Girls Varsity Basketball
Columbus North senior Alexa McKinley was named MVP of the Bull Dogs’ 2020-21 girls’ basketball team at the team awards program Wednesday (March 24).
McKinley, a four-year varsity letter winner and three-year starter, averaged 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals while leading the team to a 13-6 record that included an undefeated Conference Indiana championship at 5-0. McKinley also shot a team-best 88.2 percent on free throws, the second-best season free throw accuracy in program history. She also converted 41.4 percent on all field goals and 45.1 percent on 3-point shots while being named team MVP for the second consecutive season.
McKinley was one of seven players to be recognized with a special award in the season-ending gathering held in the CN cafeteria. Sophomore Lauren Barker, junior Kylah Lawson, senior Kanon Matsuno, senior Madison White, senior Emily Herndon and freshman Greta Brown all were acknowledged as a recipient of special award for the Bull Dogs’ squad.
Barker was named winner of the Bull Dog Award, while Lawson was the recipient of the Outstanding Participant Award. Matsuno collected the Most Improved Award, while Herndon and White were co-winners of the Spirit Award. Brown received the Martha Kalb Memorial Award, named in honor of a Bull Dogs’ former JV coach who passed away from cancer. That annual award goes to a JV player who displays characteristics of determination, teamwork, persistence and heart.
Barker, a two-year letter winner and first-year starter, averaged 11.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals while connecting on a team-best 47 3-pointers in the abbreviated season. Lawson, a three-year letter-winner and three-year starter, provided 9.5 points and 1.0 assists as well as team highs of 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.9 blocks.
Matsuno collected her third varsity letter and showed significant improvement yet again while averaging 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists as the team’s first guard off the bench. This was her second consecutive season receiving the Most Improved Award.
White is another third-year letter winner and two-year starter who averaged 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals. Herndon received her second letter and provided 2.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in a key backup in the front court. In addition to their numbers, both White and Herndon offered uplifting support – tactically and emotionally – to their teammates throughout the season.
Brown averaged 4.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.1 steals in helping the Bull Dogs’ JV team to a 12-2 record. She led the JV in scoring in one game, in rebounding in one game and in assists in seven games.
The Columbus North freshman team finished its season with an 11-4 record. Collectively, the CN teams went 36-12 in 2020-21.
Several CN players have been honored with previous awards. McKinley, Barker and Lawson each was voted first-team all-Conference Indiana, and White was chosen honorable mention all-Conference Indiana. McKinley was chosen ICGSA first-team All-State and IBCA/Franciscan Health Senior honorable mention All-State, and Lawson was recognized as ICGSA third-team All-State and IBCA/Franciscan Health Underclass honorable mention All-State.
Herndon, Matsuno, McKinley and White all were named ICGSA first-team Academic All-State, and the same four were chosen IBCA honorable mention Academic All-State.
Also, McKinley and White were selected all-District 3 by the Hoosier Basketball Coaches Association, and McKinley was chosen for the HBCA East-West All-Star Classic and Hoosier Basketball Magazine’s Top 60 Senior Workout. In addition, Barker, Lawson, McKinley and White were selected first-team All-Area by The Republic, and Matsuno and sophomore Emma Long were chosen honorable mention All-Area by The Republic.
Seventeen Bull Dogs earned accolades on the HBCA Academic Honors Court. They included Reagan Ables, Lauren Barker, Rylie Boezeman, Greta Brown, Emily Herndon, Olivia Johnson, Andrea Justis, Emma Long, Kanon Matsuno, Alexa McKinley, Lucy Norman, Elise Preston, Maddi Rutan, Moana Steele, Kaitlin White, Madison White and Kathryn Wilson.
Other awards such as Associated Press All-State and IBCA Underclass Showcase selections have yet to be announced.
A list of team awards follows.
Varsity Letters: Lauren Barker, Alana Cook (mgr.), Carly Harshbarger (mgr.), Emily Herndon, Andrea Justis, Kylah Lawson, Emma Long, Kanon Matsuno, Annaleigh Matzar (mgr.), Alexa McKinley, Lucy Norman, Elise Preston, Madison White
JV Awards: Reagan Ables, Rylie Boezeman, Greta Brown, Olivia Johnson, Maddi Rutan, Moana Steele, Kaitlin White, Kathryn Wilson
Sophomore Awards: Milahya Anderson (mgr.), Liberty Jones (mgr.), Amelia Thompson (mgr.)
Freshman Awards: Kendall Combest, Claire Edwards, Iris Elliott, Ella Engelau, Carli Freeman, Kennedy Gallentine, Chloe LaVelle, Kelsey Lovelace, Kenzie Meyer, Ella Gray Partin, Thalia Trejo
MVP: Alexa McKinley
Bull Dog Award: Lauren Barker
Outstanding Participant Award: Kylah Lawson
Most Improved Award: Kanon Matsuno
Spirit Award: Emily Herndon and Madison White
Martha Kalb Memorial Award: Greta Brown
Season FT accuracy: .8823, Alexa McKinley (second CN single-season list)
Season 3-point accuracy: .4510, Alexa McKinley (fifth on CN single-season list)
Career 3-pointers made: 102, Madison White (tied for fifth on CN all-time list)
Career assists: 263, Alexa McKinley (sixth on CN all-time list)
Career 3-pointers made: 95, Lauren Barker (seventh on CN all-time list, two seasons to go)
Season 3-pointers made: 47, Lauren Barker (tied for eighth on CN single-season list)
Consecutive FTs made: 19, Alexa McKinley (tied for eighth on CN list, 1/19 to 1/25)
Career rebounds: 507, Kylah Lawson (10th on CN all-time list, one season to go)
Consecutive FTs made: 18, Alexa McKinley (tied for 11th on CN list, 1/26 to 2/6)
Career points: 848, Alexa McKinley (12th on CN all-time list)
Career 3-pointers made: 65, Alexa McKinley (15th in CN all-time list)
Season 3-pointers made: 35, Madison White (tied for 19th on CN single-season list)
TEAM TOP 10s
Season FT accuracy: .7203 (fourth on CN single-season list, 170-236)
Season 3-point accuracy: .3403 (ninth on CN single-season list, 131-385)
Fewest points allowed: 18 vs. Terre Haute North (tied for fifth fewest allowed by an opponent)
Fewest points scored, game: 29 vs. East Central (tied for ninth fewest in a game)
PHOTO: Alexa McKinley shoots a free throw against Terre Haute North on Jan. 30, 2021. McKinley was named MVP of the Columbus North girls basketball team for 2020-21. She converted 88.2 percent from the line for the season.