Etchison and Frasure Stand Out During Week-10 of the IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week Awards
As most of the schools statewide returned to session last week, our Hoosier high school hoopsters began 2021 with several noteworthy performances. Headlined by Gus Etchison’s 43-point performance and Lilliann Frasure’s three double-doubles, this week sees six prep players from around the state selected as recipients in Week-10 for the IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week award.
Churubusco Senior Jackson Paul, North Judson-San Pierre Senior Lilliann Frasure, Hamilton Heights Senior Gus Etchison, Northwestern Sophomore McKenna Layden, Silver Creek Senior Trey Kaufman, and Linton-Stockton Senior Vanessa Shafford represent an experienced group selected as honorees for Jan. 4-Jan. 9 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Paul is the boys’ winner, and Frasure is the girls’ winner in District-1. Etchison is the boys’ recipient, while Layden is the girls’ recipient in District-2. Kaufman and Shafford collect boys’ and girls’ honors, respectively, in District-3.
Churubusco’s Jackson Paul put together a pair of nice performances in a couple of easy wins last week for the Eagles. The Senior guard began his week on Tuesday, as Churubusco took care of Elkhart Christian in short time. Paul was 10-17 from the floor, 3-6 from 3-point range, plus he knocked down six free throws on his way to 29 points. He also approached the ever-elusive quadruple-double, grabbing eight rebounds, handing out 13 assists, and collecting 10 steals.
As the Eagles returned to action Friday in a Northeast Corner Conference matchup against Fremont, Paul was again steady, and Churubusco cruised to another lopsided victory. The 6-1 guard was 11-22 from the field and buried a couple of triples to score 24 points in the win. The Huntington University commit added four assists and three steals, as he helped Churubusco to their 7-1 record.
North Judson-San Pierre Senior Lilliann Frasure has been a stat-sheet stuffer since she arrived at the school her Freshman year. Last week she continued to add to her résumé with three double-doubles, as she helped the Bluejays secure three more wins. Tuesday, against a much-improved Caston team, the Senior wing scored 34 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and collected six steals in an impressive 66-31 win over the Comets.
Thursday the Bluejays hosted Kankakee Valley, and Frasure was back at it again, helping North Judson-San Pierre to a 59-28 success this time out. The 5-9 Senior scored a modest 19 points, but she grabbed 14 rebounds, handed out five assists, and blocked three shots. Saturday, the Bluejays fought off rival South Central (Union Mills), escaping with a 46-36 win. Frasure scored 25 of their 46 points, she again posted 14 rebounds, plus she added four assists and three steals. She is headed to Indiana Wesleyan University next year to play basketball.
Hamilton Heights’ Gus Etchison is no stranger to the big game, and Saturday he added another one to his long list of accomplishments, but he also posted a nice pair of additional outings leading up to the weekend. Tuesday, the Huskies headed to Lebanon to earn a 60-33 win. The Senior guard scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, as Heights improved to 4-1 on the season.
Friday night the Huskies travelled to Northwestern for a Hoosier Conference game. After 32 minutes of action, plus 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four steals by Etchison, Hamilton Heights won 69-47 to start the conference year 1-0. The very next day, however, was when Etchison erupted for 43 points. The 6-0 guard did everything in his power to help his team to a victory, but it wasn’t enough, as the Huskies fell, 99-87, to Indianapolis Herron. In defeat, the Western Michigan University commit also contributed five rebounds, seven assists, plus five steals.
Northwestern Sophomore McKenna Layden continues to adjust to her new role this year well, and last week she aided the Tigers in earning two more victories to move to 7-4 at their season’s midpoint. Wednesday, Northwestern travelled to Greentown to face the Eastern Comets, and they left with a convincing win. Layden was a solid 8-16 from the floor, a nice 5-9 from deep, plus she knocked down three free throws en route to a 24-point performance. She added nine rebounds, four assists, four steals, and three blocked shots in the effort.
Saturday, the Tigers visited Logansport and handed the Berries a 60-40 loss. In the triumph, the 6-1 Sophomore wing was 11-19 from the field, 2-3 from beyond the arc, plus she made six free throws, on her way to 30 points. Layden posted a double-double by adding 13 rebounds to the win, plus she distributed six assists and collected three steals.
Silver Creek’s Trey Kaufman was outstanding in his lone game of the week. The 6-9 Senior forward scored 27 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, and nearly posted a triple-double with his nine assists, as he played somewhat limited minutes in the Dragons decisive win against Eastern (Pekin). Kaufman, a Purdue University commit, was 11-17 from the field, plus he knocked down a 3-pointer and four free throws. For good measure, he added a pair of steals and a blocked shot.
Senior Vanessa Shafford helped Linton-Stockton to a trio of impressive wins last week, as the Miners moved to 15-1 on the season. Tuesday, against Sullivan, the University of Southern Indiana commit helped Linton-Stockton to an easy 67-33 victory against a 10-win Sullivan team. She scored 20 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out six assists, and collected a pair of thefts in the contest.
Thursday the Miners headed to 11-win Vincennes Rivet, where they took care of the Patriots by a 51-26 margin. Shafford posted her first double-double of the week, scoring 18 points and collecting 11 rebounds, while also handing out six assists and picking up a pair of steals. But it was Saturday where the 5-9 Senior shone through the most. In a narrow, 48-43 overtime win against previously unbeaten and #9 ranked Evansville Memorial, Shafford proved to be vital, as she knocked down the game-tying 3-pointer to push the game into the extra stanza. She finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and she has helped lead Linton-Stockton to the #11 ranking this week.
This is the 13th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but the first season it is 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.
Other Top Nominees for Week-10 (2020-21)
District-1 Boys: Caedmon Bontrager, Lakewood Park Christian; Connor Essegian, Central Noble; Brycen Hannah, John Glenn; J.R. Konieczny, South Bend St. Joseph; Thomas Latham, New Haven; Christopher Mantis, Lowell; Carson Miller, Bremen; Malachi Pearson, Logansport; Joe Reidy, Woodlan; Blake Wesley, South Bend Riley.
District-1 Girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Bishop Noll; Megan Bolen, Knox; Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point; Trinity Clinton, Penn; Cailynn Dilosa, Merrillville; Asia Donald, Hobart; Nevaeh Foster, Mishawaka Marian; Lilly Maple, Maconaquah; Morgan Ostrowski, Garrett; Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington.
District-2 Boys: Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson; Landon Biegel, Oak Hill; Aidan Cannon, Cardinal Ritter; Jake Chapman, Tri-Central; Brevin Hallatt, Blue River Valley; Greg Jenkins, Lawrence Central; Neil Marshall, Delta; Logan Pinkerton, Covington; Landen Swanner, Mississinewa; Kobe Ward, Danville Community.
District-2 Girls: Maddie Barnes, Speedway; Kenzie Fulks, Bethesda Christian; Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora); Erikka Hill, Shenandoah; Natalie Howard, Ben Davis; Laila Hull, Zionsville; Kennedy Martin, West Lafayette; Olivia Nickerson, Twin Lakes; Ashlee Schram, Tipton; Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville.
District-3 Boys: Dakota Capps, Clarksville; Luke Collinsworth, East Central; Kyle Crim, Morristown; Rasheed Elemikan, Greenwood Community; Noah Gordon, Mount Vernon (Posey); Curt Hopf, Barr-Reeve; Jaden Peetz, South Ripley; Coleman Sater, Edgewood; Blake Sisley, Heritage Hills; Matthew Williams, Southwestern (Hanover).
District-3 Girls: Gracie Adams, Lanesville; Averi Davidson, North Central (Farmersburg); Makayla Granger-Young, Batesville; Madison Gray, Union County; Koryn Greiwe, Columbus East; Danica Myers, Eminence; Natalie Niehaus, Castle; Graycie Poe, North Knox; Isabella Reed, Greenwood Christian; Alaina Thorne, Washington.
2020-21 Weekly Winners
Nov. 2-Nov. 7: District-1 girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Bishop Noll. District-2 girls: Olivia Nickerson, Twin Lakes. District–3 girls: Hope Fox, East Central.
Nov. 9-Nov. 14: District-1 girls: Mariah Wyatt, Wabash. District-2 girls: Tyra Ford, Anderson, and McKenna Layden, Northwestern. District-3 girls: Rebekah Gordon, Heritage Hills.
Nov. 16-Nov. 21: District-1 girls: De’Mour Watson, Elkhart. District-2 girls: Erikka Hill, Shenandoah. District-3 girls: Gracie Adams, Lanesville.
Nov. 23-Nov. 28: District-1 boys: Cole Wireman, Kouts. District-1 girls: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point. District-2 boys: Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson, and Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights. District-2 girls: Jayla Smith, Lawrence North. District-3 boys: Kooper Jacobi, Silver Creek. District-3 girls: Sydney Jaynes, Trinity Lutheran.
Nov. 30-Dec. 5: District-1 boys: J.R. Konieczny, South Bend St. Joseph. District-1 girls: Olivia Smith, Fort Wayne South Side. District-2 boys: Ian Scott, Plainfield. District-2 girls: Skylie Lutz, Union City. District-3 boys: Julian Norris, Evansville Bosse. District-3 girls: Kylee Edwards, Shelbyville.
Dec. 7-Dec. 12: District-1 boys: Caleb Furst, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian. District-1 girls: Ellia Foster, Bremen. District-2 boys: Brody Whitaker, Greencastle. District-2 girls: Ariana Wiggins, Heritage Christian. District-3 boys: Logan Rohrbacher, East Central. District-3 girls: Abby Fleetwood, Brown County.
Dec. 14-Dec. 19: District-1 boys: Christopher Mantis, Lowell. District-1 girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Bishop Noll. District-2 boys: Luke Brown, Blackford. District-2 girls: Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora). District-3 boys: Lane Sparks, Greensburg. District-3 girls: Isabella Reed, Greenwood Christian.
Dec. 21-Dec. 26: District-1 boys: Luke Goode, Homestead. District-1 girls: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point. District-2 boys: Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson. District-2 girls: Katie Burton, Fishers. District-3 boys: Curt Hopf, Barr-Reeve. District-3 girls: Juliann Woodard, Jennings County.
Dec. 28-Jan. 2: District-1 boys: Fletcher Loyer, Homestead. District-1 girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Bishop Noll. District-2 boys: Trey Flatt, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis). District-2 girls: Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Stephen Atkinson, Owen Valley. District-3 girls: Ali Saunders, North Harrison.
Jan. 4-Jan. 9: District-1 boys: Jackson Paul, Churubusco. District-1 girls: Lilliann Frasure, North Judson-San Pierre. District-2 boys: Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights. District-2 girls: McKenna Layden, Northwestern. District-3 boys: Trey Kaufman, Silver Creek. District-3 girls: Vanessa Shafford, Linton-Stockton.