White is county's top player, All-County teams named

Friday, February 19, 2016
Greencastle's Allison White has been named the Banner Graphic's 2016 Putnam County girls' basketball Player of the Year. She averaged 10.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game for the Tiger Cubs. (Banner Graphic/JAY LOCKETT)

This year's Banner Graphic All-County selection focused less on an individual's stat line and more on how each player is valued on their particular team.

Most of the statistical advantages between individuals were marginal but one Tiger Cub stood out on the stat line but also with her on-the-court play.

Greencastle's Allison White has been named 2016 Putnam County Player of the Year.

The Banner Graphic Player of the Year is selected as the player making the most valuable contribution to her team's image and success while having the highest character both on and off the court.

White's 10.3 points per game is fourth best in the county and her 8.7 rebounds per game were second best.

The forward was a major part of a Tiger Cub team that took a Putnam County title and placed third in the WIC's 12-team conference.

Miranda Bieghler of South Putnam shoots a three against Greencastle. (Banner Graphic/JAY LOCKETT)

"Allison was a tremendous leader this year. Her stats are super impressive, she ended up being in the top 10 career rebounders for Greencastle girls' basketball," GHS coach Bradley Key said. "But her legacy as a basketball player will be that she was a great teammate, hard worker, and an even better leader. Allison is the epitome of a coachable player. We were lucky to have Allison White as a member of our team the last four years."

White shot 70 percent from the foul line during her senior year, which is fourth in the county of the players that who 50 or more free throws and second on a team that never lost to another local team.

CHS' Tori Combs puts up a shot on Tucker Court. Combs netted 11 rebounds per game this season. (Banner Graphic/JAY LOCKETT)

Joining their Tiger Cub teammate on the first team are the sharp-shooting senior Bethanie Burgeson and Mia Stevens who was GHS' main weapon inside.

Burgeson shot 26 percent from long range and 31 percent from the floor. She was a versatile threat for the Tiger Cubs, able to catch and shoot, drive and kick and finish inside from either side of the court.

Opposing teams would often view the shooting guard as a challenge and many defensive schemes were geared toward making sure Burgeson didn't get open too often. She helped GHS to its third county championship with a game-winning three in the second overtime to win the game against the Eagles.

Stevens is the inside game for GHS. She is second on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game and second in rebounding with 5.5.

The 5-10 junior was a great asset for Greencastle which used her at center. Mia could not only bang down low for rebounds and points in the paint, but she was also able to step out to the free throw line and knock down short jumpers which allowed the other Tiger Cubs more looks inside.

Taylor Nauert dribbles up the court at home. Nauert recorded 13 points per game and seven rebounds. (Banner Graphic/JAY LOCKETT)

Miranda Bieghler has made the most of her sophomore year for South Putnam and she makes the All-County first team as part of the driving force that was the fast-paced South Putnam offense. Bieghler led the county with 13.3 points per game and second in the county with 94 field goals made.

She made 84 foul shots, which is second only to White, giving Biegler a 71 free throw shooting percentage, which was good for South Putnam as she was able to score from all over the floor, including in the paint where the 5-3 guard was often punished for her bravery inside.

Finally freshman Tori Combs has made quite an impact her first year earning a spot on the All-County first team due to her aggressive rebounding and sound play.

Cloverdale struggled this season, not picking up its first win until the county tourney consolation game but CHS was characterized by an attitude that would not give up. That mentality was present all season but seemed to start whenever Combs would make a big block or offensive play to get the spark going for Cloverdale.

Combs started the season splitting time on the JV roster, but CHS coach Matt Langdon quickly switch her to varsity full time and Cloverdale immediately benefited.

She led the county with 11 boards per game and also shot 43 percent from the line. Combs shot 42 percent from the free throw line and scored 8.5 points a game.

Second Team

Taylor Nauert was the heart and soul of North Putnam's team this season and without the 6-3 senior the Cougars' entire game plan would have had to change.

Nauert was second in the county with 13 points per game and third in rebounding with 7 per game. Nauert was easily the biggest asset for the Cougars, instantly neutralizing any opposing team's inside presence while adding the most offensive production as well. She had 61 blocks on the season with 44 assists.

Paige Bragg makes the All-County second team for Greencastle because, while Burgeson was the sizzle and White was the steak, Bragg simply ran the offense. Bragg's statline is not as impressive as her fellow All-County players but there is no stat for breaking down a full-court press or calling and starting as play that leads to an easy bucket. The GHS senior did both on a routine basis. Bragg earned 62 assists on the year third most in the county

She had 7.1 points per game with 2.1 assists as point guard for the Tiger Cubs.

CHS' Haley Hamm earns her spot on the All-County team with her Putnam County best 33 percent shooting from long range. Hamm was part of a one-two punch that Cloverdale used to establish an outside shooting threat. When Hamm's game was on Cloverdale flourished.

The final two slots go to South Putnam's Katie Hewitt, who ended her stellar career at SPHS, and Lillie Stein who'll be back at SPHS with Bieghler for two more seasons.

Stein was a problem for opposing defenses as many teams didn't know weather to stop her shooting or driving. Ultimately she did both consistently shooting 31 percent from the floor, 24 percent from downtown and 54 percent from the line. Though only 5-4 she grabbed 5.4 rebounds per game.

Lastly, but not least is Katie Hewitt who played a big part of a team trying to turn its program into a winning tradition. While the future looks good for South Putnam, the Eagles will certainly miss Hewitt's 52 percent from the floor. Hewitt was good at positioning herself inside and affecting the play whether offensively or defensively. She scored 8.2 points a game and shot 62 percent from the line with one miss coming on purpose in the Putnam County Tournament in order to secure a game-tying bucket.

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