GREENFIELD – The two Indiana Junior All-Stars from Northeast Indiana are preparing for similar situations next season.
Homestead's Josie Fisher and Canterbury's Darby Maggard will both be seniors next fall, inheriting the leadership positions voided by the graduated Sydney Buck of the Spartans and Kindell Fincher of the Cavaliers.
Fisher and Maggard were double-digit average scorers last season and will return as two of the best players in the state.
All eyes will be on the duo to lead their respective power programs to continued success, but neither is sweating it.
“I think for me, it's just coming in every day and setting a culture of hard work and busting your butt every single day,” Maggard said at Friday's All-Star Series game between the Indiana Junior All-Stars and the Kentucky Junior All-Stars, a game Indiana won 98-67. “The goal doesn't change, we just have to keep building and keep pushing and keep preparing every single day to get better every day.”
Replacing the 25 points and nine rebounds a game out of Fincher and the 17.8 points from Buck will not be easy for Canterbury and Homestead, respectively. Both were not just performers on the court but looked to for guidance by teammates.
Good thing that Maggard and Fisher have experience in that area. With both being point guards, the leadership and teaching role for the seniors-to-be will not be a tremendous transition.
“Being a point guard, you have to know where everybody else is on the floor and lead them and I think it makes it a lot easier for them to trust us,” Maggard said. “They trust us that when we have the ball in our hands we will make the right choices hopefully.”
The two make plenty of good choices in Friday's rout at Greenfield-Central High School. Fisher and Maggard combined to shoot 7-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, as both finished in double figures in points. Fisher notched 11 points and added three steals while Maggard had 13 points and four assists.
For both, it will take some getting used to next season in not having the go-to player on the floor in Fincher or Buck.
Perhaps next season, Maggard and Fisher take that next step into being that go-to player.
“Syd was our shooter, so I think we will have to revolve our offense more around our posts and (sophomore-to-be and leading scorer Karissa McLaughlin),” Fisher said. “But a lot of our offense started with Sydney, so without her I don't know what (Homestead coach Rod Parker) is going to do.”
Canterbury will also return plenty of talent in addition to Maggard from the team that fell to Heritage Christian in the Class 2A state title game. Senior Kat Smith will return as well as sophomore Mason VanHouten and junior Alexa Habig.
“Obviously, Kindell is such a great player and I'm going to miss her like crazy, but I think we have some positive people coming back,” Maggard said. “We are all going to have to step up and take a little bit of her role.”
Homestead and Canterbury will surely miss its top seniors of this past season.
It's a good thing two seniors-to-be are ready to fill the void.