This week starts a brand new season of high school basketball in the Hoosier state, beginning with girls basketball. 

In Northeast Indiana, two very talented teams will square off at Columbia City between the Carroll Lady Chargers and the Columbia City Lady Eagles. 

For Carroll under Coach Redding, this team is deep, and they are loaded. This team is led by Lexi Castator, Brooke Pocock, Kayla Gibbs, Jasmine Anderson, and Taylor Fordyce. Players that are capable to distribute the ball, play defense, and shoot the basketball. 

If you’re not familiar with Carroll, this is a team that will stand out immediately, especially with Castator as she’s a huge part of Carroll’s identity. But keep an eye on two notable players in the backcourt; junior Anna Vie and freshman Jersey Paul. 

If you remembered anything about Jalen and Jackson Paul, then it’s no surprise Jersey is going to get some hype, and she’ll immediately be a contributor on the offensive side of the ball. Lethal shooter, high IQ basketball player, and a very confident playmaker. While she will have the usual learning phase of a true freshman, the offensive upside is more than enough to make her a must watch player in addition to the other names I’ve mentioned. Even with the loss of Emily Parrett to graduation and Neveah Jackson transferring to Northrop (to team up with her older sister Saniya and her mother the Northrop head girls basketball coach Katie Jackson), Carroll is a force to be reckoned with. 

Opponents in 4A and in the SAC must respect the potential Carroll has for this season and beyond. 

For Columbia City, they’re doing just fine under Coach Shearer. Kyndra Sheets will run the point guard slot for Columbia City as she is an improving shooter and playmaker, but she matches that with her effort on defense. A coach’s dream I might add. 

Senior Bekah Marshall recently committed to Grace College as she brings significant varsity experience to a young but talented team. But she makes that up with her ability to create plays for herself, and is a solid rebounder. Bekah plays in the small forward position as a Wing-and-D player. 

Anna Schrader provides excellent backcourt depth and leadership, along with Danielle Dunham (a Angola transfer that you might have heard of if you follow the Angola Hornets or the NECC). These two guards will change everything about how teams will prepare for Columbia City in the years to come. Freshman Addison Baxter and sophomore Tessa Tonkel are two guards that are going to rise as they grow as basketball players, and these are two of several players fans have been excited for years now. 

Sophomore Molly Baker, and seniors Haley Thompson and Brooke Lickey will provide solid two-way games in the frontcourt. To summarize this, the 2021-22 Columbia City Eagles have what it takes to be a major contender in both the NE8 and sectionals in the years to come. 

On Saturday at 7:30 pm, these two teams will begin their season to measure where they’re at in this young season and preparing themselves for what’s to come for the remainder of this month and into conference action.