Danville Schlarman will continue its Class 1A IHSA championship defense on Saturday thanks to the play of Xavier recruit Capria Brown (2020). She is one of several players that stood out from Friday’s action. The Hilltoppers (32-2) took Lewistown’s (31-2)…
Danville Schlarman will continue its Class 1A IHSA championship defense on Saturday thanks to the play of Xavier recruit Capria Brown (2020). She is one of several players that stood out from Friday’s action.
The Hilltoppers (32-2) took Lewistown’s (31-2) best punch before picking up its pressure in the second half to secure a 58-41 win.
Schlarman will meet Lanark Eastland (31-4), which beat Tri-County (29-5) 64-63 to advance to Saturday’s 1:15 title game.
Here are seven players that stood out from Friday’s semifinals.
1. Capria Brown, Schlarman
The junior took over this game with her defensive pressure. She had six steals which led to easy transition points. She scored a game-high 23 points, overcoming a slow start going 9-for-19 (which included missing her final four).
Schlarman’s length was unmatched and Brown took advantage on drives to the basket to get easy looks for herself.
Brown’s line: 23 points (9-19/1-2/4-6); 6 steals, 4 rebounds and 2 turnovers
2. Erin Henze, Eastland
Erin Henze (2020) exceeded expectations. The 5-foot-4 guard was quiet in the first half before leading the fourth-quarter comeback. She finished with 25 points and was an efficient 6-for-8 from 3-point range, which mostly came off sets run for her. Henze was solid defensively with three steals and had good on-ball defense without fouling.
Her court awareness was solid, knowing when to take an open 3-pointer and when to drive for a free-throw line jumper.
Henze’s line: 25 points (7-12/6-8/5-6); 3 steals, 2 assists, 2 rebounds and 6 turnovers
3. Kiersten Price-Wilson, Tri-County
Kiersten Price-Wilson (2019) was the best post player to take Doug Collins Court. The 5-foot-11 senior was comfortable on the low block, facing up and moving towards the basket. She proved she could finish through contact and make free throws once at the line. Her offensive rebounding created easy looks for her.
Defensively, she would get beat but would stick with the play to come from behind to block shots. Her seven blocks were impressive as she dominated the paint.
Price-Wilson’s line: 18 points (6-11/0-0/6-8); 9 rebounds, 7 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 turnovers
4. Lydia Coatney, Eastland
Lydia Coatney (2020) was the lone bright spot for Eastland before Henze heated up. The 5-6 guard scored 19 points and moved well off the dribble and had range to space the floor. She also crashed the glass for three offensive rebounds and showed a strong IQ to get four steals.
Coatney’s line: 19 points (7-16/2-4/3-4); 4 steals, 4 rebounds and 3 turnovers
5. Paige Bennett, Lewistown
Paige Bennett (2019) said it herself, she’s the tallest Lewistown defender and is 5-foot-7. It didn’t matter to her though because she battled with the taller, longer Schlarman girls on the glass. She secured seven rebounds and had three assists to move the offense. She was also efficient with her shooting.
Bennett’s line: 5 points (2-3/1-2/0-0); 7 rebounds (2 offensive), 3 assists, 1 turnover
6. Anaya Peoples, Schlarman
The McDonald’s All-American was namely impressive because of her playmaking ability. Anaya Peoples (2019) was crafty with her dribbling, used a power spin move to get to the basket an sidestepped defenders trying to dry a charge with grace.
Her third block was most impressive when 5-6 guard Anna Heffren (2020) drove to the basket and Peoples grabbed it out of the air, stood in her spot and watched as Heffren went back on defense.
Peoples line: 18 points (5-10/0-0/8-13); 11 rebounds (4 offensive), 4 steals, 3 blocks, 2 assists and 4 turnovers
7. Sydney Shaeffer, Lewistown
Sydney Shaeffer (2020) struggled as the game went on offensively, but she was impressive in her relentlessness in all aspects of the game. She led Lewistown in points (15), tied Bennett in rebounds (7) and tied Anna Heffren in steals (2). Her efficiency and aggressiveness driving to the basket was impressive.
She played the point on the 1-2-1-1 trapping press and competed to stay in front of Peoples and Brown when she’d get switched onto them in the zone.
Shaeffer’s line: 15 points (5-14/2-7/3-4); 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 turnovers