There have not been many senior classes like this one in the history of Indiana high school girls basketball.
The class includes two of the top three career scorers in state history and the top three single-season scoring marks. For the first time since the Indiana High School Athletic Association first put on a tournament in 1976, there are five players who will graduate with more than 1,900 career points (there were four in 1993).
It makes for a fascinating race for this year’s IndyStar Miss Basketball presented by the Indiana Fever. There are a handful of candidates with remarkable credentials. Credentials that in most other years would make each of them a slam-dunk choice as the top choice for Miss Basketball.
The winner will be announced at the inaugural Indiana Sports Awards April 28, which will be hosted by Fever coach Stephanie White, the 1995 Miss Basketball out of Seeger.
This year’s race probably comes down to four players. Here’s a look:
Jackie Young, Princeton
The 6-1 Notre Dame recruit leaves the scene as the state’s all-time leader in scoring with 3,268 points. She was named a McDonald’s All American and was named as one of five first-team players for the Naismith Trophy All-American team. She’s also one of five finalists for the Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year. Though she averaged 34.9 points as a senior, she’s much more than a scorer. She also averaged 9.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 3.8 steals and shot 43 percent from the 3-point line (57-for-133).
Chances: OK after reading that, how can you not vote Young for Miss Basketball? She also won a Class 3A state title as a junior and became the first girls basketball player to eclipse 1,000 points (1,003) in a single season. About the only blemish against Young is that Princeton saw its 53-game winning streak snapped in the sectional this year in a 34-33 upset against Southridge. Still, it would be a surprise to see somebody other than Young win it.
Tyasha Harris, Heritage Christian
The 5-10 Harris, who is one of the nation’s top uncommitted recruits, capped her career with a third consecutive state championship. Heritage Christian, after winning back-to-back 2A titles, won 3A this year after moving up under the IHSAA’s tournament success factor. Harris averaged 23.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.8 assists as a senior and finished her career as the program’s leader in points (2,004) and steals (487).
Chances: Harris shares many of the same qualities as Young in that she can score but is often at her best when she’s creating for others. But even with her personal and team success, it may be an uphill battle for Harris in the Miss Basketball race. Heritage Christian has never had a Miss Basketball and only three winners have come from private schools.
Lindsey Corsaro, Roncalli
The 6-foot Corsaro, a Kentucky recruit, was also named to the McDonald’s All American team. After suffering a season-ending knee injury late in her junior season, Corsaro rebounded to average 25.3 points and 9.7 rebounds to lead Roncalli to a regional title as a senior. She’ll graduate as the program’s leader in points (1,904) and also set six other school records, including single-season scoring.
Chances: Corsaro had a big-time senior season and put the team on her back to win a Class 4A regional over Lawrence North and Greenfield-Central. Roncalli won 24 games, its most since the 2013 team won the regional. Some of the same private school history with the award is working against Corsaro, as it is with Harris. If Roncalli had been able to win two more games and a state title, her chances might be significantly better.
Kristen Spolyar, Lebanon
The 5-11 Butler recruit set a new single-season scoring record to break Young’s year-old mark with 1,031 points. Spolyar averaged 35.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.1 steals and 3.8 assists in a monster senior season and led Lebanon to a 22-7 record and the program’s first regional title in 15 years. Spolyar finished her career with 2,882 points to rank third on the state’s all-time career scoring list.
Chances: Most other years, Spolyar might have it made. Despite her individual numbers and this year’s team success, it’ll be tough against this field.
Call IndyStar reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.