Week-19 is Oh So Sweet for the Three IBCA/Franciscan Health Players of the Week, All Headed to Semi-State
64, 48, and 16 were the numbers to pay attention to Saturday, as 64 teams took part in the regional round of the IHSAA boys’ basketball state tournament. 48 games were played, and 16 teams now advance to a Semi-State this coming weekend in either Elkhart, Lafayette, Seymour, or Washington, Indiana. Based on their Regional performances, we’ve awarded three young men the distinction of being the Week-19 IBCA/Franciscan Health Players of the Week.
Central Noble Senior Connor Essegian, Lafayette Central Catholic Senior Clark Obermiller, and Sullivan Senior Randy Kelley have been selected as recipients for Mar. 7-Mar. 12 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Essegian takes home honors in District-1, Obermiller is the winner in District-2, and Kelley’s heroics earned him the award for District-3.
The Central Noble Cougars have won 88 games over the past four seasons, and Senior Connor Essegian is at the forefront of that success. His ability to score the ball at a high level stands out, and he was on display again this past weekend. In their first game, an 80-61 victory over Hammond Bishop Noll, the Senior guard was a stellar 19-25 from the floor, 8-12 from 3-point range, and he made his only free throw attempt, scoring 47 points in the contest. He added five rebounds, four assists, and four steals to his effort, as the Cougars advanced to the regional final.
Later that evening, Central Noble would find it much tougher to pull out a win, battling Blackhawk Christian into as extra session but finally prevailing, 58-53, in overtime. The 6-4 Essegian was again key to the Cougars success, scoring 30 points and pulling down five rebounds. The University of Wisconsin commit shot 11-23 from the field, 4-11 from deep, and 4-5 from the charity stripe, plus he managed to hand out three assists, helping Central Noble advance to the Class 2A North Semi-State.
Lafayette Central Catholic’s Clark Obermiller has put together a steady Senior season, and this past Saturday he capped it off with a pair of nice performances. In their early game against Southwood, a 75-56 win, Obermiller scored 15 points on 6-10 shooting, plus he buried three shots from the free throw line. He added eight rebounds, a pair of assists, plus he blocked four shots in a well-rounded effort.
When they took the floor later that night against Liberty Christian, Obermiller led the Knights with an even better performance, scoring 26 points in a 64-45 victory over the Lions. This time, the 6-6 forward was an efficient 10-15 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from 15-feet. He added seven rebounds for the Knights, plus he contributed an assist, three steals, and a pair of blocked shots.
Sullivan Senior Randy Kelley has become “Mr. Big Shot” over the past couple of weeks. During the Golden Arrows’ Regional opener, Kelley banked in a fade-away 3-pointer from the right wing as the clock expired, knocking off North Harrison, 52-49. It was his THIRD buzzer-beater in a row, having knocked down game-winners in each of their Sectional wins as well. The Senior guard finished with 16 points and was 2-2 from deep and 6-6 from the free throw line. Kelley added seven assists and a pair of rebounds to go along with his unimaginable ending.
In the Regional title game, Sullivan had another tight one with a tough-nosed Evansville Bosse squad. Their 89-85 championship victory must have felt like a breath of fresh air, since they didn’t need a buzzer-beater for the first time in three weeks. Still, though, Kelley was vital to their success. The 5-11 guard scored 33 points on 10-15 shooting, plus he was strong at the free throw line, knocking down 12-14 free tosses. Kelley again contributed in other ways, adding six rebounds and six assists in the big win.
This is the 14th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but just the second 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 were 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-19 (2021-22)
District-1 Boys: Caedmon Bontrager, Leo; Markus Burton, Penn; Bentley Buschman, North White; Quintin Floyd, Gary 21st Century; Travis Grayson, Chesterton; Fletcher Loyer, Homestead; Luke McBride, Norwell; Thomas Snyder, South Bend John Adams; Deaglan Sullivan, Mishawaka Marian; Brandon Trilli, Munster.
District-2 Boys: Anthony Ball, Beech Grove; Flory Bidunga, Kokomo; Xavier Booker, Cathedral; Tyler Dostin, Danville; Zane Doughty, Ben Davis; Cam Haffner, Westfield; Nate Powell, Tipton; Billy Smith, Brebeuf Jesuit; Jacob Spaulding, Eastern Hancock; Wyatt Thornburgh, Blue River Valley.
District-3 Boys: Jameer Ajibade, Evansville Bosse; Jack Benter, Brownstown Central; Micah Davis, Franklin Community; Wyatt Day, Jac-Cen-Del; Mark Hankins, Terre Haute North; Drew Howard, Forest Park; Travis Jones, Edinburgh; Jaylen Mullen, North Daviess; JaQualon Roberts, Bloomington North; Garrett Yoon, Lawrenceburg.
2021-22 Weekly Winners
Nov. 1-Nov. 6: District-1 girls: Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington. District-2 girls: Emily Livingston, Union City. District–3 girls: Kyia McKinley, Eastern (Pekin).
Nov. 8-Nov. 13: District-1 girls: Julia Mantyla, Northridge. District-2 girls: Isabella Gizzi, New Palestine. District–3 girls: Zoe Stewart, Terre Haute North Vigo.
Nov. 15-Nov. 20: District-1 girls: Asia Donald, Hobart. District-2 girls: Adrianne Tolen, West Lafayette. District–3 girls: Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran.
Nov. 22-Nov. 27: District-1 boys: Joe Reidy, Woodlan. District-1 girls: RaShunda Jones, South Bend Washington. District–2 boys: Ryan Conwell, Pike. District-2 girls: Camryn Wise, Wapahani. District-3 boys: Hunter Johnson, South Decatur. District–3 girls: Saige Stahl, Columbus East.
Nov. 29-Dec. 4: District-1 boys: Fletcher Loyer, Homestead. District-1 girls: Nevaeh Foster, Mishawaka Marian. District–2 boys: Brady Ruggles, Danville. District-2 girls: Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Wes Aigner, Castle. District–3 girls: Macey Timberman, Northview.
Dec. 6-Dec. 11: District-1 boys: Markus Burton, Penn. District-1 girls: Ayanna Patterson, Homestead. District–2 boys: Jake Chapman, Tri-Central. District-2 girls: Caitlyn Campbell, Winchester, and McKenna Layden, Northwestern. District-3 boys: Caleb Dewey, Edinburgh. District–3 girls: Reagan Martin, Owen Valley.
Dec. 13-Dec. 18: District-1 boys: Brauntae Johnson, Fort Wayne North Side. District-1 girls: Ashlynn Brooke, Pioneer. District–2 boys: Isaac Andrews, Wapahani. District-2 girls: Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora). District-3 boys: Branden Northern, Silver Creek. District–3 girls: Faith Wiseman, Indian Creek.
Dec. 20-Dec. 25: District-1 boys: Ashton Johnson, Fort Wayne South Side. District-1 girls: Kacilyn Krebs, Warsaw. District–2 boys: Armon Jarrard, Mount Vernon (Fortville). District-2 girls: Laila Hull, Zionsville. District-3 boys: Hagen Knepp, Barr-Reeve. District–3 girls: Chloe Spreen, Bedford North Lawrence.
Dec. 27-Jan. 1: District-1 boys: Karson Jenkins, Fort Wayne Snider. District-1 girls: MaKaya Porter, Mishawaka Marian. District–2 boys: Reggie Bass, Arsenal Tech. District-2 girls: Ally Madden, Blue River Valley. District-3 boys: Jack Benter, Brownstown Central. District–3 girls: Juliann Woodard, Jennings County.
Jan. 3-Jan. 8: District-1 boys: Travis Grayson, Chesterton. District-1 girls: Lilly Maple, Maconaquah. District–2 boys: Braden Smith, Westfield. District-2 girls: Maddy Meek, New Castle. District-3 boys: Brysen Montgomery, Austin. District–3 girls: Kendall Hale, Cannelton.
Jan. 10-Jan. 15: District-1 boys: Connor Essegian, Central Noble. District-1 girls: Kelly Ratigan, South Bend St. Joseph. District–2 boys: Kyle Thomas, Cloverdale. District-2 girls: Teresa Maggio, McCutcheon. District-3 boys: Hunter Johnson, South Decatur. District–3 girls: Zoe Stewart, Terre Haute North Vigo.
Jan. 17-Jan. 22: District-1 boys: Ashton Williamson, Gary 21st Century. District-1 girls: Jyah LoVett, Fort Wayne Snider. District–2 boys: Ahmere Carson, Anderson. District-2 girls: Bailey Parham, Tri. District-3 boys: Tucker Biven, New Albany. District–3 girls: Ava Weber, Corydon Central.
Jan. 24-Jan. 29: District-1 boys: Markus Burton, Penn. District-1 girls: Hailey Cripe, Pioneer. District–2 boys: Chrishon McCray, Avon. District-2 girls: Kaycie Warfel, Pendleton Heights. District-3 boys: Josiah Dunham, Evansville Christian. District–3 girls: Saige Stahl, Columbus East.
Jan. 31-Feb. 5: District-1 boys: Connor Essegian, Central Noble. District-1 girls: Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington. District–2 boys: Jordan Turner, Cardinal Ritter. District-2 girls: Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Branden Northern, Silver Creek. District–3 girls: Ava Weber, Corydon Central.
Feb. 7-Feb. 12: District-1 boys: Trey Steinhilber, Boone Grove. District-1 girls: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point. District–2 boys: Flory Bidunga, Kokomo. District-2 girls: McKenna Layden, Northwestern. District-3 boys: Jameer Ajibade, Evansville Bosse. District–3 girls: Josie Trabel, East Central.
Feb. 14-Feb. 19: District-1 boys: Travis Grayson, Chesterton. District-1 girls: RaShunda Jones, South Bend Washington. District–2 boys: Logan Imes, Zionsville. District-2 girls: Karsyn Cherry, Lafayette Central Catholic. District-3 boys: Jack Benter, Brownstown Central. District–3 girls: Kaybree Oxley, Tecumseh.
Feb. 21-Feb. 26: District-1 boys: Ben Garwood, LaCrosse. District-1 girls: Kira Reynolds, South Bend Washington. District–2 boys: Jake Chapman, Tri-Central. District-2 girls: Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Hunter Johnson, South Decatur. District–3 girls: Amber Tretter, Forest Park, and Jenna Donohoo, Tecumseh.
Feb. 28-Mar. 5: District-1 boys: Karson Jenkins, Fort Wayne Snider. District–2 boys: Braden Smith, Westfield. District-3 boys: JaQualon Roberts, Bloomington North.
Mar. 7-Mar. 12: District-1 boys: Connor Essegian, Central Noble. District–2 boys: Clark Obermiller, Lafayette Central Catholic. District-3 boys: Randy Kelley, Sullivan.