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2017-18 News-Sentinel.com All-Area Girls Prep Hoops

In association with our 2017-2018 News-Sentinel.com Girls Basketball Player of the Year, we are proud to announced our 16 player All-Area team. This year’s team consists of 10 seniors, five juniors and one sophomore.

The News-Sentinel All-Area basketball team is voted on by members of the News-Sentinel.com sports staff. Here are the 16 players who are part of this year’s team:

LEIGHA BROWN, DEKALB SENIOR

Brown will head to Nebraska to play in the Big Ten next year, but not before she turned the area upside down, averaging 28 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.7 steals per game with a multitude of double-double mixed in. Brown was named to the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association All-State Supreme 15, All-Northeast 8 First Team, IBCA Academic All-State and is a member of the Indiana All-Star team. A member of The News-Sentinel’s preseason Fabulous Five team, Brown has also been named the News-Sentinel.com Player of the Year and named one of five finalists for 2018’s Miss Basketball.. Brown scored an area high 53 points on November 3 against Lakeland.

RELATED STORY: For more on Leigha Brown, click here for our story on her News-Sentinel.com Player of the Year honor.

TANIECE CHAPMAN, SOUTH SIDE SENIOR

Chapman is one of two South Side players on the team and the first since Brittni Clopton in 2014. Chapman averaged a team high 14 points in 22.9 minutes per game, adding a team high 8.9 rebounds per game. Chapman was named All-State by the IBCA, First Team All-Summit Athletic Conference and led South Side to a SAC Holiday Tournament title, beating Carroll in the championship game, and a Sectional title. Chapman scored 28 points on December 30 against Carroll in the SAC Holiday Tournament title game.

KELLI DAMMAN, CARROLL SENIOR

Averaging 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.6 steals per game, Damman led Carroll to a second straight Sectional title and best win total (19) since 2003-2004. Damman was named IBCA All-State and All-SAC First Team while being on News-Sentinel.com’s All-Area team for the second consecutive season. Damman scored 24 points on January 5 against Bishop Dwenger.

LEXI DELLINGER, SOUTH ADAMS SENIOR

Dellinger repeats on the All-Area team after averaging 1.5 points, 3.8 assists and 3.3 steals during her senior Starfire season. Dellinger led South Adams past defending champion Jay County in January to win the school’s first Allen County Athletic Conference Tournament title. South Adams finished second behind the Patriots during the ACAC regular season. Dellinger was named IBCA All-State Honorable Mention and All-ACAC First Team. Dellinger scored a season high 29 points on January 24 against Churubusco.

KATHRYN KNAPKE, BISHOP LUERS SENIOR

Knapke was key in the area’s biggest upset when she led Bishop Luers, during the SAC Holiday Tournament, to be the first team to beat Homestead since they joined the conference. But her senior season was so much more, scoring 14 points and pulling down 8.7 rebounds per game for the Knights. Knapke also averaged 2.7 steals and 1.5 blocks per game and was named IBCA All-State Honorable Mention and All-SAC First Team. She is the first Bishop Luers All-Area player since Emma Wolfe in 2016. Knapke scored a season high 32 points on January 6 against Canterbury.

ELLEN ROSS, BISHOP DWENGER SENIOR

The future Butler Bulldog stayed strong in her senior year, repeating as a member of the All-Area team. Ross averaged team highs in points (16.8), rebounds (9) and blocks (1.6) while also averaging 1.9 steals per game for the Saints. She was named IBCA All-State, IBCA Academic All-State and All-SAC First Team. Ross scored 29 points on January 2 against Heritage and pulled down a season high 18 rebounds twice, once against New Haven and once against Norwell.

LOGAN ROWLES, NORWELL SENIOR

From the first game of the season, Rowles was posting strong numbers in helping Norwell regain control of the conference with a perfect 7-0 record in conference and a Northeast 8 title. Rowles averaged 16 points while shooting 51.8 percent from the field. She also averaged a team high 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game to go along with 3.2 steals, all in 21 and a half minutes per game. She was named IBCA All-State and All-NE8 First Team. Rowles is the first Norwell player on the News-Sentinel.com All-Area team since Stephanie Conrad in 2016. Rowles scored 25 points twice, once against South Adams and also against Bellmont.

ARIELLE THATCHER, NORTHROP SENIOR

When Thatcher was a freshman on the Bruins team, they won just one single game. As a senior, the point guard helped them to a 20-win season. She averaged a team high 14.8 points, 3.9 assists and 2.3 steals while also grabbing 3.8 rebounds per contest. Thatcher was named IBCA All-State Honorable Mention and All-SAC Second Team while repeating as a member of the News-Sentinel.com All-Area team. Thatcher scored 24 points against Marion on November 17.

SHAMARI TYSON, SOUTH SIDE SENIOR

Tyson joins South Side teammate Taniece Chapman on the All-Area team. Tyson averaged 13.7 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the field and helping South Side to a SAC Holiday Tournament title. She also averaged a team high 4.6 assists and 3.2 steals per contest in being named IBCA All-State Honorable Mention, All-SAC First Team and a member of The News-Sentinel’s preseason Fabulous Five. Tyson returns to the News-Sentinel.com All-Area team after appearing on the team in 2016 as a sophomore for Wayne. She is the fifth player to ever make our prep hoops All-Area team at two different schools, joining girls Liza Clemons (Elmhurst/Snider) and Lacia Gorman (Elmhurst/Wayne) and boys VJ Beachem (Harding/New Haven) and Jalen Paul (Canterbury/Churubusco).

ERICA ZOOK, FAIRFIELD SENIOR

Fairfield won 24 games and reached the semi-state round for the first time ever on the hands of point guard Zook. Averaging 11.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals per game, Zook helped propel the Falcons on both ends of the floor beating Hamilton Heights for a Regional title. Zook was named All-Northeast Corner Conference and IBCA All-State Honorable Mention. She is the first Fairfield player to appear on a News-Sentinel.com All-Area team. Zook had a 20 points game on October 31 against Mishawaka Marian.

SYDNEY FREEMAN, CENTRAL NOBLE JUNIOR

A state title. That’s all that Freeman helped Central Noble to in a record breaking season for the school and the Cougar junior. Freeman averaged 17.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists and five steals per contest at Central Noble won the Class 2A state title. She was selected as a member of the IBCA Underclass Supreme 15 and an Indiana Junior All-Star. An All-NECC selection, Freeman also broke the program’s scoring title during the state championship game. She was a member of The News-Sentinel’s preseason Fabulous Five.

CARISSA GARCIA, CONCORDIA LUTHERAN JUNIOR

Garcia had a career best year in leading the Cadets to their fourth straight Sectional title. She averaged 20.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals and sat at or near 50 percent shooting from three-point range all season long. Garcia was named to the IBCA Underclass Supreme 15 and selected as an Indiana Junior All-Star in addition to her All-SAC First Team selection. She had 12 20-plus point games, including scoring 29 points on November 7 against Bellmont.

GRACE HUNTER, BELLMONT JUNIOR

Hunter repeats as a member of the All-Area team after averaging 16.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.8 steals for the Squaws, who won 19 games and finished second in the NE8. Hunter was named IBCA Underclass All-State Honorable Mention and All-NE8 First Team. Hunter was a member of the The News-Sentinel’s preseason Fabulous Five. She scored 29 points against Mississinewa on November 27.

MELEAH LEATHERMAN, CENTRAL NOBLE JUNIOR

Leatherman joins teammate Freeman as the first Central Noble players ever named News-Sentinel.com All-Area during their Class 2A state title run. Leatherman averaged 14.3 points, 10 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game and was named IBCA Underclass All-State and All-NECC. She also sits as Central Noble girls’ third all-time leading scorer. Leatherman scored 24 points on January 26 against Churubusco.

SYLARE STARKS, HOMESTEAD JUNIOR

Starks repeats on the All-Area team and joins South Side’s Shamari Tyson as one of six players to ever make All-Area as a member of two different schools. Starks’ transition to Homestead was smooth in many ways as she led the Spartans with 18 points per game and added three assists and 1.7 steals per contest. Starks was named IBCA Underclass All-State, an Indiana Junior All-Star and All-SAC First Team while leading Homestead to a SAC regular season title.

SYDNEY GRABER, HOMESTEAD SOPHOMORE

The only sophomore on the team this season, Graber was a member of The News-Sentinel’s preseason Fabulous Five and helped the Spartans to a SAC regular season title, keeping Homestead unbeaten all-time in conference during the regular season since joining the SAC in the 2015-2016 season. Graber scored 15 points per game and pulled down a team high 7.7 rebounds, while also having 1.7 steals per game. She was named IBCA Underclass All-State and All-SAC First Team.

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