IBCA / Franciscan Health Players of the Week

The holiday season is upon us, and as schools head into their winter breaks, the basketball season continues on.


Six Hoosier hoopers were selected as Week 7 recipients for the IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week award. The gentlemen posted four double-doubles and a triple-double, with one of them eclipsing the 1000-point mark. Each of the ladies topped 40 points in a game last week, while also breaking school records in those contests.


Valparaiso Senior Mason Jones, Kokomo Junior Flory Bidunga, Linton-Stockton Senior Joey Hart, Kouts Senior Ally Capouch, Carroll (Flora) Junior Alli Harness, and East Central Senior Josie Trabel have been selected as winner for Dec. 12-Dec. 17 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Jones is the boys’ winner, while Capouch is the girls’ winner, in
District-1. Bidunga and Harness receive boys’ and girls’ honors, respectively, in District-2. Hart is the boys’ honoree and Trabel is the girls’ honoree in District-3.


The Vikings of Valparaiso put together a 2-1 record last week, while Senior Mason Jones was strong each time out. Tuesday, they hosted one of the top Class 2A teams in the state in Gary 21st Century, but the Cougars came out on top, 71-59. In defeat, Jones was productive, knocking down 11 shots, including a 3-pointer, on his way to 23 points in the outing. The 6-7 forward also grabbed 10 rebounds in the game to post his first double-double of the week, plus he handed out six assists.


Over the weekend, Valparaiso bounced back with a pair of nice road wins. Friday night they were at East Chicago Central, winning by a 66-51 margin. Jones was 12-20 from the field, 2-4 from deep, and scored 29 points in the win. The Ball State University commit added 11 rebounds and a pair of steals in victory. The next day, at Elkhart, the Vikings won a convincing 64-32 effort. The senior forward posted his third double-double of the week and fifth in six games, as he scored 25 points on 12-19 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds, plus he added a pair of assists and five steals.


The Kouts Fillies began their season 0-3, but they’ve responded by winning 10 of their last 11 matchups, showing their mettle as one of the top Class 1A teams again this season. Senior wing Ally Capouch continues to pour in the points, and last Tuesday against Lowell, she was torching the nets. The 5-11 senior buried 16-21 shots from the floor, including a school record 10-14 from 3-point range, for a career high of 42 points in the 65-35 win. She added six rebounds and a pair of assists in the outing.


On Saturday, Kouts returned to the floor at Hebron in a Porter County Conference matchup, and the Fillies again won comfortably, 65-28. In this game, Capouch was again solid in limited minutes, scoring 17 points, grabbing three rebounds, while also handing out seven assists and collecting seven steals in the success.


Capouch is committed to play at Trine University next season. 


Kokomo Junior Flory Bidunga has created quite the buzz this season, and he put together a pair of nice games last week, as #6 Kokomo moved to 5-2 on the year. Friday night, the Wildkats handed Marion its first loss of the season in a North Central Conference matchup, winning 90-72. Bidunga posted the impressive triple-double, scoring 25 points, pulling down 15 caroms, and protecting the rim with his 11 blocked shots. He also made 10-12 shots from the field in the big win.


Saturday, the Wildkats faced #8 Carmel. In a defensive-minded battle with the Greyhounds, Kokomo pulled out the narrow 41-39 win. With Carmel’s defense suffocating the 6-10 Bidunga, he still managed 10 points on 5-6 shooting, but he contributed greatly in other ways, snagging 14 rebounds, collecting four steals, and blocking another six shots. In the two impressive wins, the junior front-liner averaged 17.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 8.5 blocked shots per outing.


The Carroll (Flora) Lady Cougars are one of the top Class 2A teams in the state this year, and they boast a 12-1 record to this point. Last week, junior Alli Harness helped them to a pair of wins in a big way. Monday night, they hosted Maconaquah, winning easy over the Lady Braves. In this game, Harness was 12-19 from the floor, 4-9 from outside, and she made a free throw, scoring 29 points in limited minutes. She added six rebounds, three assists, six steals, and three blocked shots in victory.


Friday evening, the Lady Cougars hosted Rossville in a Hoosier Heartland Conference game, defeating the Hornets, 63-33. Harness was again on fire, knocking down 14-20 shots, including 9-13 from 3-point range and five from the charity stripe, scoring a program record 42 points. The 5-8 Junior guard also chipped in seven rebounds, handed out three assists, and stole the ball three times in the win, helping Carroll (Flora) to a 5-0 conference record to date.


The Linton-Stockton Miners took care of business over the weekend, winning a pair of games. Senior Joey Hart came up big in both outings. Friday night, they took on Southwestern Indiana Conference rival Shakamak, comfortably taking care of the Lakers in Jasonville, Indiana. Hart made 11 field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers, as he scored 24 points in limited minutes. He added four rebounds, three assists, four steals, and a pair of blocked shots to his stat line.


On Saturday, the Miners went toe to toe with the Warriors of Evansville Harrison. In a nail-biter, Linton-Stockton pulled out the 67-64, double overtime win. Hart, a 6-6 guard committed to the University of Central Florida, was outstanding in this matchup, scoring 36 points on 13-23 shooting, plus he was 7-13 from outside, and he made three free throws. The Senior guard added five rebounds, three assists, and four more steals in his team’s success, and he now ranks fourth on the Miners career scoring list.


With two huge performances last week, East Central Senior Josie Trabel eclipsed the 1600-point plateau. The Lady Trojans hosted the Indianapolis Homeschool Wildcats Tuesday night, and in an easy 68-35 win, Trabel scored a school record 40 points on 15-21 shooting. She also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and was a near-perfect 8-9 from the charity stripe. The 6-0 forward added eight rebounds, four assists, and six steals in her time on the floor.


Saturday, the Trojans travelled to Eastern Indiana Conference foe Batesville, moving to 10-4 on the year after accumulating another win, 60-38. Trabel was nearly as good in her second game of the week, this time scoring 37 points in victory. She was again solid from the field (14-22), buried a pair of treys, and repeated her stellar performance from the free throw line (7-8). Committed to Wofford College, the Senior forward chipped in another seven rebounds and a pair of assists.


This is the 15th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, butjust the third season it is being presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.


Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.


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South Putnam off to 'decent' start with new coach



That is what first-year South Putnam boy's basketball coach Kyle Swafford is looking for when it comes to the play from his Eagles squad. 


After five seasons at Monrovia and last season at Southridge, Swafford was introduced as the new coach at South Putnam and has the Eagles off to a 1-2 start heading into tonight's contest against Greencastle. 


"I was in southern Indiana last year and wanted to get back to central Indiana. I have known South Putnam Athletic Director Troy Burgess for a long time and he reached out and sold me on the job," Swafford told The Putnam County Post as to how he wound up with the Eagles.


And, how has his first season at South Putnam gone? 


"It has been a decent start, just battling some growing pains -- new coach, new style, different expectations. This season, as a program, we are trying to play more consistently than they have in years past. I feel that consistent play on both ends of the floor will lead to success as it relates to winning," Swafford told The Putnam County Post. 



The Eagles have gotten strong play thus far from junior Drew Hill, who is averaging 20 points per game, four rebounds per game and two assists per game, and senior Jeremiah Hibbeln, who is averaging 10 points and six rebounds per game. 


Swafford believes his team can make a run as the season progresses, but notes it is up to him to make the pieces fit. 


"I think we have some really good pieces to work with and be successful, but it's my job to make those pieces fit. We have to do that through understanding roles and having an identity within the team. Every player has to understand their role and then execute that role from game to game. It's a long season and we need to keep building on successes and learning from any setbacks, and, hopefully, we will be playing our best basketball come March," Swafford said. 

Greencastle looks to turn around fortunes

A 1-3 start to the season was not what Greencastle boy's basketball coach Bryce Rector had in mind when the season began, but he acknowledges several things and holds out hope for the remainder of the season.


"Obviously, we are a little disappointed with that record, however, we are a very young team and we have seen a lot of growth in the first month or so of the season. Our guys are continuing to get better and we look forward to watching the progress continue. So far this year, we have had some really good play from several players," Rector told The Putnam County Post. 


Leading the way for the Tigers is senior Cole Hutcheson, who is averaging 16.3 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game, while freshmen Sam Gooch and Cody Evans have also provided quality production. Gooch averages 14.3 points per game and 4 rebounds per game, while Evans chips in with 12.8 points per game and 5.8 rebounds a contest. 


Greencastle will look to improve on last season's 8-16 season, which featured ups and downs, according to Rector. 


"Last year was definitely an up and down year. We had sometimes where we were playing really good basketball, and then other times we found ourselves struggling to string wins together. We got beat pretty handily in the sectional last year, so that left a sour taste in many of our kids' mouths and hopefully served as motivation for this season," Rector said. 


Despite the slow start, Rector believes his squad has a chance to be "solid" when it is all said and done this year, as the Tigers start three freshmen and a sophomore. 


"We are so young that it's going to take a little while to get our legs underneath us. I think once our guys get used to the speed and physicality of the varsity game, they have a chance to be a really good high school basketball team. With such a young team, we are just looking to take it day-by-day and work to get better every time we are in the gym. We hope to be in a position to win the conference, county and the sectional," Rector said. 

2023 Men's Silver Anniversary Team announced by Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame

Seventeen men have been named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2023 Silver Anniversary Team, based on outstanding accomplishments as a senior basketball player 25 years ago.


The team includes 10 members named to the 1998 Indiana All-Star squad.  Seven other all-state players are included to recognize the top of Indiana’s high school class of 1998.

1998 Indiana All-Stars include Mr. Basketball Tom Coverdale, Adam Ballinger, Kueth Duany, Patrick Jackson, Djibril Kante, Rob Kent, Isaac Kincaid, Maynard Lewis, Rodney Smith, and Greg Tonagel.


The remaining seven, named to various all-state teams are Herman Fowler, Lincoln Glass, Joe Nixon, Jarrad Odle, Steve Reynolds, Adam Seitz, and Brian Wray.


2023 Men’s Silver Anniversary Team members will be honored at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 61st Men’s Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.


A midday reception, free and open to the public, will be held at the Hall of Fame museum in New Castle.  The evening banquet will take place at the Primo Banquet Hall, which is located on the south side of Indianapolis. 


Banquet reservations will soon be available on the Hall of Fame’s website or by calling (765) 529-1891.  For more information, you may also email

Bennedict Mathurin named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month

The NBA announced Thursday that Indiana Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin was named Kia Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November.  

Mathurin, the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft out of the University of Arizona, leads all NBA rookies this season in points scored, 3-pointers made, free throws made and free throw attempts. In addition, he ranks seventh in rebounding average, fifth in assists, second in field goal percentage, second in 3-point percentage and fifth in steals. 

Mathurin leads all NBA players in bench scoring with an average of 19.2 points per game. He has scored 20 or more points off the bench 11 times this season and the Pacers have posted a 7-4 record in those games. 

Mathurin becomes the first Pacers player to earn the Rookie of the Month award since Myles Turner in Feb. 2016. He shares honors with Oklahoma City guard Jalen Williams, who was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month. 





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