-time buckets at the end of the Lebanon game. She was a kid that can give you scoring and shooting outside, and always consistently gave us great defense.”
Taylor Holiday, Eastern
A true post, the sophomore center was a key figure in the paint as the Comets made a run to the Class 2A state championship game. She averaged 7.8 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Dexter said that Holiday arrived as a freshman with an offensive skill set, but her continual improvement defensively helped the Comets each possession this season. Also, her improved fitness allowed her to play more minutes at the pace that the team’s go-go guards dictated.
“She’s the inside presence,” Dexter said. “[Power forward] Mercedes [Rubow] can step in and can help with that, but she’s such a tough kid, she’s got a little bit of fire to her and really any time she came off the floor, there was definitely a little bit of a hole there defensively.
“Taylor on the inside from a defensive perspective was huge for us, and it allowed our guards to help one another with penetration, allowed them to gap together because we could count on Taylor to go one-on-one in the post.”
Alanis Jones, Kokomo
The forward turned herself into a reliable scoring threat and a safety valve for teammates as a junior through increased skill and strength.
“Her strength allowed her to finish much better around the basket,” Snyder said. “In the sectional, when they were taking a couple other options away, she was our leading scorer through the sectional.”
Jones averaged 8 points and 5.3 rebounds.
“She was our most improved player this season,” Snyder said. “She is a post player that is able to play out on the perimeter. When you have a taller player that’s able to step in and be an outlet for the guards, and is also able to bring the ball up and handle it, that was a great attribute that we really needed.”
Allison Lindley, Western
When situations were difficult, it was Lindley who would calm the Panthers, or steer them. The only senior on a 19-win team, she averaged 7.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and had 61 steals.
“As I consistently said over the course of the year, she consistently played point guard for us, and was also an extremely strong rebounding guard this year,” Keisling said. “Boys or girls, she’s probably the best rebounding guard I’ve coached.
“You can count on her to make the big play, wasn’t afraid to take the ball to the bucket, what I call a ‘money player.’
“She’s not afraid to take that leadership role in a tough situation. When the game gets tight, you need something to add, she’s going to make it happen.”
Jasmine Love, Kokomo
A natural small forward, Love moved to point guard as a junior to solidify the Kats’ backcourt. She averaged 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds, ans also led Kokomo with 45 assists and 28 3-pointers.
“She has played small forward most of her career but because she’s played so much basketball she really did a nice job of taking [the point guard spot], allowing us to get into our offense,” Snyder said. “She did an outstanding job of running her team and being a great leader for us on the floor, and then she was also our biggest 3-point threat.
“It wasn’t something that’s her natural position, or something she was really comfortable with going from her sophomore year to her junior year, but she made great strides in terms of her leadership and being comfortable running her team. It allowed us to have a successful season because she was willing to make that adjustment.”